Do you get enough protein in your diet? It is important to keep you healthy. The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults eat at least 0.8 grams of protein for each kilogram of body weight each day. That translated into about 58 grams for a person who weighs 160 pounds. In order to get that amount, many American adults turn to protein powders. These can be in the form of vegan protein shake mixes and some non-vegan varieties. Here are some tips for getting the right protein powder for your needs.
There are different kinds of protein. Look at your options with soy protein and whey protein. Soy protein is a common option. For many people, vegan protein shake mixes that use this kind of protein are helpful for reducing cholesterol, helping women with the unpleasant symptoms of menopause and building bone mass to prevent osteoporosis. Whey protein is very common as well and is very good to be used every day. Whey protein is digested easily and has all of the amino acids we all need to be heathy. It was developed to boost energy but it has other benefits such as stress reduction. If you work out a lot, this may be the best option for your vegan protein shake mix because many have been formulated to help people recover from working out.
You need to look at your specific needs. The kind of protein shake you use should be tailored to your needs and your lifestyle. Think about what you are trying to do.
- I need protein to build muscle mass. If you are looking to bulk up, you should select a protein that has a higher biological value. The biological value refers to the ease with which the body can absorb the protein and then go ahead and use it. For muscle growth, whey protein and whey protein isolates are your best choices.
- I need protein to help me lose weight. The most important thing you can do here is pick vegan protein shake mix that have no added sugar. They should also be free of dextrins and maltodextrins. These are sweeteners that have been made from starch. Be careful to avoid branched chain amino acids (BCAA). These are good to help with muscle growth but lead to weight gain, not loss.
- I have diabetes and need to keep my sugar in check. It should go without saying that if you are trying to go with a low sugar vegan protein shake mix, you should look at the label and make sure you are getting a shake mix that does not have sugar as the first ingredient. Many shakes have added sugars. You also want a vegan protein shake that is low in carbohydrates.
- I have kidney disease. If you have a problem with your kidneys, you want a protein shake with less protein. That may seen counterintuitive but these shakes give you a healthy protein. Keep the amount to between 10 and 15 grams per serving.
- I have stomach problems. If you have a gastrointestinal problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome or you are lactose intolerant, you should avoid vegan protein shake mixes with lactose, dextrins or maltodextrins or artificial sweeteners. Look for gluten in the shakes if that is an issue for you.
How do I make it taste better? There are a lot of things you can do here. You can take the mix and combine it with soy milk (or regular milk if you are not keeping vegan). This makes the texture creamier and some people like that. You can also add a fruit that you like or peanut butter to change the flavor of the shake.
If you want to get even more from your shakes, you should eat them at the right time. If you work out, it is good to get protein within 60 minutes of that work out.
Many of us are trying to be healthier by using vegan protein shakes but other things as well. We take anti aging multivitamins, we give our kids a multivitamin for children, we opt for natural vitamins and supplements and we use whole food multivitamin powder. All of these things help us live healthier lives.