As any nutritionist can tell you, consuming an adequate amount of protein – one of three macronutrients, along with fats and carbs – is crucial to maintaining your body’s systems. Protein is broken down into amino acids that are used to create hair and nails, make enzymes and hormones, and repair damaged tissues. This distinction makes protein especially important for those who lead active lifestyles or those with any kind of injury.
Whey and soy protein are perhaps the two most common forms of protein supplements available on the market. They are often used to make protein shakes or to add nutrients to other foods you might buy, such as baked goods or poultry products. Both types of protein have a number of advantages that make them ideal parts of any healthy diet, regardless of whether you’re looking trying to lose weight or gain muscle. Continue reading to learn how you can benefit from whey and soy protein.
Providing an Efficient Energy Source to Your Body
One issue that commonly arises with protein supplements is that a certain percentage of the protein you consume is often left unused by your body. Protein takes longer to digest than carbs – part of why it helps you to stay full longer – meaning that as your body moves the protein through your gastrointestinal tract, some amount of the protein may remain undigested (a waste, in every sense of the word).
However, whey protein and soy protein are two examples of the nutrient that are absorbed quickly by your body, so you can be sure they are being put to use after you drink that meal replacement shake. Whey, for example, is absorbed at a rate of eight to 10 grams an hour; casein protein is absorbed at half that rate.
Because of the differences in the rate of absorption among protein sources, the timing of consumption matters. If you are drinking a meal replacement shake with whey or soy as the primary form of protein, drinking it right after you finish working out is ideal, since it will be effective right away.
Muscle Recovery and Reducing Post-Gym Soreness
Although everyone needs it in their diet, protein is especially important for athletes and others who live active lifestyles. This is because recovery is a crucial component of fitness and sports nutrition; when you put strain on your muscles, you create miniscule tears that must then be repaired. Enter protein, the very thing your body needs to fix those tears and make your muscles stronger and tougher.
The ideal window to consume protein and carbs is within an hour of ending your workout, yet another reason why the efficiency of whey and soy is important: taking in protein that your body can use right away helps speed up the repair process so you’re ready for your next workout that much sooner. It also has the added advantage of reducing post-gym soreness.
Those looking for noticeable improvements to their musculature will be happy to know that consuming greater amounts of protein leads to better gains as well. The more amino acids your body has to work with, the more muscle cells it can create during post-workout recovery. If you go to the gym to get bigger, stronger muscles – or even if you just want to be able to go for a run without your legs screaming in protest – you will benefit from extra protein in your diet.
Both whey and soy protein are processed from their natural forms specifically to remove unnecessary fats and carbohydrates and provide the purest form of protein possible. This makes both products beneficial for those looking to lose weight by cutting fats or carbs, as they will let you keep your diet intact while still providing the desired benefits.
A lot of research also indicates that ingesting more protein can have the very helpful effect of curbing your appetite and making you feel fuller for a longer period of time. Eating protein increases the levels of hunger-reducing hormones – including GLP-1, peptide YY and cholecystokinin – while reducing the amount of ghrelin, which makes you feel hungry. A 2005 study conducted at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle provided evidence that a diet made up of 30 percent protein lead to participants eating, on average, 441 fewer calories per day compared to a weight-maintaining diet that was 15 percent protein.
Your body also has to work harder to process protein than it does fat or carbs; in fact, a number of studies conducted between 2002 and 2010 have shown that your body can burn an extra 80 to 100 calories per day on a high-protein diet. This effect, when combined with the reduction in hunger that protein can bring, makes for a potent weight loss strategy.
Cover All Your Bases with an ENU Meal Replacement Shake
Trying to figure out the best way to meet your dietary requirements can seem like a complicated, daunting task. Given the amount of contradictory information out there, coming up with a definitive plan to keep your body fueled and focused can be confusing, especially when personal preferences come into play. ENU meal replacement shakes can help make your decision easier; each ENU shake contains both whey and soy protein – along with a healthy blend of unsaturated fats and all-natural carbohydrates – to make sure your body has whatever it needs, whenever you need it. To learn more about all our products, visit us online today.