As I mentioned in the previous article, high animal protein food could be harmful for our body. This, of course, includes protein supplements, which many exercise enthusiasts take after working out, especially after weight training.
Among the protein supplements, the most popular one is hydrogenated whey protein. It is a residual created from the process of making cheese from milk. Although you cannot digest it as it is, if it is processed (hydrogenation), it is really easy to digest and very nutritious. Currently most protein bars and other supplements use this hydrogenated why protein, except those for vegetarians, which are usually made with soy protein.
Although the soy protein is great, it does not contain all essential amino acids as whey protein does. It still does help to enhance the muscles among vegetarian athletes, especially mixed with other types of vegetable proteins.
Because of this, many people totally depends on whey protein. However, we may need to reconsider this dependency on whey protein.
According to a study done at University of Texas, if you mix soy and whey protein, you can develop more muscles. This is because the soy-whey mix leads to a steady rise of amino acids in the body much longer than that of whey protein (or soy protein) alone. It also prevents muscle protein breakdown (to supply needed calories) during the period immediately after exercises better than whey protein alone.
Therefore it is good to cut the whey protein and add soy protein into your post workout protein drink. This also cuts a portion of the animal protein from diet; so it is doubly beneficial.
OK, if you don’t take a protein supplement, you can still do a couple of things. Replace some of the milk products with soy milk products. I know it does not taste as good as those made with real milk, but you can get used to the taste. I think that some of the soy cheese (not all, of course) are as tasty as the real ones. Some of the soy frozen desserts are getting better, too.
You can also add soy and other beans onto your dinner plate and cut down the portion of meat. I really recommend that you remove all processed meat from your plate, but, if you love them, you can still eat them; just reduce the amount you eat and substitute with beans.
In any case, increase the amount of vegetable based food in your diet. It is healthier and good for the Earth, too.
One more thing related to protein. According to University of Arkansas study, it seems that women who eat high protein meal shortly after moderate exercises find that it helps to burn more body fat. The reason is that, according to the researchers, if you don’t supply some protein after a workout, the body starts burning muscles as fuel after the initial phase of fat burning is finished. However, by providing protein, you can protect the muscles and only fat is used as fuel.
Although this study needs farther research, it could be a good idea to take a soy protein drink after the workout.
Soy-Dairy Protein Blend and Whey Protein Ingestion After Resistance Exercise Increases Amino Acid Transport and Transporter Expression in Human Skeletal Muscle. Journal of Applied Physiology, 2014
The Effects of Soy and Whey Protein Supplementation on Acute Hormonal Responses to Resistance Exercise in Men. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2013
Thermic effect of food, exercise, and total energy expenditure in active females. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 2014