Protein is important for the body to function because it provides the foundation for muscles, bones, skin, blood, and cartilage. To get the protein the body needs to grow and survive, it must come from dietary sources, which could be in the form of meat, nuts, dairy, or organic protein supplements.
How Much Protein is Needed?
Although there is a standard amount of protein that everyone should include in their diet each day, the protein requirements are usually different for each person. People who are athletic will require more protein to keep their bodies fit. The more active someone is, the more protein they will need.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the recommended daily allowance of protein for men is 56 grams, and for women, it is 46 grams. Most people get their daily share of protein as it takes very little meat, nuts, or other foods like yogurt to get the recommended amount.
For instance, depending on the meat, a three to four-ounce serving may provide 25 grams of protein. A cup of plain yogurt or cottage cheese provides the same amount, as do four hard-boiled eggs or 2/3s of a can of tuna. An efficient way to ensure you’re getting enough protein is by using protein powders.
What’s in Protein Powder?
Many people make sure they get the protein they need in their diets by taking a protein supplement. The most popular form is protein powders from which they can make a protein shake or smoothie to drink as a meal replacement.
There are several types of protein in protein powders, including:
Whey is produced when milk is turned into cheese. Whey protein supplements are some of the most popular types of powders sold to athletes like bodybuilders who use it to recover after strenuous workouts.
The best organic whey powder helps to grow lean muscle mass, aids fat loss and boosts metabolism. The main problem with whey protein is it’s an allergen for people who have lactose intolerance because it contains dairy.
Casein is a result of isolating milk protein from milk fat and carbohydrates. Casein absorbs more slowly than whey, so it isn’t a good choice for a post-workout recovery drink. Since it also comes from milk, people with lactose intolerance should not use it.
Soy protein powders are a good choice for people who are allergic to milk products or who are vegan. They are one of the few plant sources that provide all the essential amino acids the body needs. The powders are made after the soybeans are hulled, dried, and then made into a flour.
Soy makes a good health powder because it can improve the immune system, it has calcium to strengthen bones, it may prevent cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer.
Although rice is thought to be a carbohydrate, brown rice contains protein that can be made into powders. Along with being a good source of vegetarian protein, it’s easy to digest, it’s a good complex carbohydrate, and it contains vitamin B. However, it’s missing some essential amino acids.
Some powders use egg protein that is made by separating the yolks from the egg whites and then dehydrating the whites. While it is one of the more expensive protein powder supplements, it contains more vitamins and minerals due to being made from eggs. However, eggs are an allergen for many people, especially for children and young adults.
Another good source of vegan protein is hemp protein powder. Since it’s processed from the seeds of cannabis plants, it can be difficult to obtain, and it’s the most expensive protein powder on the market. However, it contains essential fatty acids, and it’s hypoallergenic.
Yellow peas are high in protein, which makes pea protein powders a good choice for vegans. It’s hypoallergenic and contains a broad spectrum of amino acids. However, there are some missing amino acids, so it shouldn’t be the only protein source in a diet.
Categories of Protein Powders
Most protein powder supplements have labels indicating they are a protein concentrate, complete protein, or protein isolate.
A powder which is a protein concentrate comes from food sources in which the non-protein nutrients have been removed. It contains 70% to 85% protein, with the other remaining 15% to 30% being mostly fat and carbohydrates.
A powder that is labeled a protein isolate means the non-protein components have been “isolated” and removed. Most protein isolate powders are about 92% protein.
Some powdered protein supplements are marked “complete protein,” which means they contain all nine essential amino acids that the body needs to function correctly. The body cannot make essential amino acids, so they must be obtained from foods.
Why Organic is Important
There are concerns about how plants are grown, and the medications cows are given to encourage them to produce milk. More people are choosing organic foods and food products, like protein powders, to avoid chemicals that could be hazardous to their health.
About 70% of Americans buy organic food on occasion, and about 25% buy it weekly. Organic foods and products meet guidelines set by the United States Department of Agriculture, the USDA. They cannot be grown using:
- Synthetic pesticides
- Artificial fertilizers
Animals, such as cows that produce organic meats or milk are not confined 100% of the time, they are only given organically grown feed, and they are not given antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones. Due to how they’re grown, organic foods have a higher nutritional value than conventionally grown foods.
To ensure you’re buying organic protein powder, examine the label. Foods, whether they come from produce or livestock, must meet USDA requirements to earn an organic label. The label shows a green field on a white background with the words “USDA Organic” within a circle.
If you see that label on anything you buy, it was organically grown. Just because a product has a label that says it is “all natural” or “certified naturally grown,” it doesn’t mean it is organic. Only the “USDA Organic” label guarantees the product was organically grown.
Why Buy Organic Protein Powders
There are several reasons to buy protein powders that are organic including these three.
Promotes Weight Loss
Protein powders can help people lose and regulate their weight because they promote the growth of lean muscle mass. Lean muscle burns fat 24 hours a day because muscles require energy to maintain their existence. Building lean muscle increases your metabolic rate, which helps burn calories while at rest.
Regulates Blood Sugar
People who have insulin resistance often have additional fat on their bodies, especially around the belly. Insulin is a hormone that helps prevent having too much glucose in the bloodstream. However, for people with insulin resistance, their cells don’t normally respond to the hormone.
Since glucose, or sugar, cannot enter their cells as it should, it builds up in the blood. This resistance can lead to diabetes and more fat around the belly. Fortunately, using protein powder can reduce insulin resistance and help to control weight.
If you have a problem with insulin resistance, you should look for a protein powder without sugar. It will prevent adding more sugar to your system, as it helps you lose weight.
Fewer Side Effects
By using the best quality protein powder that is dairy free, it can reduce the side effects for most people. It is well tolerated because a dairy free powder doesn’t contain ingredients that cause lactose intolerance.
Organic powders are also easier to digest for most people, so there is less indigestion, stomach pain, and nausea. People who have had skin problems in the past, such as rashes or eczema, when consuming protein powders may find those side effects are absent when consuming protein powders with organically grown ingredients.
While most of the side effects are caused by the form of protein in the powder, if you have had these such symptoms, you should stay away from dairy and soy-based powders. However, if you like whey protein, then make sure it is an organic, grass-fed source.
Uses for Protein Powder
Most people make drinks or shakes with protein powders as per the instructions on the label. Drinks can be made by adding a scoop of powder to water, milk, or juice. A scoop of protein powder provides 25 grams of protein. Protein drinks can be made for breakfast or after working out in the gym to help your body recover.
With the addition of ice and fruit, you can mix ingredients for a protein shake to replace meals if you’re on a diet. Some people use the powder to make pancakes or mix in their baked goods to make their healthier.
However, you use it, organically grown protein powders can provide the amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients your body needs to properly function and remain healthy. They are easy to find as they are available at most pharmacies, health food stores, and online.