Adding additional protein into your day through protein powders has grown in popularity and has so many amazing benefits. But how do we choose the correct one for us?
Why do we need protein?
Our bodies need protein to function, protein is the building blocks of our muscles, blood, bones, teeth, skin, hair and nails, and are used to balance our hormones, promote growth, regulate blood sugar and balance minerals within our bodies.
It also helps to regulate our energy levels and give us glowing skin by carrying fresh oxygen to our red blood cells.
Most of our protein we can get through the food we eat but the help of a protein powder can give us that extra boost that our body might need.
Protein powders are produced from both plant and animal sources, here are some of your options:
PLANT BASED protein powders
HEMP protein powder
Hemp is full of protein and one of the most popular plant-based protein powders on the market. It is easily digestible, high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids – that helps protect the heart and keep the body functioning at it’s best.
PEA protein powder
Derived from the yellow split pea, pea protein powder contains a good amount of nearly all of the essential amino acids you need and has a great nutrient profile. It can boost muscle growth, reduce hunger and lower blood pressure.
BROWN RICE protein powder
This great source of protein comes from brown rice and also contains all of the essential amino acids that your body needs. It is plant based, high in fiber and contains additional micronutrients like iron, calcium and vitamin C.
ANIMAL BASED protein powder
COLLAGEN protein powder
Collagen protein powder is an effective way to boost collagen levels and reverse the symptoms of aging to improve health and quality of life. It can be benefitial for those with autoimmune disorders or conditions like arthristis, leaky gut or liver problems. Collagen is found in our muscles, skin, bones and blood vessels and over time our collagen levels begin to slowly decline as we get older. The best form of collagen protein includes chicken, bovine or fish collagen. Another great way to get collagen into your body is by drinking homemade bone broth.
BONE BROTH protein powder
This form of protein powder is made by simmering animal bones into a nutrient-rich broth, which is then dehydrated and concentrated into a protein powder. Bone broth is rich in collagen and ideal for improving your overall health, optimize immunity and combat the signs of aging. This is a great source of protein through bone broth if you don’t have the time to make your own broth.
WHEY protein powder
Whey is a type of protein found in milk. More specifically, it is the liquid that separates from the curds during the cheese-making process, making it high in protein. However, it may also contain lactose, a type of sugar found in milk that can be difficult for certain people to digest. Whey protein may be the right choice for you if you’re looking to increase muscle mass and improve muscle recovery after an intense workout. Always try choose grass-fed whey and organic.
I personally love a protein powder and most days I alternate between Hemp & Collagen protein powders in my morning smoothie.
During winter and the colder months I add Homemade Bone Broth as a great source of protein and it’s warming to the body and soul.
Always remember to look for a protein powder with minimal ingredients and fillers and make sure you are getting the best there is. Some protein powders contain refined sugar, chemicals and preservatives that cause inflammation in our body, always try go as natural as possible.
Here are my 3 favourite South African brands that I use and love.
Left to Right:
1 – Wazoogles Superfood protein blend – combination of pea protein and superfoods – chia, maca, mesquite and lucuma
2 – Sally-Ann Creed Pure Hydrolysed Collagen protein powder – MY ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE – you can use it in your smoothie, coffee and even water (it has no taste)
(You can click on any of these protein powder links and you will be able to buy them for yourself.)
Protein source image credit: Sam Houghton