Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Health & Fitness Talk - Women VS Whey

A lot of my friends were very surprised when I told them I take whey protein, in fact I take about 4-5 scoops of whey depending on the length of my day and activity level. Do not be too alarmed, because I'm going to tell you more about whey protein and why we women should not shun away from it. Of course, do check with your doctor for any allergies or intolerances that you have (which I will be sharing later).

What is Whey Protein?

According to Wikipedia, whey, also called milk serum or milk permeate, is the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained. It is a by-product of the manufacture of cheese or casein and has several commercial uses. Whey is then thrown away as a waste product as a usual practice in the past. Over those years, researchers found out that whey protein is actually a form of high quality, natural protein that is rich in amino acids essential for good health and muscle building.

It is naturally found in mother’s milk and also used in baby formula, and also being considered for use as a fortifier of grain products because of its considerable health benefits and bland flavor. Although protein is also found in other foods such as meat, soy and vegetables, whey protein is proven to have the highest absorption (digestion) levels in comparison to all others.

Who should take Whey Protein?

Whey protein has many health benefits including immune support, bone health, sports health, weight management and overall well being. And as women, we need all the help we can get to keep our bones strong and supportive, whether you have given birth or not. It is important for us women to maintain overall health and better nutrition will keep the immunity strong too.

Moreover, because Whey protein is very rich in amino acids which are ‘building blocks’ for the human body, it is sometimes used by patients to speed up the healing of wounds or burns. The high quality protein that comes from whey makes it a recommended choice for those who need optimal benefits from restricted diets including diabetics, those on weight management diets and even ill patients not able to consume enough protein in their diet to assist with healing.

Of course, Whey protein is very commonly known to be used by athletes and especially bodybuilders. However, for us women, we do not have sufficient testosterones (male hormones) in our bodies that will allow us to grow muscular like men so fret not!

Benefits of Whey Protein for Women

Fat Loss
I cannot stress how important a high protein diet will assist in general fat loss and more often than not, you cannot get pure and 'clean' protein from your regular meals. Therefore, the best way to make up for the daily required amount of protein in order to lose fats, is to drink Whey protein. In fact, I sometimes like to replace my meals or top up my meals with 1 scoop of whey protein, if the meal I just had lack the amount of protein I need in a meal.

Lean Muscle Gain/Maintenance
I always like to associate fat loss and muscle gain/maintenance hand-in-hand, because the more lean muscles you have in your body, the smaller the fat cells get (simplified). Whey protein helps in muscle-building, thus shrinking your fat cells in the long run. PLEASE always keep in mind, MUSCLES CANNOT BE CONVERTED INTO FATS, FATS CANNOT BE CONVERTED INTO MUSCLES! So, stop deluding yourself by not working out because you are afraid that your muscles will be converted into fats when you grow older and stop working out (why should you stop working out when you grow older anyway?).

Overall Health Benefits
Protein in general, is classified as an essential nutrient, meaning it performs tasks that are necessary for your body's daily functioning. Proteins build and repair skin, blood, bones, muscles and cartilage so it definitely is beneficial for overall health and especially for women who are expecting. Do check with your doctor/gynae first though, before you start downing scoops of protein during your pregnancy.


Whey VS Whole foods
As much as Whey protein is beneficial for us women (and men), do take note that the commercial protein powder that are advertised and consumed by me are still merely supplements. If you are able to get enough protein from whole foods and your daily meals, go ahead and do without the Whey protein powder. I do know of some athletes who do not take Whey protein powder at all.

I have also heard of friends who are lactose-intolerant so the main range of Whey protein powder is a no-no for them. You can look for alternatives like soy protein, which may cause slightly higher but still as nutritious, or simply look for whey protein that are lactose-free!

Ways to make Whey protein taste better

Well, I'm not saying all Whey protein taste bad, but if you have to take 4-5 scoops or more daily like me, I love to do quick tweaks to my protein drinks to have more variety.

If you are someone who likes smoothies, simply add a scoop if you like! I love it with bananas, avocados, strawberries, basically most fruits. This way, your breakfast is complete with carbs, high protein and good fats (if you use avocados).

Protein bars
If you are someone who likes to snack and munch all the time, the OhYeah! protein bars are perfect for you. This is my favorite flavor, together with the Peanut butter Strawberry flavor. It keeps me full so I use these bars as meal replacements when I have back-to-back pt sessions, don't have time to eat or don't have access to healthier choices outside.

Protein drinks
On days when I have to rush out of home without breakfast, or when I have super early sessions, I will grab a bottle of OhYeah! Nutritional shake, which contains 32 grams of protein (perfect!). I love it because it is so convenient and yummy at the same time! Most importantly, it is lactose-free!

I get all my Whey protein powder, protein bars and drinks from www.richnutrition.com! Quote 'LA774' for an additional 5% off all purchases and there is free delivery for orders above $100! Happy shopping and live healthily! :)


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