Naturally Pumped

Organic protein powders help your body make the most of your exercise efforts.

January 2016

by Lisa James


S o it’s January and, after two months of utter excess, you’ve decided to join New Year’s resolutionists everywhere by upping your exercise commitment and downsizing your intake of junk food.

Good move, especially if you want to boost your levels of energy and overall well-being—to say nothing of helping to decrease your waist size while potentially increasing your lifespan. One way to make the most of your new lifestyle is to increase your intake of protein, and organic multi-source powder drink mixes can help provide part of your daily requirements for this key nutrient in a convenient form.

The Pros of Protein

Protein serves dozens of functions within the body, from providing the building blocks of enzymes, hormones and other compounds to helping maintain correct balances of fluid and salt. However, one of protein’s most crucial roles is structural. From skin to bones, protein gives the body’s tissues their form.

Nowhere is protein as fundamental body stuff more obvious than in the muscles, which help to define one’s overall shape. Exercise creates small tears in the muscle fibers; in repairing this damage the muscle packs on extra protein, which causes it to grow.

Building muscle also promotes better weight control. More muscle tissue means the body contains more lean mass—basically anything that isn’t fat. What’s more, muscle tissue burns more calories at rest than fat tissue. That means the more muscle you have, the more calories your body expends even if you aren’t moving at all.

In addition to healthy sources such as free-range meat and wild-caught fish, powdered shake mixes can provide additional protein whenever you need it. This is especially true for post-workout snacks; as the American College of Sports Medicine puts it, “Protein supplementation after exercise may have a more profound impact” on muscle growth. The ACSM adds that getting extra protein becomes more crucial as you age to simply maintain the muscle mass you already have.

Organic Sources

Protein powders are often formulated from several organic sources. Besides avoiding chemical residues, evidence suggests that food grown organically is more nutritous. The Organic Consumer Association says, “Studies show that organic foods contain more vitamins, cancer-fighting antioxidants and important trace minerals.” In addition, the same phytonutrients that give organic plants their superior nutrition also help foster a deeper, richer flavor.

The OCA also says consumers are concerned about genetically modified organisms, noting that GMOs are found in “75% of all non-organic US processed foods, even in many products labeled or advertised as ‘natural.’” That concern extends to protein powders made from engineered yeast. Technically passing muster as “organic,” such yeast-based powders provide little, if any, antioxidant value.

Other formulations use a blend of high-quality plant proteins, such as those taken from quinoa, chia, peas, hemp and sprouted brown rice. Protein from these sources is the subject of intense research interest. For example, men in a resistance-training program who took supplemental pea protein showed greater gains in muscle mass (Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2015).

Are you working to rebuild your body in the gym? Organic plant-based protein powders can help get you where you want to go.

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