It’s more than just "the bulk"
Okay let’s cover some basics.
What is protein?
Protein is an essential macronutrient, which can easily be consumed within a balanced, healthy diet. Proteins are made of essential and non-essential amino acids, which help our cells grow, repair ,and function (Dietitians Australia, 2022). The recommended daily intake of protein for men is around 64g per day (0.84g per kg of body weight). Aussie men rarely have a protein deficiency (NHMRC, 2014).
I think we know the obvious animal sources of protein, i.e. meat, eggs, and dairy, so here are my favorite plant-based alternatives:
- Lentils (think lentil curry, bolognese, lasagna)
- Beans (I know they’re sitting in your cupboard somewhere begging to be eaten)
- Chia Seeds
- Hemp Seeds (sprinkle them on your meals!)
Change it up a little, give these a try and get a healthy variety of protein sources.
So, why consume protein powders?
There are a couple of reasons why you may want to supplemt your proteint intake.
- Maintain muscle mass & strength to hit protein targets
- Important to replenish with protein after exercise (Fuel with carbohydrates for energy before exercise)
- Weight management.
(Health Direct, 2021)
Just a caution: Consuming too much protein can cause harm to your kidneys, so aim to consume your recommended amount (Dietitians Australia, 2022).
What protein powder should I choose?
With so many protein powders on the market, consumers are overwhelmed with choice. Remember, what may work for one may not work for another. The most popular on the market is whey protein, a complete animal-based protein source that comes from cows.
Selecting the right protein powder for you.
- Ensure you’re consuming quality proteins during meals (lean meats, fish, eggs, beans/legumes).
- Look for complete proteins (ones that aren’t missing essential amino acids).
- Try reducing those artificial sugars and go for unsweetened (your good gut bacteria will thank you).
- Minimize the ingredient list! Protein should be the first ingredient.
In-nutritionist’s top protein powder picks.
Whey protein powders:
- Contains 3 whey protein sources - hydrolyzed, isolated, and concentrated
- Includes plant based digestive enzymes
- These Aussie protein powders have been around since 1987 and have a cult following
- Plenty of product options to choose from
- They also include digestive enzymes!
- 100% Australian owned and family run
- NZ sourced grass-fed whey protein
- 90% protein content and low lactose
Can’t tolerate dairy? It’s ok, me neither. Here’s a few plant-based options:
- Yes, true protein again, we love to support other Aussie brands!
- Contains Pea, pumpkin and rice proteins making it a complete protein
- Vegan, dairy and gluten free (but not taste free!)
- Another Australian family run business, we love to see it!
- Contains sprouted and fermented pea, brown rice, coconut and pumpkin seed proteins
- They also have a family friendly option (great for baking!)
I know, hemp protein can sometimes taste like grass but stay with me here.
- It’s easily digestible
- Has a complete amino acid profile
- No chemicals & no sweeteners (the unflavored kind anyway)
How to consume protein powder!
It doesn’t have to be in a shake. You can add your protein powder to snacks like yoghurt, baked goods, and of course the classic protein pancakes, yum!
I hope this has given you a little inspiration before you reach for the same old protein choice. Your body loves variety as does your mind!
Keep an eye out for more Men’s Health Week posts, but in the meantime, check out some of our high protein meals here.
By Olivia Groundwater