A few weeks ago I did a post about protein being an important macronutrient for shift workers because it helps to build a strong immune system, balances our blood sugar levels and helps to sustain us so that we don’t get hungry.
But what about protein powders?
Whilst protein in our food keeps us feeling full and less likely to binge or snack on high-sugared snacks from the vending machine, I’m not a huge fan of protein powder smoothies – particularly if they are used as a meal replacement.
Why? Because protein powders shouldn’t replace real food.
They can be a great snack option, but they’re not ideal when used as a meal replacement because they’re a synthetic substitution for real food.
And I say this as an ex Herbalife consultant (from many years ago) which are renowned for their protein shakes. Back then I had no idea about the importance of reading food labels but if they read something like a chemical experiment with lots of numbers and unpronounceable words – you really want to avoid them.
Many protein powders are also made up of fillers which can cause hormonal, skin and digestive disorders. Depending on the brand, they can also contain lots of sugars, additives and artificial sweeteners which can lead to inflammation.
Still keen on consuming protein powders?
Don’t worry – they’re not all bad. There are some good ones out there – in particular Pea Protein Powder.
Pea Protein Isolates is a vegetable protein derived from, you guessed it – peas!
I really like pea protein for a number of reasons:
- It’s a great source of protein for vegans and vegetarians because it is a “complete protein”. That is, it contains all of the 10 essential amino acids which the body is unable to produce.
- They are easily digested and absorbed.
- They are less likely to cause allergies because they are gluten, dairy, soy and lectin free.
- They are not genetically modified (GMO).
So keep enjoying your protein smoothies because they’re a great way to get some extra sustenance into your body when you work 24/7. They’re also a far healthier option than choosing a chocolate bar from the vending machine, but just choose your protein powders wisely – do your research.
P.S: I love adding fruit into my smoothies for extra flavour, in particular bananas for added fibre (which helps to keep us regular), vitamin B6 (which increases energy) and potassium (which helps to lower blood pressure).
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