Whatever physical activity is your thing, it is essential that you are eating the right type of foods to help you get the results that you want and help your body to recover properly afterwards.
But when it comes to protein shakes, a lot of people are using them just because they think they should, or because they heard that protein will help them achieve their goals faster… without really knowing why.
So here’s the lowdown on protein shakes; whether you actually need them, when to take them and why Purition is the healthier alternative.
All foods are made up of three macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates and fats. You need to ensure that you’re consuming all three macronutrients – protein, fats (including essential fatty acids) and carbohydrates (particularly fibre-based carbs, like vegetables) for your to function correctly.
And while protein should be a priority when it comes to recovery from sport and intense exercise, your progress and recovery isn’t just about protein. Your focus should be on your diet as a whole. Replacing lost nutrients as well as consuming plenty of protein will help you to achieve the results you want, faster.
Let’s take a closer look…
If you’re exercising regularly, consuming extra protein is essential. It provides branch chain amino acids, which help repair damage to your muscles after physical exercise.
The best way to get extra protein is naturally, in your everyday meals, from food. However, in recent times, food has been dropped for the convenience of a protein shake—which comes at the expense of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals.
Do you really know what’s going into your protein shake and what those ingredients are actually doing for your body?
Many protein shakes available on the market are made predominantly of:
- Milk protein, milk powders and/or vegan protein powders from undisclosed origins
- Synthetic colourings and flavourings
- Artificial sweeteners
- Gums and emulsifiers
Purition is a ‘back to basics’ approach, providing extra protein in a shake, from real food sources—not commercially processed and highly refined powders.
Purition Original contains whey protein isolate, which has a much higher percentage of protein in it than milk protein, which is often used in protein shakes. The whey protein isolate we use is made in the UK, comes from British milk and has been gently triple-filtered. Puriton vegan contains pea, rice and hemp protein, which ensures a complete amino acid profile.
Both varieties contain a host of nuts and seeds for additional protein and essential fatty acids, plus healthy carbohydrates from fibre rich foods.
Essential fatty acids (fat)
‘Essential’ fatty acids are called just that because you need to consume them through the food you eat. Your body can’t produce them, so they must come from your diet.
Most people can benefit from an added daily dose of omega 3’s and other beneficial fats—without them, we can’t make hormones, nourish our cells, feed our nerves or make neurotransmitters, which send messages throughout our bodies.
And when it comes to exercise, getting sufficient essential fatty acids is just as important as getting your protein. Essential fatty acids are highly anti-inflammatory, which can help to prevent muscle soreness or DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). Additionally, EFAs help to offset the increased free radical damage that can occur during intense exercise.
Fats are definitely undervalued in sports and fitness nutrition. Thankfully, choosing Purition as your go-to protein shake means you’ll get an important dose of healthy fats and essential fatty acids alongside that much-needed protein boost.
Healthy carbohydrates (fibre)
Carbohydrates are an essential nutrient in a healthy diet, but carbs definitely aren’t created equally.
Carbohydrates come in three main forms – starch, sugar and fibre. Starch and sugar are quickly broken down by the body into glucose. This causes the blood sugar to spike, leading energy spikes and falls, hunger pangs and cravings. On the other hand, eating fibrous carbs leaves you feeling fuller and energised for longer. This is because fibrous carbs take longer to break down in the body, meaning glucose is released more slowly and therefore takes longer to impact blood sugar.
There are a whole load of reasons to eat more nutritious, high-fibre foods:
- Supports gut motility and prevents constipation
- Feeds our good gut bacteria
- Increases the feeling of fullness after meals, so may help to support healthy weight loss
- Can help to curb cravings
Choosing Purition as your protein shake is a great way to ensure that you are getting adequate fibre in your diet. Purition contains both soluble and insoluble fibre from whole seeds and nuts, apple pectin and psyllium husk.
Two servings of Purition a day will provide you with around 12-16g of fibre, which amounts to approximately half of the daily recommended dietary intake.
Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) are essential for optimal health, recovery and wellbeing. There are 30 vitamins and minerals that the body cannot make on its own, which are referred to us as ‘essential micronutrients’.
Most protein shakes don’t contain the essential vitamins and nutrients that a balanced meal would contain. And if they do? For the most part, they’re probably synthetic. Here’s the catch: synthetic vitamins and minerals are not easily absorbed by the human body and often simply pass straight through the body.
On the other hand, Purition is a fantastic source of micronutrients from a diverse range of real, whole food sources, including:
- Potassium – necessary for heart health, muscle strength, cellular activity and to help increase energy levels.
- Phosphorous – needed for the growth, repair and maintenance of our cells and tissues and assists in the absorption of vitamin D.
- Magnesium – supports cells to generate new proteins, required for healthy muscle and nerve function and helps to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels, which in turn increases our metabolism and triggers the body to burn stored fat.
- B vitamins – vital for all-round good health including energy production, nerve health, skin health and hormonal balancing.
Best time to take Purition
So you know why macronutrients and micronutrients are hugely important for recovery after exercise—but when should you actually have them?
The truth is, your body needs nutrients throughout the day in order to repair and function correctly. Protein and supplement companies may tell you that you should supplement before and after exercise, within a certain timeframe—often known as the ‘magic window’. It’s the supposed 30-60-minute window after exercising that you should consume a protein shake, in order to get the best results.
But a recent study concluded that ‘consuming adequate protein in combination with resistance exercise is the key factor’. Summed up, the study discovered that when you consume your protein isn’t all that important—you just need to make sure you’re getting enough of it, every day, no matter when that happens to be.
Ultimately, for optimum health and recovery after exercise, you should focus on your overall diet, every day, over 24 hours. Thanks to its wholefood ingredients, Purition contains a great mix of macro and micronutrients, including protein, and can be used daily for breakfast, lunch or as a workout-fuelling snack… whichever is most convenient for you and your lifestyle.
16-20g of Protein, 12-15g of healthy fats and 6-7g of fibre from whole food sources in each 40g serving. You won’t find that in many other protein shakes.
By replenishing your body on a regular basis—whether that be with a well-balanced meal or a wholefood protein shake like Purition (or even better, a mix of both throughout the day)—you will be getting the right level of macro and micronutrients for optimal health. Make sure to eat a natural, varied and balanced diet with protein, healthy fats and fibre at every meal and you’ll have no need for processed protein supplements!
Article written by: Kate Bevan Wood Dip CNM, mBANT, CNHC
*Updated by Purition Editor 6/11/2020