So, you have been told by countless nutritionists and health experts to increase your lean protein intake but you are still having trouble hitting your macros?
Fear not, it can be a daunting process to start tracking your intake, counting calories, taking notes and checking the packaging. And for some ladies out there, supplementing with protein means trawling through supplements stores with little or no experience as to what to ask for or what to buy.
I get countless emails from girls all across Ireland and the UK asking what protein supplements I recommend and why. Without any paid advertising or any ‘gifted’ supplements, here are my favourites and why!
What is whey protein?
Whey is a by-product of cheese production; hen cheese is made, a thin liquid is left over which is whey and it is less than 1% protein. It is concentrated and dried- a protein powder. Whey protein is considered a “fast acting” protein meaning the amount of time it takes to be fully metabolized/ digested (if needed), absorbed into the blood, taken up by a bodily tissue, and complete one of many metabolic fates.
What is the best brand of whey protein?
My favourite brand for whey protein is Optimum Nutrition and my favourite in their range is without a doubt Lean whey in Chocolate Milkshake. You can buy it online here and in most good supplement shops. With only 98 calories and sugar-free, I carry it with me in my bag at all times as it’s a super way to top up your protein on the go.
When do I take whey protein and how often?
I usually have a shake after I train, particularly if I won’t be eating for a while. It’s absorbed quite readily by the body and is necessary for recovery after you train. Likewise I bring whey protein as a snack but I would always recommend to try and get as much of your food from ‘actual’ food so remember it’s a supplement and not a staple to replace meals all the time. For on the go, if I’m out of my stock, I tend to reach for the Nutramino ready made shakes-there’s a passionfruit flavour that is the SHIZNESS.
What are the benefits of whey protein?
Whey protein is a fast-acting protein which helps to improve muscle protein synthesis and promote the growth of lean tissue mass.
What is casein?
Casein, unlike whey, contains a low percentage of branched-chain amino acid and has a lower biological utilization rate. It is a slow-digesting protein and the body digests the amino acids so that their levels are well maintained after ingestion.
What is the best brand of casein?
I love Scitec casein as it’s not too heavy and it dissolves well. As it can be quite thick I find I’m not always a huge fan of every one I’ve tried. Some can be too sweet which I don’t like before bed but I really like their belgian chocolate one – the two white chocolate ones I find too much before bed to be honest, but saying that, they are the ones my boyfriend chooses. You can buy them here.
When do you take casein and how often?
Take a scoop of casein before you go to bed- I take it about 45 minutes before bed as it’s quite thick compared to whey protein and you do feel quite ‘full’ after it. I actually mix mine with some milk and water but it tastes fine with either or both. It’s also easily whisked into a little mousse
What are the benefits of casein?
Casein is the ideal supplement for those on a weight-loss plan who are looking to maintain lean muscle tissue but still lower their bodyfat %. The benefits range from aiding fatloss to improved colon health, greater muscle retention to simply being an overall higher quality source of protein.