Tuesday, September 3, 2013

As part of my 12 week weight loss challenge I have included taking protein powder as a supplement to my workout. The world of protein powders can be very overwhelming which is why I thought this post may help you along the dreaded path of finding which product is right for you.

So you're interested in knowing a little more about protein shakes and wondering if it is something you should be taking. You turn to your old friend GOOGLE to gain some information about the product and BAM your overloaded with a surplus of cryptic information with most coming from brands skewing the truth so you buy their product. It can be difficult to decipher fact from fiction which is why I have spent the time doing the hard work for you to provide you with a somewhat beginners guide to protein and what led me to the product I have chosen.  

Let start with the basics – what is protein and should I be taking it as part of my fitness plan?

Protein is essential to your workout plan whether you are trying to lose weight, tone or build muscle. Protein comes from many sources like your meats, fish, eggs and select veggies or if you’re like me you know it can be quickly and easily consumed in the form of a drink. But don’t be fooled as its not quite as simple as grabbing the cheap and nasty “SlimFast” products off the supermarket shelf. Many of these products are filled with carbs and fat which claim to make you feel fuller for longer when instead they are simply filling you with non-nutritional nasties that do nothing good for your health in the long run.

Potent protein powders are different, they are not really made to be a meal replacement and shouldn't sell you on doing so. A rich protein powder is recommended for athletes, body builders and avid exercises as it is a means of replacing muscle glycogen whilst helping the body recover from vigorous training. So I hear the ladies minds ticking over “but I don’t want to build muscle I want to lose weight”, let me remind you that muscles are they key cells in our bodies that burn calories and thus help you to lose weight. If you focus your fitness regime on building lean and tones muscles then your body will become a calorie burning machine helping you to drop that unwanted weight. Just 500grams (or 1 pound) of extra muscle results in an extra 40 to 50 or so extra calories being burnt every day to keep that muscle alive – that’s 40 to 50 calories being burnt while you are resting. (To learn more about this I recommend reading “Fat Burning Furnace” by Rob Poulos.)

Lets take it one step further. When you are on a weight loss plan and have lowered your calorie intake unfortunately your body rids itself of muscle, as muscles burn calories and your body is fighting to store them in its time of famine. So protein is essential in allowing your body to fuel your muscles despite a lower calorie intake.

Ok so now we understand what protein is and why it is important now comes the tricky part – choosing a product.

There are many types of proteins available on the market in the form of soy protein, egg protein, casein proteins, however the most popular and naturally complete protein is your whey protein. After doing a ridiculous amount of research and speaking to some industry professionals I chose ‘Dymatize ISO 100 100% Hydrolized Whey Protein Isolate’. “What the…” I hear you say and yes the title can be quite overwhelming so I am going to break down all the parts that make up this product.

Whey Protein Isolate – Whey is a dairy protein which assists in building muscle. For those of you who already know a bit about protein you know there is a whey protein isolate and a whey protein concentrate. Isolate is more pure and lactose free thus easily digestible. Isolate is more pure containing 90 – 94% protein whilst Concentrate has a ratio of only 70 – 85%

100% Hydrolized – Without getting to technical hydrolized whey allows it to get into your system quicker thus enabling a faster rebuild and recovery of your muscles.

Dymatize ISO100 -This refers to a highly pure isolised whey made from whey protein isolate (WPI). Once this is ingested the protein is absorbed at an extremely fast rate.

This product is lactose free, gluten free, fat free and carb free (in most flavours) and boast a whopping 24g of protein per 28g serve (approx. 86%). The gourmet chocolate flavour is amazing - it feels like a treat for me. It is easily mixed with milk or water leaving no clumpy bits.

Without ranting on and on I hope this has given you a quick and easy insight into the world of protein powders. Whilst I am not an industry expert and am in no way affiliated with the Dymatize products, in my opinion the ISO 100 is one of the best on the market (whilst a little pricey) and a product I enjoy after every workout. My weight loss journey will include muscle toning workouts supported by a nutritious diet and the supplement of having a protein shake after every workout. The protein shake will encourage quick recovery and sustain the health of all my muscles and thus resulting in a more efficient calorie burning regime. 

Yasmin xx