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Health Tips

Pump the Protein – The importance of protein in your diet

By 04/04/2013 No Comments

If you are wanting to look and feel muscular and ripped on the beach this summer it all comes down to one food group and it’s called protein.

Protein makes up every living aspect of the human body and every naturally occurring food is made up of protein; we simply can’t live without it.

When we consume protein, our digestive system breaks it down into amino acids that are the basic building blocks of life. There are 22 naturally occurring amino acids that are divided into two groups, essential and non-essential.

Our body can’t make the eight essential amino acids so must obtain them through our diets. Many foods, such as animal protein contain all the eight essential amino acids but not all vegetarian products contain these amino acids apart from soy, amaranth, quinoa and LSA, to name a few.

The daily requirement of protein is one gram per kilogram of body weight i.e. 79kg = 79g of protein. If you exercise daily for more than one hour your requirement increases to 1.4 to 1.7 grams per kilogram of body weight. Many people believe that is it important to achieve your daily intake through the five to six small meal you should eat over the day but even if you have one meal that is high in protein that can give you your daily requirement.

Protein is fantastic when it comes to weight loss and those dreaded 3pm energy lows because it has the advantage of burning slowing so it fills you up and also has the effect of helping to release carbohydrates slowly so you don’t feel hungry and it stops the sugar cravings. Try eating protein such as nuts and seed, natural yoghurt or even hummus and chopped up veggies as a midmorning or afternoon snacks.

Protein supplements are not for everyone and excessive consumption of proteins can overload the digestive system and have some very interesting effects on the body such as flatulence, body odour or allergies. Excessive protein can put a real strain on the kidneys and can cause kidney stones and can increasing the risk of colon caner. So keep to the recommended daily amount.

Protein can be hard for the body to digest because it contains very little fibre. The best protein supplements for digestion and absorption are whey protein supplements as they have the best amino acid profile.
If you don’t have a healthy digestive system you are literally flushing down the toilet the additional protein you are adding to your diet. Foods that help increase absorption and digestion of protein are Psyllium husks because of it fibre content, pineapple because of its bromelain content and pawpaw because of it papin content. Try adding these foods to a smoothie with your protein supplement.

After exercising you have something called your protein widow period which is where the body can adsorb and utilize the most amount of protein this is where protein supplements hold there real benefit remember protein supplements are all about post-exercise recovery and repair.’


ProductProsCons
Metagenics BioPure
  • 90% complete whey protein
  • Contains enzymes to aim absorption
  • No artificial flavouring or preservatives
  • Made form NZ milk which has the least amount of heavy metals or pesticides
  • Flavour free so no added sugars
  • Practitioner product so is only sold in Health Food Stores that have a naturopath
  • Expensive
Isowhey Protein Power
  • Whey protein and calcium caseinate for best release
  • Contain no emulsifiers
  • Contains pre and probiotic so great for digestion
  • 11 mineral and 12 vitamins
  • Convenient and easy
  • Cheap and easy to get
  • Low GI and low sugar
  • Contains a small amount of lactose so not lactose-free
Aussie Bodies Protein Revival
  • Whey protein and calcium caseinate for best release
  • Convenient and easy
  • Cheap and easy to get
  • Low GI and low sugar
  • Synthetic sweeteners
  • May contain soy and wheat, which may exacerbate allergies
Sanitarium Up and Go
  • Cheap and easy to get
  • Low sugar
  • Contains soy & whey protein
  • Low GI
  • 11 essential vitamin and minerals
  • Lacto-oro vegetarian
  • Contains more soy protein than whey
  • Vitamin and minerals are fortified so they will not be absorbed as well but are still beneficial