A Beginner's Guide To Protein and How To Make Delicious Shakes

Monday, September 29, 2014

In today’s blog, I want to talk about protein. There is a great deal of confusion and myths when it comes to protein including the need of protein, which kind of protein to use, and the amount of protein needed.

Protein is a necessary nutrient that must be present in your diet. Just like carbohydrates and fats, protein is a macronutrient (Macronutrients make up the bulk of our diet and perform vital functions which we will be covering more in a future blog). Shopping for protein can be a difficult task. When you walk into a gym, health food store or supplement shop, you are immediately presented with an overwhelming number of brands and types. To make matters worse, oftentimes the employee helping you pick out a protein is not qualified to address your specific needs.

I will be covering all of the questions already mentioned above as well as providing a shopping list and recipe for a delicious protein shake that we are proud to serve our clients.

How Much Protein do I really need?

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the American Dietetic Association (ADA), suggest that people who exercise and are active should use the following formula: One gram (1g) of protein per one pound of body (1lb) weight per day. This formula of 1g protein to 1lb of body weight will work great for most people and should be your starting point. As a simple example, if you weigh 100lbs, you would want to take in 100g of protein each day.

For people who are extremely active, the recommended formula for endurance athletes are 1.2-1.4g/lb body weight per day and resistance-and strength-trained athletes may be as high as 1.6-1.7g/ lb body weight per day.

For people over the age of 40 who are not trying to gain weight, the formula changes to approximately 60-75 percent of body weight in pounds to grams of protein.

The recommended protein intake is difficult to meet through current diet alone. We tend to not eat the quality of food that will naturally give us the required amount of protein. A protein supplement can greatly help fill in these gaps in our diet.

Also keep in mind that as we age (especially women), we lose collagen in our skin which causes our bodies to look soft and saggy. Protein is the key to keeping a firm figure for years to come.

Protein Types

Today’s choices for protein are typically located in grocery or supplement stores. There are an overwhelming number of brands and types available which means that unless you understand the different kinds and how they process in your body, you can be spinning your wheels looking for an answer.

Dairy protein and many others contain two forms: whey and casein. Whey is the strongest protein known to man and is derived from milk, soy, egg etc. Whey is available in two forms: concentrate and isolate.

The main difference is that isolate is absorbed by your body more quickly. Some forms of protein isolate are actually absorbed at a level of 110% when compared to egg white protein. Isolated whey protein dissolves quickly in liquid and usually is absorbed into the body in less than 30 minutes. This fast digestion gives isolate proteins the edge for breakfast, pre-workout and post-workout supplementation.

Some facts about protein:

  • Protein helps boost the immune system
  • Whey protein absorb at a rate of 80-90%, isolate will absorb at 90-99% and mixes can offer 100% absorption rate
  • Protein helps with muscle recovery after workouts
  • Protein is the best source of amino acids next to cooked eggs
  • Protein has a long shelf life
  • Protein mixes easily in water with no clumps and doesn’t require a mixer

Casein protein is not as commonly used since it breaks down slowly and is not as soluble as whey protein. Egg protein has the advantage over all proteins since it has more branched chain amino acids than other sources of proteins.

How To Get The Protein You Need

When possible, it is best to get your protein from natural sources in your food but that can be tough with life’s hectic schedule. At Body Basics, our philosophy is use protein shakes as a snack in between meals and we encourage our clients to drink a shake after their workout to help in recovery and muscle development.

When shopping for a protein look at the amount of servings to the amount of protein you get. Many Proteins use fillers so they can put their product in big containers making the consumer believe that they are getting way more than they are.

An example is a common Whey protein from Costco: Optimum which costs $99 for 4lbs. A serving size is 1 scoop which is 37g, of those 37g only 30g are protein. That means almost 20% of what you are getting is not protein. When shopping, make sure to look at how much protein you are getting per serving compared to other nutrients and ingredients. Generally, the higher % of protein then the better quality you are getting.

How To Make A Shake That Is Delicious and Good For You

At Body Basics have make a protein shake that we believe gives our clients the best ratio of protein to carbohydrates to fats.


Serving: 1 shake

1 cup ice cubes (small)
1 cup water (filtered)
1/2 banana
1 scoop of protein (should contain 25-30g of protein)
1 large tbsp. of peanut butter

Blend well to desired consistency.

Note: The quality of blender will make a significant difference in consistency of your shake as well as blending time. We prefer Vitamix blenders for their extremely high quality and durability.

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