We’ve all heard how important protein is to our every day diets and if you type a question into a Google search about protein you will find an endless selection of articles on the topic. As with many nutritional topics, you will find experts sharing pros and cons about animal protein and the pros and cons about plant based protein.
How do you decipher between all the information out there?
What I have found to be the most helpful is to be a student of all the information but follow a philosophy that fits your dietary beliefs and health goals and choose to eat accordingly.
While my nutrition philosophy isn’t the ‘right’ one for everyone, it is the one I choose to follow. My nutrition contains both animal and plant based proteins and I choose to eat one or the other based on my health goals. If you’re vegetarian or vegan the answer is easy – plant based protein is the better choice. However, if you’re open to animal protein then you have more options.
The basics of protein
What I know about animal proteins is that they are ‘complete’ proteins, meaning they have all the essential amino acids your body needs. With the exception of soybeans and all it’s derivatives, plant proteins are ‘incomplete’ and in order to make them complete you need to pair up the right plant proteins. Plant based proteins are easier on the digestive system than animal protein so I try to consume at least 50% of my protein from plant based sources.
When you can, consume protein from natural resources. You have much more control of what you’re consuming when they are in whole form versus processed or supplementation. But our lifestyles and budget don’t always allow for consuming whole foods so supplementation helps to bridge that gap. Of course, not all supplement shake powders are created equal and each type serves it’s own purpose. My suggestion is to choose based on what is your goal or intention of consuming the shake.
Choosing your protein based on your goals
If you’re trying to get in general good nutrition, go with plant based protein. Plant based proteins will also have vitamins and minerals in addition to the protein.
If you’re trying to get the most protein for the least amount of calories, go with lean animal protein sources (think chicken, turkey, egg whites, tuna).
If you’re choosing for a meal replacement, go with plant based protein. Ideally the best version is a soy isolate protein but a pea and rice protein can make for a good combo for those that avoid soy. Soy isolate is a plant based protein that is commonly used in meal replacements because it is not only a complete protein but it is also digested slower than whey which keeps you fuller longer.
If you’re going for a post recovery after a training session, go with animal (whey and casein) protein. Whey protein is a better source for repairing muscles after a workout because it is fast absorbing. When a protein shake also contains casein you’ll see even better results because you have the fast absorbing protein from the whey and then the slow absorbing protein from the casein, a great combination.
At the end of the day, so long as you are making a solid effort of getting in your daily protein requirements you’re doing way better than most!
Want some recommendations?
Wondering how much protein you should be consuming and where to find good sources or protein? Check out this blog post: sg4wellness.com/how-much-protein-do-you-need/
Looking for a way to supplement your protein? Herbalife has the #1 meal replacement shake on the market, Formula 1 Nutrition Shake, and it comes in all protein forms (soy isolate, whey, pea and rice).
If you’re looking for a protein shake, check out Herbalife24 Rebuild Strength. Voted the best tasting protein shake by Triathlete Magazine (tastes like chocolate milk), Rebuild Strength is made of whey and casein protein and includes many of the nutrients needed to replenish those depleted muscles, including L-Glutamine and your BCAA’s.
Susan Gibson – Herbalife Nutrition Coach & Endurance Athlete. For the last 8 years, Susan has been teaching her clients how to live a healthy, active lifestyle and maximizing their health potential. Schedule your free consultation today!