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Over the last twenty years as a health professional three of the top questions I’ve been asked are: – Should I use a protein shake? – What type of protein should I have in my shake? – How can I tell what’s a quality protein shake? We live in a time where health and supplement information is at our fingertips. This can be an amazing thing with science based information, but it can also be a very dangerous thing with inaccurate and over-hyped information. We hear the word “best” a lot, and I mean a lot! The concept of something being the “best” is really just an opinion. When talking about protein shakes and throughout this blog, let’s forget about the word “best” and focus on quality, digestion, and balance. Those are the three benefits you are always looking for when choosing a shake. My goal with this blog is simple; I want to first educate you on what questions to ask, then help you understand the answers to those questions and finally, with that knowledge, possess the insight and confidence to choose the best protein shake to assist you in achieving your nutrition and fitness goals. Ok, let’s dive in!
Why You Need a Protein Shake
(Note: When I’m talking protein shakes, I’m referring to protein powder. It becomes a shake when mixed with liquid, or it can also be used in cereal or to bake/cook with as a protein boost.)
I remember back in 1999, working with my clients and teaching them how to eat PFC Every 3. My clients loved the concept, the energy they got and most of all their fantastic results. But the only challenge they had was finding the time to eat a balanced meal of protein, fats and carbs every 3 hours.
Physiology proves eating small and balanced meals is how our body is meant to be fed, it’s truly the only way to balance your blood sugar levels, but with that being said, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to do in a busy life. My clients could easily get their breakfast, lunch and dinner in, but finding time to squeeze a meal in during the mid-morning or mid-afternoon was tough!
This is exactly why protein shakes are so important to helping you achieve your goals.
Protein shakes are the most powerful meal gap fillers, they’re easy to bring, quick to make, and provide excellent fuel for your body.
In addition, a quality protein shake is much cleaner (less processed) and more easily digested then protein bars and ready to drink shakes.
Now besides the amazing meal time saver protein shakes provide, there is also another super important purpose for why you need a protein shake.
Eating PFC Every 3, means you’ll be eating whole, clean proteins (like chicken, egg whites, fish, and turkey) throughout the day. Since eating whole protein five times a day can tax your digestive system, it’s important to add a clean protein shake a couple times a day to give your digestive system a bit of a break.
This is because shakes are already in a liquid form so the digestive process has already started. This creates a perfect resting period between whole protein meals for your digestive tract.
The Type of Protein in Your Shake Matters
The good news is through the last ten years’ millions of people and thousands of health professionals all became super clear on why we all needed a protein shake in our nutrition plan.
The bad news, it opened up the door for lots low quality protein shakes to enter the market place. The two most powerful statements when it comes to choosing protein shakes are:
- All Protein is Not Equal
- You Get the Quality You Pay For
We get sucked in to just looking at the nutrition label on a bag or tub of protein and we think because it has a good amount of protein or the price works in our budget that it just as good as the other shakes on the market, unfortunately that is the furthest thing from the truth.
Here are the 5 main types of protein in shakes, listed from highest quality to lowest quality:
- Whey Protein and Micellar Casein
- This combination has been shown to provide the best of both worlds in a shake. Whey protein and Micellar Casein, both come from milk, but your body digests them differently. Whey protein gets digested super-fast and micellar casein is digested at a much slower rate. Since shakes are already in a liquid form, they get digested much faster and most shakes only keep you satisfied for 1-2-hours. But this protein blend of whey and micellar casein helps prolong the digestion period and keeps you satisfied longer than a normal shake.
- Trucelle, the Next Level of Protein. Understanding it was time to take the protein shake development to the next level, we partnered with powerhouse product manufacture Jeunesse Global, and launched an exclusive micellar casein blend called Trucelle. Trucelle has been clinically proven to slow down the digestive process better than just micellar casein. This is why the protein blend in Zen Fuze is extremely powerful, whatever your health goal, this shake is designed to keep you satisfied longer, help balance your blood sugar and assist in maximizing your health results. In my twenty plus years in the Health Industry, Zen Fuze is the best blood sugar balancing shake I have ever seen.
- Now, this combination of protein blend also is typically the most expensive. Remember you get the quality you pay for. Since whey and casein both come from milk, it cannot be made like soy protein. This creates a supply and demand and the cost of protein depends on the amount of available whey and casein on the market, similar to how gasoline prices are determined by the available oil in the marketplace.
- Whey Protein
- I explained whey protein above. Many shakes just use whey protein, the big challenge with only using whey protein is it gets digested super-fast by your body and typically leaves you hungry an hour later. The great benefit of whey protein is how it can quickly re-fuel your muscles. This is why a shake made with both whey protein and micellar casein is always your best choice.
- There is one special type of whey protein called Hydrolyzed Whey, basically that is pre-digested whey protein to optimize absorption. If you are looking just for a whey specific protein or an extra protein boost to add to your Zen Fuze shake, simply add a scoop of hydrolyzed whey, and the brand that is by far the best type of hydrolyzed whey is Power Crunch.
- Egg White Protein
- This type of protein is good quality, but the two downsides most people share are taste and digestion. Shakes need to be a staple in your nutrition plan, so make sure to only choose quality shakes you like the taste of and enjoy drinking.
- Plant Based Protein (non soy)
- My top recommend shake is of course, Zen Fuze it’s the shake I’ve wanted to be part of making my entire career. But Zen Fuze is made from milk and there are a many plant based eaters in the world. If you are a vegan, make sure to choose a plant based shake that is made with hemp or other plant based sources of protein that are not soy protein.
- Soy Protein
- The most inexpensive and lowest quality shakes will be made with soy protein. Soy beans can be made (genetically modified) and as well, grown naturally, so there is an abundance of soy, unlike whey and casein. Soy is also a lower quality protein (has less nitrogen per gram), is harder to digest and when consumer in abundance can cause an estrogen imbalance in men and women.
Your Protein Shake Checklist
We’re rolling along, you now understand why you need a protein shake, and how the type of the protein in your shake matters. Let’s bring it all together with your protein shake checklist.
This checklist is a quick way to separate the fake hype shakes from the real deal. Simply use this checklist when looking into any shake you are thinking about starting to use, if the shake doesn’t pass this checklist, move on, it won’t be the quality of shake you need to optimize your digestive system and results.
- The shake needs at least 20 grams of protein per serving.
- There must be more protein than carbs and fat in the shake.
- The protein type in the shake should be one of these types of protein: (whey protein & micellar casein, whey protein, egg white protein, plant based protein (non-soy).
- First choice, if possible, should always be whey protein & micellar casein, preferably Zen Fuze due to the Trucelle protein blend in Zen Fuze.
- The protein type in the shake needs to be free of Soy Protein (It can have trace amounts of soy in the form of soy lecithin, which has very little soy and is a binder in shakes)
- The shake needs to be gluten-free (assists with better digestion)
- The shake needs at least 5 grams of fiber (helps digestion and keeps you satisfied longer)
- The shake needs to be low in sugar (less than 9 grams) and use only a natural sweetener (like stevia). It shouldn’t have ANY fake sugar sweeteners (aspartame, saccharine, sorbitol, xylitol, and sucralose, these sugar sweeteners cause gas/bloating). It’s always better to have natural sugar in a shake, then have it be super low sugar and a high amount of fake sugars. Those types of sugar sweeteners work against your digestive system.
- And of course you must enjoy the taste of the shake!
- Bonus – this isn’t a must, but if the shake has additional digestive enzymes or pro-biotics to assist with overall digestive health that’s a huge plus. It’s important to remember you are what you metabolize. This is exactly why we add 5 strains of pro-biotics to Zen Fuze to help with overall intestinal health.
Who would have ever thought there would be so much detail in choosing a quality protein shake!
This is why knowledge is power, and you how have the power to choose the best protein shake for you and your goals.
As you read the blog, it’s simple to see why we made Zen Fuze. It’s the protein shake the world needed. Super clean, balanced, and excellent for your digestive system, and of course tasty!
If you’re ready to learn more about Zen Fuze, check out this link, or connect with a Venice Nutrition Coach who already shared with you the power of Zen Fuze.
Plus to help you see all the awesome ways you can work Protein into to your day with delicious shakes and baked goods, check out this blog with two tasty Zen Fuze recipes.
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