Friday, July 30, 2010

Protein Supplements

I'm not much of a supplement person. I don't frequent GNC or The Vitamin Shoppe in search of fat burners or muscle promoters or whatever is new on the market to aid in a quest for the "perfect body." The furthest I'll go with supplementation is daily taking a B-Complex vitamin, a multi-vitamin, and I usually add a tablespoon of whey protein to my morning oatmeal. Even though I'm not really into taking supplements, I think protein supplements are beneficial for weight loss and muscle promotion/maintenance. The more muscle we have, the more calories we are burning at rest. This means that you can sit on the couch and burn more calories while watching TV if you are carrying around more muscle mass--that's fun, right? After reading a recent study on the best types of proteins for weight loss/fat loss, I thought I'd share.

There are multiple proteins available on the market, but the ones that are most easily supplemented are whey, casein, soy and gelatin.

Whey is a complete protein which makes it the best of all the proteins out there. A study found that the best time to take your whey supplement is before your workout because it increases resting energy expenditure (calorie burning at rest). Add a scoop to a shake (or in my case, oatmeal) before your workout and this may improve your body composition over time. Cool.

Casein is a milk protein. Think cottage cheese, yogurt, and, well, milk. It will protect your body against protein loss, but it's not as good as whey at promoting a positive protein balance. Casein is great at promoting a sense of fullness. It's a good choice to add during dinner to prevent muscle loss and aid in meal satiety. To get some casein into your diet, you can also do something like drink a glass of chocolate milk after your workout. It's a great recovery drink to prevent protein loss and replace glycogen stores lost during exercise.

Soy is a plant-based protein. It's incomplete for people who are looking to add muscle mass, but it's a great option for vegetarians and vegans who cannot eat meat based proteins. It's also almost essential for those with lactose intolerance issues. Studies have shown that incorporating soy into your diet can reduce appetite and increase energy. Try adding edamame or soy milk to your diet.

Gelatin isn't a complete protein, but it's easily dissolved, allowing it to be added in sports drinks, bars, and puddings. Gelatin is not an option for vegetarians and vegans because it's a protein that is extracted from animal's bones. Studies show that it's a very effective appetite suppressant and would be a great after dinner treat. Jell-o anyone?

So there you are. Good for you, accessible proteins that will aid in muscle growth, satiety, protein balance, and maybe even weight loss.

Be Well!

1 comment:

  1. Looks like I need to switch to whey protein, then.