Protein, fats and carbohydrates, these are the three marco nutrients. The “marcos” are the larger food categories from which we get all the mirco nutrients from, such as vitamins, mineral and anti-oxidants.
For the most part people do not have a problem consuming enough carbohydrates since they are so readily available. Fats are also not hard to consume, a handful of nuts or seeds here and there and some olive oil and or avocado on your salad. Little to no preparation involved there. It’s protein that seems to be the obstacle for most people as chicken and steak are not typical weekly breakfast foods and eggs don’t agree with everyone, nor do you want to eat them every day.
Protein, such as chicken, beef, lamb, cottage cheese and whey protein powder (just to list a few a sources) break down into little mirco particles called amino acids. These amino acids are pretty amazing; they are the building blocks for the body, essential for growth and maintaining healthy body tissue. In fact second only to water, protein is the one the most important part of nutrition in terms of the body’s physical composition.
Your immune system uses protein as fuel. It is what antibodies are formed from; this is what helps fight infections. It is used to help maintain proper fluid balance, needed for energy, and the repairing of all bodily tissues. It is used to from hormones, enzymes and antibodies. Hair loss, water retention, slow wound healing and weakness are all symptoms of protein deficiency.
There is a whole family of amino acids, about 22 different ones altogether. Out of these 22, eight of them are essential, meaning that you must consume them as your body will not make them. If you consume sufficient amounts of these eight then your super smart body will make the remaining 14 through different combinations of the eight. If one amino acid is lacking, it can set off a chain reaction as now other proteins cannot be formed.
So , we have established that protein is important, and we can see that it’s has uses for everyone, not just those hitting the gym every day. We have mentioned a few sources but one more aspect I would like to address is the digestibility of these proteins….after all you are what you eat….and digest, absorb and assimilate. Meats can be hard on the GI (gastro intestinal) track and if undigested foods gets into the body, havoc can be wreaked. The body won’t recognize these larger particles and it will register a deficiency in “micros” as the intestines can’t absorb them from the larger “chunks” of food.
So now let’s talk about a solution…..Whey Protein Powder. This is a byproduct of milk with a very high absorption rate and digestibility. Whey is a powder that can be mixed with water, juice or different milks. It can be used as a snack or added to smoothies as a part of a meal replacement.
Whey is the most bioavaliable source of protein and is the most useful for loosing body fat and maintaining lean muscle. You can buy a concentrate whey protein or an isolate whey protein. This refers to how finely the whey was filtered. Isolates are the fasted to absorb as then contain little to no carbohydrates or fats, which also makes them ideal for those on calorically restricted diets. They also contain the little to no lactose which makes them a more suitable option for most since dairy poses a big digestive problem of a large number of people.
Proteins are classified based on their ability to be broken down and utilized by the body. There is a numerical scale on which we score these protein containing foods and the score on the scale is the protein sources “BV’ factor, it’s “biological value” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biological_Value) . The egg gets a score of 100….it’s the perfect food!!! Since whey protein is in fact processed (yes, normally this is a bad word), it gets separated from the other component of dairy’s protein; casein, and isolated from fats and carbohydrates that are naturally occurring in the milk, it can have a higher score than the egg, well over 100!! Which means more of it can be utilized by the body.
But buyer beware….also this whey sounds totally wonderful, mostly because it is. One should be sure to read the labels and choose one that isn’t mixed with a whole bunch of other gunk, such as; chemical sweeteners, artificial flavors, and additives that may contain gluten.