The most commonly asked question when it comes to post-workout nutrition is about whey protein. More specifically, these three queries:
How to choose a protein shake?
But isn’t high protein bad for the kidneys?
Why can’t I have something natural?
There really isn’t anything like a poor or high-quality protein. All wholesome foods prepared fresh, local and seasonal will provide for good or high-quality protein. But the one ‘supplement’ or ‘packaged and processed’ food which is worth having, especially if you are a serious weight trainer or weight training for & serious condition like recovery from a fracture, muscular weakness, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, etc., or just for that 1eaner, fitter body, is whey protein.
First things first, a supplement means that it will only aid nutrient delivery if diet, exercise, and lifestyle are already in place. It isn’t an alternative to the real DEAL (diet, exercise, and lifestyle), nor is it a drug that causes side effects or addiction or something that the body gets resistant to. A quick example: ‘You know, earlier .25 of my sleeping pill would put me to sleep, now even three of those and I am wide awake in the night.’ You Will never find a weight training enthusiast or an athlete say things like, ‘Earlier 20g of protein would help me recover but now it doesn’t.’
Whey is & derivative of milk, the white precipitate that curdles to the top while making curd or paneer. The supplement will have it in a concentrated form and flavored With either chocolate or strawberry and the like to suit people’s palates. There are many things that work for Whey protein: it’s easy digestibility, amino acids (BCAAS as discussed earlier) and bioavailability to name a few. The lactose intolerant can easily consume Whey protein too by choosing whey isolate, which is free of lactose.
A protein shake that is easy on your stomach and wallet has the following per serving (per scoop or per 30 g roughly), and this is how you should choose your whey protein shake:
Protein: 20-2 7g
Carbs: 0-3 g
Pat: 0-3 g
It may have many vitamins and minerals added but they are so minute that it is really not very important or critical to look at that. Make sure that the protein mainly comes from the whey, and not other sources. The above ratio of protein to fat to carbs, and the source as whey, pretty much rules out most sugar powders masking themselves as protein supplements on your chemist’s shelves.
Now that’s as much a black and white statement as sugar is bad for health. You’ve got to dig deeper, understand biochemistry and the body’s requirement at any point in time to know if it’s ‘bad’ or ‘good’ for you. For example, a diabetic who is on the verge of hitting hypoglycaemic coma NEEDS sugar, so sugar is then not just good but very, very good for him.
A person involved in regular exercise has higher requirements of protein than a sedentary individual. If this person already has some disease or a lifestyle disorder, then the protein requirements stand even higher. A protein shake that provides about 25 g of protein per serving is not even half a 50-kilo individual’s ‘daily requirement’, so then how is this supposed to be ‘bad’ for the kidneys? And most of us are heavier than 50 kilos, mind you. Children, geriatric‚ pregnant and. nursing women and adolescents have an even higher requirement of protein.
Btw, everyone needs protein, even & ‘kidney patient’. There is absolutely no basis to this fear that protein shakes, especially well-timed protein shakes, can harm the kidneys. It takes much more than ‘excess’ protein to harm the kidneys, go look at any dialysis ward and let me know if you find even one person there who was regularly weight training or had protein shakes.
The only people who may be prone to kidney disorders are athletes who dope or are on steroids; their kidneys are at a risk and they also typically have protein shakes. But then again, it’s not the protein shake that has put them at risk. And if you really want ‘most common risk factors’ for kidneys, they are dehydration, diabetes, and BP, not protein for heaven’s sake.
If you are asking me this question, you must be a ‘social drinker’, smoker and occasional doper. Trust me, people with clean lifestyles (ya, I just said yours is not, and no, the what-is-legal-in-Amsterdam argument doesn’t stand), who mostly eat at home, work out regularly, are in relationships and professions they like, are never looking for anything ‘natural’. natural, after all, is a state of mind. I mean your toothpaste, your lipstick, your car, your communication via email and video conferences, your e-payments, etc. are all advances and advantages of technology, but protein should be natural as in primitive like meat, eggs, or, no problem lentils or chana or soya? I mean double standards have no limits.?
The ‘natural’ chana, sprouts‚ eggs, chicken‚, etc. as ‘repair’ protein in the 4 R’s will disturb the blood flow to the working muscle group. And also disturb both the nutrient delivery and waste removed from the damaged muscle tissue. So it will lead to both lack of digestion and assimilation of protein along with delayed glycogen replenishment, and altogether it will mean compromised recovery.
What I am saying is, keep it natural everywhere else, in all other meals, and have the protein shake as the R for repair in your 4 R’s. It comes from a milk source, and supplements (as against drugs) by regulation or law are not unnatural.