In a world where convenience is much sought after, it is often forgotten about the reality of life. Food has been converted into convenient packaging for grab and go, you can have meals delivered to your door, you can pick something off a shelf just add water and voila! Some of these concepts are brilliant and ensure people are receiving nutrition from convenience. However, the concern is, is that we often overlook good nutrition for convenience.
Take for example protein. If you are a carnivore you would receive your protein from beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, and fish. If you are a pescatarian you would still receive protein from fish. If you are a vegetarian you receive protein from eggs and dairy and if you are a vegan you can receive protein from legumes, nuts, seeds, and grains. This abundant nutrient is in a wide array of our foods. Being important for growth, development, and cellular repair there are enough options to make sure you meet your protein needs (see blog…).
In our modern world, protein has found itself on the shelves in a different format. As a powder, this convenient product, often used for those exercising, has meant that achieving protein requirements post-exercise is highly convenient. A protein shake where you can just add water or milk means no preparation and the convenience of having it with you as you walk out of the gym.
The concern with convenience is three-fold:
Firstly, a protein supplement is just that, just protein. If you consume protein food it not only contains the protein but also has other nutrients that would be beneficial to the body and may aid the protein during digestion or even for its utilization in the body.
For example, a protein shake will provide only protein, while flavoured milk or smoothie will provide protein, carbohydrate, fiber, and vitamins and minerals.
Second, protein supplements can contain many other chemicals and fillers to help support shelf-life, flavor, and what people believe aid recovery, as in extra amino acids or sports like supplements. Food can be as clean and simple as what you see. For example, a protein shake can provide protein, BCAAs, emulsifiers, flavourings, sweeteners while a can of tuna contains just tuna.
Last, protein supplements will yes help support recovery but will also fill you up reducing the amount of actual food you may consume in the day. As stated earlier actual food has a variety of other nutrients beneficial for health as well as cellular repair and recovery.
Alongside all these things mentioned above is that when we chew our food we actually are more satisfied with what we consume and therefore are able to control the amount of food we have throughout the day. Having control over appetite is a great way to ensure the body receives exactly what it needs when it needs it. Therefore, having a good complete nutritious snack that contains protein post-training will ensure you can control your appetite until your next meal or snack.
The amount of protein required post-exercise does not have to be a meal size. The amount can be found in snack-sized foods, it just means you need to have the snack with you so you can eat it straight away. Have a chicken sandwich on Alpine Breads High Protein Bread and you can easily hit the right amount of protein for recovery.