So having just launched our range of protein powders I thought that it would make sense for me to explain a little about protein, what it does and shed some light on why we have decided to produce our own products.
I'm going to try and not get too technical (which I often do) to keep all the information simple and useful.
What is protein & what does it do?
Protein is a macronutrient that is essential to building muscle mass. It is commonly found in animal products, though is also present in other sources, such as nuts and legumes.
There are three macronutrients: protein, fats and carbohydrates. Macronutrients provide calories, or energy.
Each gram of protein contains 4 calories (Fat had 9kcal/g, Carbs 4kcal/g, alcohol 7kcal/g).
Protein makes up about 15 percent of a person’s body weight.
Chemically, protein is composed of amino acids, which are organic compounds made of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen or sulfur. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and proteins are the building blocks of muscle growth.
Benefits of Protein
In helping your body build muscle, protein also helps speed up your metabolism.
Helps to keep the immune system strong.
Protein has satiety effects which help you feel full.
Helps to increase healing time. (Glutamine an amino acid in protein, stimulates collagen synthesis which helps to heal wounds).
For the same reason, protein also helps to keep your skin and nails healthy, whilst maintaining skin's elasticity and firmness.
Which foods should I consume to increase my protein intake?
The image above explains which foods are considered to be good sources of protein and give values of each food per 100g. However, before simply comparing the content of protein per 100g in each product it is also important to consider the calorie density of each protein source.
For example: At 1st glance it would seem that almonds (29g/100g) would be a better protein source than chicken (25g/100g). However, 100g of Almonds (approx 570 kcal) also has considerably more calories than 100g of chicken (approx 160kcal).
How much Protein do I need?
Your ideal protein intake will vary depending on both your size, activity level and goal. A safe level of protein ranges from 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight [2.2 lbs.], up to 2 grams of protein per kilogram for very active athletes. Most people should be consuming 1 to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
Why use Protein shakes?
Shakes are simply a convenient way to increase your intake of protein, which is needed to support muscle growth and a host of other bodily functions.
No matter what your aim is, protein shakes should always be used alongside a balanced diet, rather than to replace real food.
In an ideal world we would be able to consume all our body's protein needs through the food we eat. However, sometimes that’s just not possible – whether it’s the volume of food required to meet individual requirements, a busy hectic life schedule or due to dietary restrictions. The more restrictive a diet becomes, such as with a milk allergy or a vegan diet, the harder it can be to meet protein requirements naturally through food, which is where supplements can be beneficial.
The key thing to remember is the word ‘supplement’. They are meant to supplement a balanced diet – not replace it. .
Our Pure Whey Isolate consists of Whey Protein Isolate (WPI), which is considered to be a purer version of whey, compared to the more commonly found Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC). It is processed further to help reduce the content of fat and lactose and in turn often has a higher protein percentage.
Sky Nutrition's Pure Whey Isolate has a 90% protein percentage and as mentioned above has a lower fat and lactose content to make it easier to digest than normal WPC protein powders.
Our Vegan Ultra High Protein powder has been designed to function as a premium, dairy-free protein source with minimal carbohydrates and fats. It is formulated with high grade Pea and Soya isolates. It has an 80% protein percentage and delivers an optimal 24g dose of protein in every serving.