Tag Archives: Soy

Protein Powders Explained

Protein PowdersJacquie Eubanks RN BSNDesigned to promote increased muscle mass when combined with exercise, powdered protein supplements provide the foundational amino acids required to naturally build muscle tissue quickly and efficiently. In addition to muscle building, proteins have key roles in many biological processes. Required for the structure, function and regulation of the body’s tissues, cells and organs, proteins are necessary for the manufacture of hormones, antibodies and enzymes. Protein powders are popular among individuals seeking muscle growth, improved body composition and nutritional value. There are numerous types of protein powders obtained from a variety of sources, such as whey, casein and plant-based proteins. Protein powders can provide high-quality protein in a concentrated, convenient form. However, protein supplements are not necessarily a substitute for whole food protein, but rather an adjunct protein source.

There are different forms of protein powders including concentrates, isolates and hydrolysates. Concentrates use heat, acids or enzymes to extract protein from whole food. Concentrates  typically contain 60 – 80 percent protein and 20 – 40 percent carbohydrates and fats. Protein isolates undergo additional filtering processes, removing more fats and carbs and providing a higher level of 90 – 95 percent protein. Additional heating and processing that breaks intact protein down into single amino acids produces highly bioavailable protein hydrolysates. This allows for rapid absorption, thereby maximizing nutrient delivery to muscle tissues. Research shows that whey protein has the ability to promote muscle mass and recovery. Both whey and casein promote satiety and fat loss. Plant-based proteins, such as pea, hemp, or brown rice, as well as a blend of plant proteins, can provide a good protein foundation for vegans and vegetarians.

  • Whey: Whey is a water soluble, dairy-based complete protein. It contains all the essential amino acids the body requires and is easily digested and quickly absorbed. Whey protein provides all nine essential amino acids with a high amount of the amino acid leucine. Leucine is key to protein synthesis and plays a major role in promoting muscle growth and recovery after resistance or endurance exercise. Studies have shown that supplementing with whey isolate or concentrate led to improvements in lean muscle mass and strength in individuals who exercised regularly. Both are high quality proteins, although nutritionally whey concentrate has more fat, carbohydrate and lactose.
  • Casein: Sourced from dairy curds, casein is the main protein found in milk. As a complete protein, casein provides generous amounts of essential amino acids.  Casein is higher in glutamine than whey, and is slowly digested, resulting in a steady prolonged release of amino acids into the blood stream. Casein is correlated with greater muscle protein synthesis, and improved body composition in weight training programs. Because casein is known as a time-release protein that provides the necessary amino acids for repair and effective muscle growth, some prefer to take casein protein before retiring for the night.
  • Soy: Due to its natural phytoestrogen content, soy remains a somewhat controversial food. Soy protein isolate powder is processed to contain very little fat, fiber or phytoestrogens. Rich in nutrients, soy is a complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids. Soy protein often serves as major source of all-important protein for vegans and vegetarians. For others, research suggests that combining soy with dairy proteins may result in greater muscle protein synthesis. Although soy protein contains leucine, it may not be quite up to par with whey protein for muscle building. Studies have shown that for appetite and weight control, a soy-based high-protein diet may boost weight loss as effectively as a meat-based high-protein diet. Overall, soy is safe for most people and may offer potential health benefits, including weight loss and decreased risk of certain cancers.
  • Pea: Suitable for vegans, vegetarians, and those with allergies or sensitivities to dairy, pea protein is sourced from the yellow split pea, a high fiber legume. Pea protein provides all but one of the essential amino acids, and is rich in branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), leucine, isoleucine and valine. BCAA supplementation has been shown in several studies to support muscle building, prevent muscle wasting, decrease muscle fatigue and alleviate muscle soreness post exercise.

Protein powders may be selected based on dietary preferences, food tolerances and health and fitness goals. It is generally recommended that individuals not consume more than 30 grams of protein at one time. Many protein powders provide approximately 20 grams of protein per serving.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality protein powders in support of overall health and fitness:

Whey Cool Protein -...Whey Cool™ Protein by Designs for Health®: Whey Cool™ features low carbohydrate, non-denatured whey protein sourced from cows that graze on pesticide and chemical free, non-GMO New Zealand pastures. Gluten, growth hormone and antibiotic free. Low in sugar and 23 grams of protein per serving. Available in Natural, Chocolate and Vanilla flavors.

Naturally Casein...Naturally Casein Protein Powder Vanilla by Eat The Bear: This low-carb all natural protein powder features sustained release amino acids in a non-GMO, rGBH-free micellular casein form. All natural whey protein is sourced from the milk of grass-fed cows. Stevia sweetened, naturally flavored, 23 grams of protein per serving.

Klean IsolateKlean Isolate™ by Klean Athlete®: This non-flavored, non-sweetened clean whey isolate powder provides a source of protein and branched chain amino acids in support of the maintenance and repair of body tissues. NSF Certified for sport. 20 grams of protein per serving.

Alive! Ultra-Shake...Alive! Ultra-Shake™ Soy Protein Vanilla by Nature’s Way: This comprehensive protein enhanced whole food formula provides vitamins and minerals, amino acids, digestive enzymes, green foods, organically grown mushrooms, antioxidants and other nutrients for whole body nourishment. Specific ingredients support energy production and immune defense, as well as  bone, colon, eye and cardiac health. 14 grams of protein per serving.

ProVeg Organic Pea...ProVeg Organic Pea Protein by Vital Nutrients:  This plant-based organic pea protein powder provides a comprehensive amino acid profile and 23 grams of protein per serving in an easily absorbable formula. Soy, gluten, egg, sugar and dairy free, Non-GMO formulation. Naturally flavored. No artificial coloring or preservatives.

Molecular Biology of the Cell. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK26911/
What are the benefits of protein powder? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323093.php
Whey Protein Isolate vs Concentrate: What’s The Difference? https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/whey-protein-isolate-vs-concentrate
Casein Protein: https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-10008598
5 Proven Benefits of BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids). https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-bcaa
Protein and older adults. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15640517


Plant-Based Proteins for Weight Loss and Muscle Growth

PlantsMuscleDietJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Those who wish to support their health and wellness goals by including more plant-based meals are often concerned with getting sufficient protein. It’s understandable that people might worry, as an adequate amount of protein is fundamental to body structure, immune support, hormone production, enzymatic processes and metabolism. Animal proteins, like meat, dairy, fish and eggs, are complete proteins, as they deliver all the essential amino acids. While there are many plant foods that contain significant amounts of protein, to ensure a full complement of amino acids, a plant-based menu may take a bit of planning. Whether animal-sourced or plant-sourced, all proteins are broken down into amino acids during digestion.

There are lots of options when it comes to high quality vegetarian and vegan protein sources, including beans, pulses, whole grains, soy, nuts, seeds, and vegetables. As plant proteins may lack one or more essential amino acids, it’s important to eat a variety of foods. Those who eat a wide mix of protein containing foods each day should have no difficulty getting their fill of necessary nutrients. Those who wish to up their protein intake would be well served by adding plant proteins, rather than significantly increasing their intake of health damaging red and processed meat. The World Health Organization, as well as 2015 USDA Dietary Guidelines, suggest shifting to more plant-based proteins to improve nutritional quality, while supporting overall health and the environment as well.

Currently, high protein diets are popular for those who wish to build muscle or lose weight. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is a modest 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. This reflects about 10% of daily calories, or the minimum requirement, rather than a healthier optimum amount. Current dietary guidelines advocate getting between 10% and 35% of our daily calories from protein sources. Although there’s a general position that American diets are protein heavy, the average person consumes around 16% of their daily calories in the form of plant and animal sourced protein, suggesting that Americans need more protein, not less.

A report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) argued that 16% is anything but excessive, and suggests twice that amount is “safe and effective” for good health.  The report noted the potential benefits of a higher protein intake, including preserved muscle strength during the aging process, and maintenance of a “leaner, fat-burning” physique. Additionally, the report suggested that spacing protein intake throughout out the day is more health promoting than eating a protein heavy evening meal. Maximizing protein consumption appears to support weight loss and lean muscle growth, when accompanied by exercise and a cutback on sugars and starches. So as not to exceed caloric intake, those striving for weight loss, or improved general health, should reduce or eliminate low quality refined carbohydrates when high quality protein intake is increased.

Protein consumption should be based on age, current state of health, activity levels, muscle mass and fitness goals. While there are differing opinions as to the optimal amount of protein to consume for good overall health, The Institute of Medicine recommends a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein for every 20 pounds of body weight, or approximately 46 grams per day for an adult woman and 56 grams per day for an adult man. Those who are physically active or looking to build muscle may require higher amounts.

Good sources of plant-based proteins include:

Pulses – Pulses are dried edible seeds that grow in pods such as peas, lentils, beans and chickpeas. One cup of peas provides 8 grams of protein plus vitamin C. In addition to fiber, one half cup of chickpeas provides over 7 grams of protein. High fiber, highly nutritious beans provide 13 grams of protein per cup. Non-fat and versatile, cooked lentils provide 8 grams of protein per half cup.

Whole Grains – Quinoa provides heart-healthy fats, amino acids and 4 grams of protein per half cup. Amaranth provides almost 5 grams of protein per half cup, is gluten free and provides calcium iron and fiber.

Nuts and nut butters – Although high in calories, nuts provide up to 6 grams of protein per ounce. Nuts are high in fiber and healthy fats and provide iron, calcium, magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, B vitamins, vitamin E, antioxidants and other nutrients.

Soy – Tofu and tempeh made from soy beans are highly nutritious and provide 15 – 20 grams of protein per half cup. Soy beans, or edamame, are great straight from the pod and provide over 8 grams of protein per half cup.

Protein-rich vegetables – Although not as high in protein as beans, nuts or legumes, veggies including spinach, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and artichokes provide antioxidants, fiber and about 5 grams of protein per cooked cup.

Seeds – Chia seeds contain all nine essential amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids and 2.5 grams of protein per tablespoon, and can easily be added to salads, shakes or cereal. Sunflower seeds add healthy fats and 7 grams of protein per quarter cup.

Seitan – High in protein and popular with vegans and vegetarians, seitan is sourced from wheat gluten and provides an impressive 36 grams of protein per cup. Seitan, which can be prepared in a variety of ways, provides iron, calcium and phosphorus.

Non-dairy milks – Soy milk is high in protein, providing up to 1 gram per ounce. Almond, hemp and rice milk provide about 1 gram per cup.

Professional Supplement Center carries a variety of high quality plant-based powdered proteins to help meet your nutrition and health goals:

Organic Hemp Protein...Organic Hemp Protein Dark Chocolate Flavor by Manitoba Harvest – This clean, plant-based, easily digestible, organic hemp protein provides 8 grams of complete protein and 10 grams of fiber per serving with only three ingredients, raw, cold milled organic hemp powder, organic low glycemic palm sugar and fair trade cocoa powder. Also available in organic vanilla flavor.

Organic PurePea...Organic PurePea™ Natural Vanilla by Designs for Health – This highly bioavailable, easily digestible, vegan pea protein powder contains raw, certified organic, American grown yellow peas produced with natural fermentation, organic natural flavor and organic stevia extract. This product provides 20 grams of protein and a full complement of amino acids per serving. Also available: Organic Chocolate and Organic Unflavored.

Vegan Protein...Vegan Protein Vanilla by Innate Response Formulas – This vegan powdered protein formula provides 23 grams of nourishing pea protein per serving. Low allergen potential formulation is grain, soy, dairy and gluten free. Stevia sweetened.


Vegan Protein...Vegan Protein Chocolate by Dr. MercolaON SALE – This perfect blend of five high quality plant proteins is ideal for post workout, a quick energy charge or an anytime protein boost. The product provides pea, hemp, chia, potato and chlorella, delivering 12 grams of protein per serving, plus fiber, digestive enzymes and BCAA’s for optimal muscle building. Also available in individual packets for easy toting. Additional flavors: Cinnamon and Vanilla.

Pea Protein...Pea Protein Hypoallergenic by Prescribed Choice – This Non-GMO, diabetic-friendly yellow pea protein powder provides beneficial amino acids and 26 grams of pea protein per serving. Highly soluble, easily digestible, naturally flavored with vanilla or chocolate. Vegan formulation.

How much protein do you need every day? http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-much-protein-do-you-need-every-day-201506188096
14 Best Vegan and Vegetarian Protein Sources. http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20718479,00.html
Protein Intake – How Much Protein Should You Eat Per Day? https://authoritynutrition.com/how-much-protein-per-day/
Protein. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/protein/
Protein in the Vegan Diet. http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/protein.php