Protein, your muscles are protein; you need to consume protein daily to maintain muscle tone and development. But where does the protein come from? What is the best source of protein? How much protein should you consume daily?
Good questions let me see if I can answer them for you.
Well, for starters, meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds are considered part of the Protein Foods Group. Beans and peas are also part of the Vegetable Group. You can also get protein from supplements and protein shakes.
Body builders that need large amounts of protein to build the muscle mass they are going for usually use these types of supplements and also there are supplements and shakes that help the elderly or infirmed maintain their protein levels so they do not emaciate.
So what are in these protein shakes and supplements? Actually it’s from the same sources as any other protein, it’s just more concentrated. Whey protein is a fast-absorbing source of protein to support lean muscle development and maintenance. Great for anytime of the day and very helpful post-workout to give your body the extra protein it needs to build muscle mass.
There’s hydrolyzed whey protein, hydro whey is digested and absorbed faster than standard whey protein! It’s perfect for after a workout and mixes smoothly, you can put in milk to make a shake or add it to a nutritional fruit or veggie smoothie. Another whey product is whey isolate, this is a low fat, low carb, fast-absorbing source of protein.
Then there’s soy protein which is a low fat, low cholesterol vegetable protein source that may be more suitable for the vegetarian or those that may have trouble digesting meat proteins that also mixes well in a fruit or vegetable drink which is perfect for a vegetarian.
And don’t forget the eggs, everyone loves eggs, well, almost everyone. Eggs are an excellent source of protein and are also used in supplements. Egg protein is a high quality lactose-free protein source that supports lean muscle for a well toned body.
And to feed the need throughout the night while you are sleeping to provide plenty of protein for the following day’s workout, casein is a slow digesting protein source and is ideal to take before bed! Feed your muscles with sustained casein protein supplements. But persons that are lactose intolerant or have milk allergies should use caution with casein because this protein is derived from milk.
Some persons are actually allergic to both casein and whey so as with any supplemental regime you should know what the ingredients are, and if you have any doubts or questions consult your physician and they can help you decide what supplement may be the right on for you.
Regardless of the method of protein intake, keep in mind that a balanced and nutritious diet including food from all of the food groups is important for you health and well being.