If we say the words “protein supplements” to you, you’re probably picturing this. A man, in his 20s or 30s, in the gym, swigging on a protein shake after completing a few dozen reps on the free weights. It goes hand in hand. Protein and lifting, lifting and protein.
But what if we told you that picture was wrong? That protein isn’t just for people looking to build muscles? That a protein supplement has benefits for people who’ve never ever set foot in a gym - and who don’t plan to?
You might be surprised. But you shouldn’t be.
Protein is for everyone
Your body is made up of lots and lots of protein. Your muscles, your bones, your skin, your hair, your organs… All of that’s made at least partly of protein. And that’s why protein is one of the key macronutrients that make up your diet, along with carbohydrates and fats. And unlike carbohydrates, it’s impossible to have a healthy diet without protein.
It’s nothing to do with the gym (although protein does help there as we’ll discover later), or bodybuilding. It’s all about giving your body what it needs to be functional and healthy. It’s important for children, teens, pregnant women, and just about everyone else, because protein is what your body uses to help your body repair cells and make new ones.
So it’s vital you’re getting enough. And that’s where protein supplements come in.
Types of protein supplements
There are dozens of types of protein supplements. Shakes, powders, protein-enriched chocolate bars. Even something as simple as an extra chicken breast with your lunch counts as supplementing your protein intake. But here at Sealions, we offer three types of protein powder, each of which can be made into a delicious shake:
Whey protein powder. This is the protein shake you think of when you imagine that gym-goer. Whey protein is, as the name suggests, made from whey. Whey is made from milk, one of the most protein-rich foods, and also contains many of the nutrients and minerals you’d find in a glass of milk.
Lean protein powder. This protein shake is also made of whey, but with more of the fat and carb content removed to provide a more calorie-light option. While you lose some of the nutrients from the milk, we make sure to boost the nutrient content of this powder with added vitamins and minerals, plus some other functional ingredients, like L-carnitine, CLA and green tea extract, to make sure it supports your overall health.
But what if you don’t want to consume a milk product? In that case, you’ll need…
Vegan protein powder. Our vegan protein powder is made from plant proteins - the same as you’d find in a heaped serving of nuts or legumes. But in this case, we use a mix of pea and rice proteins to provide you with all of the protein your body needs with none of the animal products.
The benefits of increasing your protein intake
While you need a base level of protein intake just to keep your body functioning healthily, increasing your protein intake does offer a whole range of benefits.
Protein shakes are first and foremost a post-workout supplement. But that’s because they help you recover faster and build muscle. If you have a physical job, or you’ve just had a very long, demanding day, upping your protein intake will help you recover more quickly.
Increased protein intake is also good for maintaining your weight. High protein diets (and protein supplements) boost your metabolism, leave you feeling fuller for longer (so there’s less snacking), and can even help you to lose weight. Protein supplements can also help you burn some of that belly fat!
So even if you’re not planning on going to the gym any time soon, make sure you give some thought to your protein intake. Your body will thank you for it!