Category: Protein

The Importance of Meal Prepping

Are you struggling to keep up with your healthy eating routine alongside your busy lifestyle? The key to stopping bad eating habits and keeping on track with your diet is simple. Meal prepping. 

Here are 5 benefits of meal prep.

1. Time management 

Let’s face it, we don’t all have extra time in the morning to make a nutritious breakfast, and how often does it get to 7pm and you’re hungry so end up going to the drive-through? Sometimes the quickest option is to grab a high fat, calorie-dense fast food meal when you’re in a hurry. By spending a few hours on a Sunday, preparing your breakfast, dinner or both for the upcoming week, you can guarantee that you have healthy food options available to you. In the morning you can have breakfast ready to grab and go, and skip on those sugary cereal bars and at dinner time, meal prepping is like creating your own healthy microwave meals, they are easy to heat up, and you know exactly what’s in them. Meal prepping means the time you would spend deciding what to eat, sourcing your ingredients and cooking every day, is already done for you, so you can guarantee you are still eating healthily, even though you have a busy lifestyle. 

meal prep

2. Save money

One of the most common misconceptions is that buying fast food on the go is cheaper than cooking healthily from scratch. Meal prepping ahead of time is going to save you money. You can decide on your recipes based on price and how much you want to spend per portion, if you are prepping the same meal for 5 days a week, buying in bulk is going to save you a huge chunk of money. You are also likely to be saving money because you aren’t ordering out every lunch. Grabbing food on the go is often cheap if you are buying unhealthy fast food, but good quality healthy food to go is often much more overpriced than it would be if you make it yourself. Lose weight instead of your money out of your wallet. 

3. Achieve your fitness goals.

Fitness trackers are a great way to track your calories, macros, and intake. The problem comes when putting together a quick unplanned meal, or buying food out, it is hard to determine what nutritional amount is in each meal. We’ve all been there, searching on a calorie tracking app and not finding the exact meal we have bought, so having to do guesswork. Meal prepping can help you achieve your daily goals as you are in control of exactly what goes into your meals. By having your meals measured and counted in advance it makes tracking your food intake so much easier.

fit food

4. Mental focus

If you want to succeed, especially when it comes to fitness and nutrition, you need the mental focus and will power. If you’re not mentally prepared to put in the hard work, you aren’t going to reach your goal. By spending a few hours meal prepping and planning your nutritional intake for the entire week, you are mentally preparing yourself for the week ahead. Deciding what you are going to eat, and when you are going to eat it are tasks that have already been completed so you can put that energy elsewhere. The key to long term progress is always consistency, and meal prepping is the way to add that consistency to your diet every week.

5. Eliminate waste

We all want to do our bit for the environment. Once you have established your meal-prep routine, you’ll know exactly how much of each ingredient you need so you can buy the exact amount for your recipes, which cuts down on food waste. You’ll never again have to witness your fruits and vegetables going moldy, and being thrown in the bin before you’ve had time to eat them. Meal prepping is also a great way to save dishes. You cook once a week and after that, all you have to worry about is a few pieces of Tupperware every day. Not only that, it is helping stop the use of nasty non-recyclable packaging that is on so many ‘on the go’ foods you can buy. 

portion

Protein powder guide: what you should know

Protein powders and shakes have become a common sight on shop shelves in recent years. Yet, many people out there aren’t clear on what these protein products actually do. There are myths and rumours flying about, and misconceptions abound. Beyond that, there are also some very legitimate concerns regarding these products. So, what are protein powders for, and how can they be used safely? To answer that question, we’ve put together this guide, giving you the lowdown on what they are all about.

Protein shakes and powders

What is protein powder used for?

The primary use of protein powders is to maximise how effective your physical workout is, and also aid positive recovery. When used correctly, they can be a healthy way to boost muscle growth after a workout, and ensure that your body has all the fuel it needs before you put it through its paces. It is stated that for effective muscle growth, you should consume 1g of protein per each kg of bodyweight. To achieve this solely through whole foods you eat is possible, but consumes time. Protein powders can be used to replace or supplement some of these meals. They also help you to maintain your edge.

Who should use it?

Protein powders have a design suitable for use by those who take on regular exercise and are seeking to build muscle. If you are unable to take on enough protein via whole foods outside of your work/other commitment, protein powders are the solution. If you don’t have time to prep a protein-rich breakfast each morning, a quick shake will see you out the door fit and with fight to face the day.

Is it safe?

There are a lot of myths surrounding these powders and how effective and safe they are. The truth is that protein powder itself causes no harm. However, if you don’t take it with a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise, then it has no point. What protein powder isn’t, is an Adonis-like body in a bottle. The powder exists to give your workout a little bit of extra payoff, not to replace them. The British Dietetic Association (BDA) believes the misleading, “wrong and immoral” market has led some consumers to believe protein powders are a “substitute not a supplement”. Beyond that, the only health advice we’d attach to protein powder use is that it you should avoid it if you suffer a condition, such as kidney damage. Protein powders then are not generally dangerous, but must be taken correctly in order to be worthwhile.

protein powder

Which should I use?

If you’ve never bought protein powder before, and are just now looking to get involved; it can be pretty daunting not knowing where to start. The many varieties of protein powders available include whey, casein, soy and hemp, to name but a few. Whilst all of these are broadly the same in terms of their aims, they each have unique characteristics that make a specific one more suitable for your needs. For instance, soy and hemp-based proteins are suitable for vegans. It is worth taking the time to research the powder that suits you best before you invest in any.

Now you know your stuff when it comes to protein powders, you’re ready to get out there with your shakes and make the most of your workout sessions.

Disclaimer – Although we always endeavour to deliver accurate and insightful information, if you are seeking specialised fitness advice, please speak to a relevant professional. All opinions within this blog are the writer’s, should you identify content that is incorrect, please get in contact.

The benefits of taking protein supplements (Shakes, bars etc.)

Proteins are macrostructures of amino acids linked together by peptide bonds that, once decomposed in the stomach and small intestine, the body uses to create its own molecules which will be used to create and regenerate the tissues of muscles and bones, generate antibodies and hormones etc.

Proteins are the basis of any nutritional and sports program whose objective is to increase muscle mass, optimize recovery or maintain muscle mass while at the same time losing fat.

In some cases, the obsession with a toned figure leads people to duplicate efforts and workout hours in gyms and training centres, and in pursuit of accelerating these desired results, many decide to get “aid” from food.

Protein supplements are used when a person needs an extra dose of the macronutrient, because food alone does not cover the daily requirement. Some supplements are composed of whey, soy or casein derivatives. They can be mixed with water, milk or yogurt (the formula is a measure of 25 grams of powder with 250 ml of liquid), and you can add fruit or ice to prepare a smoothie or use it as an ingredient in food preparation (such as a cake, muffins, jelly etc.). Below is an example of a popular protein supplement.

Consuming protein bars has become a trend, and they are mainly consumed either before or after exercise or even as a snack between meals when hunger attacks. But you should know that the only way you should consume protein bars is as nutritional supplements never as a substitute for the three big meals (breakfast, lunch or dinner).

The protein bars and shakes, as you know, are fantastic nutritional supplements for all those who exercise regularly and want to improve their performance and physical appearance. They are in short, substances with a high concentration of these macromolecules whose objective is to provide the body with the amount it needs to facilitate the creation of new muscle tissues.

Who can take protein supplements?

Realistically, anyone can take protein supplements, but minors should not and only those regularly training should regularly take them. They help to complete the protein requirements of each individual, whether they are athletes or whether they are people who are trying to maintain their planned diet, or even those with nutrient absorption problems can take them.

Why take protein supplements?

Protein supplements complement the number of meals you take during the day, and make it easy to meet the necessary amount of daily protein.

Protein supplements, if you are doing intensive physical training, either focused on resistance or strength gain and muscle mass, can become your best friend when it comes to reaching your goals.

Major benefits

  • For the development and maintenance of muscle mass
  • They provide a high concentration of essential amino acids, especially branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) to maintain and repair muscle tissue
  • Protein supplements, especially shakes, stimulate the synthesis of muscle proteins (thanks to the presence of leucine) after exercise, to reduce muscle damage and improve endurance
  • Their characteristics in relation to high biological value, come together to be a perfect source of proteins for the maintenance of muscle mass
  • They provide high levels of the conditionally essential amino acid Glutamine, to elevate its presence in plasma. During exercises of maximum load in addition to a caloric restriction, it can lead to a deficit of this amino acid
  • They offer a fast, convenient and practical way to take proteins
  • It has been shown that for resistance activities it helps reduce the loss of muscle mass
  • They provide an additional source of energy, promoting glycogen filling and improving muscle recovery
  • They help in maintaining a positive nitrogen balance to minimize muscle breakdown and improve muscle repair / recovery

If you are interested in reading reviews on some great protein products, check out all of our great reviews, only found on Write Up!