Protein without the Powder
“I’ve got 99 problems and protein ain’t one.”... Health Professionals Everywhere
Protein plays a significant role in repairing and rebuilding your muscles after exercise. It stimulates muscle protein synthesis, improves recovery, and can even enhance your next workout. When it comes to getting the right amount of protein to fuel and rebuild your body, protein powder is not your only option, especially for those just beginning their journey to health and fitness.
Most people buy the protein powder before they start the workout program. As if the decision to start working out goes hand in hand with a soy, vegan or whey protein powder. Spoiler alert! They do not go hand in hand. Eating foods high in protein that contain other essential nutrients that aid in to processing that protein, is the best way to recover, rebuild and repair your muscles. Nature and the human body do go hand in hand. In no scenario is it necessary to walk up to a plant, extract the protein from it and take a shot of protein. Eat the plant the natural way and receive the protein along with other nutrients as nature intended.
There are a number of benefits to getting your protein from food. First and foremost, getting your protein from food is more natural. Protein powders, while convenient, are still processed, and can contain things like added sugar, artificial flavors, and other additives. By opting for natural sources of protein, you can avoid any potential negative health impacts from artificial ingredients.
Protein from natural food sources is more nutrient-dense than protein powders. Plant-based proteins from spinach, for example, provide an array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are not found in plant based protein powders. Even if that protein were an extract from spinach. These missing nutrients are a large part of the natural digestion process and can help boost your overall health and well-being.
Natural food sources are also more cost effective. Kale, spinach and eggs are cheap and the protein vs calories ratios are phenomenal. Chicken, fish, steak, pork and tofu can get expensive sometimes I know, none the less it is still cheaper than your new kidney. Me personally? I snack on beef jerky, beef broth, hard boiled eggs, pistachios, almonds, cashews, and more! I ensure that my meals are usually protein and veg - most often fish with spinach, asparagus, mushrooms, kale and avocados.
The people that make these processed protein powders are amazing marketers and have convinced you of a lie. The need to rush to your post workout smoothie as fast as you can to avoid losing muscle gains attained from your most recent workout is the lie. The 30 - 60 minutes after a workout to optimize muscular gain through nutrition is called the “Anabolic Window”. Is the “Anabolic Window” something to be aware of ? Yes of course, good nutrition after any workout is necessary for optimal muscle gain. Is protein essential for the body to function properly ? Yes, proteins are the foundation of your body’s structure. They are your skin, hair and other substances such as enzymes used to accelerate necessary chemical reactions in the body. I am addressing protein from food and advice your personal trainer vs processed protein powders from marketers.
When it comes to powdered proteins vs protein from whole foods it is important to consider digestion. These massive shots of protein per scoop of powder are unnecessary bombardments to your digestive system that can lead to stomach discomfort, gas, bloating and abdominal pain. All side effects of blasting the body with protein and no other nutrients to assist in the digestion process. A formula for disaster. Natural sources of protein are much easier to digest and can help prevent digestive issues instead.
The best protein powders are expensive and and priced that way because of how large the protein shot per serving is. The larger the shot the more expensive the powder. Providing you with protein blasts so large your body cannot handle them, which throws off your digestion and causes long term side effects like kidney problems. What the marketers are selling you is actually the thing that’s killing you.
Like most blog posts I write, unfortunately the hard way is the way. Eating clean, eating whole foods and doing so consistently is the smart way to go about it. A shortcut to your essential protein is a long term catastrophe to your overall health and well being.
If you’re a vegan the marketing says you have to take this vegan protein extract to ensure you’re getting enough protein when in fact there is protein in every single vegetable. Mother was right all along, “Eat your greens!”.
If you’re a weight lifting meat eater marketing is telling you to hurry, get to that protein powder before your “Anabolic Window” closes and you lose the gains! When in actuality hitting your macros by effectively working your meal plan for the day, week, month or year is what you should be focused on.
Learning what foods contain the most protein and what types of proteins your body processes best will not only ensure you always have access to the protein your body needs because you’re eating food. It will also educate you on your very own body chemistry. We are all our own best doctor if we are willing to take the time to learn about ourselves. And we are not learning anything about what our bodies can and can’t handle with an unnecessary shot of “who knows what” extract.