Whey comes from milk, so it contains lactose. This is not well tolerated by some people, but it is high in the amino acid Leucine. Leucine can help with recovery after resistance and strengthening exercise – so whey protein is commonly found in exercise/fitness shakes.
People are often confused by how much protein they need. The dietary reference intake is 0.8g of protein per kg of body weight, however this is dependent on age/stage of life as for example children and breast-feeding women are advised to have more. As a general guide, try to base each meal around a source of protein and you should be getting enough!
This type is viewed as a very high-quality protein as eggs are a complete protein source. That means they provide all nine essential amino acids that your body can’t make itself. Like Whey, egg protein is high in leucine so it’s popular with the fitness industry.
Foods vary in the amount of protein they provide but the main sources include meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, cereals and wholegrains, seeds, nuts and pulses (beans and lentils).
Pea Protein Powder
This is especially popular amongst vegetarians, vegans and people with allergies or sensitivities to dairy or eggs. It’s made from the yellow split pea, a high-fibre legume that boasts all but one of the essential amino acids. Pea protein is also particularly rich in branch chain amino acids.
Hemp is rich in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and several essential amino acids. However, it is not considered a complete protein because it has very low levels of the amino acids Lysine and Leucine.
To up protein levels Soya/tofu and Quorn are also sources of protein suitable for vegetarians. Following a balanced diet should provide enough protein and this can be achieved by including some at each meal.
Brown Rice Protein
A great, non-dairy protein for those with allergies, sensitivities or who are following a vegetarian diet. It also contains more fibre than other protein powders, which is great for our digestive system.