Amino Acid Therapy: So Many Protein Choices, So Little Time

Rice ProteinsBefore any major diet modification, whether for weight loss, desire to eat healthier, or a way to treat a health concern, the body needs to go through a period of detoxification. For many of us who decide to make dietary changes in our own diet, we’re intervening eating habits that have been in place for 5, 10, maybe even 20 years. During this time, our bodies have collected and stored fat in areas of our body where we don’t exactly like to see it.  If you’re aiming for weight loss, this fat needs to be broken down and released before you see body changes.

Even if you’re changing your eating habits due to a health reason, before you see the beneficial effects, you need to detoxify the body. Just as people who are coming off of a drug habit have to clean the remaining toxins from their system before they can begin their recovery, so must we when we’re changing ours, or our child’s diet in order to begin the journey to a healthy, properly functioning body.

There are a number of products or temporary diets that exist that are designed to allow the body to detoxify. One such product is protein powder. You may have heard of this used a lot amongst men and women who work out in the gym often. This is because protein aids in building muscle. So, it kind of makes sense that they would reach for the protein. Before you get nervous and think “I don’t want muscle! I just want a healthy body”,  don’t worry. Protein serves many other purposes.

Protein Powder treatment is also known as Amino Acid Therapy, because protein itself is made up of essential and non-essential amino acids. The body needs both amino acids, but is only able to produce non-essential amino acids on its own. Essential amino acids must be taken in from an outside source, usually food.

Protein is an essential nutrient that is needed by everybody, everyday as it helps repair body cells, provides a source of energy, as well as regulates metabolism. It also activates the production of the body’s natural detoxifying enzymes. These enzymes then break down the toxins into water-soluble substances so that they can be released from the body.

Relatively easy, right? We are going to take a little bit of a turn though, and explore the different kinds of protein. Yes, there are different kinds, and each has it’s own unique benefits to the body.

Whey Protein: Whey is one of the products (along with curds) that is produced when making cheese from cow’s milk. Whey protein is a great protein for the body because it is much more soluble, meaning it can absorb more toxins to release from the body. Additionally, Whey doesn’t stick to your arteries and digestion is easy, so it is often given to infants and children to promote healthy body function.

Rice Protein: Rice Protein is favored because of its hypoallergenic properties. This is key for people who are on a Gluten Free diet as inflammation typically occurs. Rice Proteins are sodium-free, cholesterol-free, and have minimal fat content. These proteins can store in muscles, and give the body an extra boost when it needs it. Know in the middle of the day when you go through your coffee crash from the caffeine? Imagine having something in your body programmed to pick you up. Yep, that’s the rice protein. Also an interesting fact is that Rice Protein are about 70% Protein and are rich sources of amino acids, which researchers have found is very close to the profile of breast milk.

Soy Protein: Soy Protein has been researched a lot over the last 10 years and is believed to have an effect on preventing osteoporosis, lowering the risk of cancer, and reducing abdominal fat. Here’s a neat little tidbit that we found from the official Soy Website:

The most important scientific study about the relationship of soy protein intake and heart disease is the meta-study by Anderson et al (Meta-analysis of the effects of soy protein intake on serum lipids. N Engl J Med 1995;333:276-282). They concluded that the consumption of soy protein rather than animal protein significantly decreased serum concentrations of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides without significantly affecting serum HDL cholesterol concentrations.

Vegan Protein/Hemp Protein: The vegan movement has been very big in the USA and throughout the world. Many young adults as well as middle aged people are turning to the vegan diet, which eliminates foods that come from any non-human animal. Hemp protein is used by a large amount of Vegans in particular because they aren’t getting the protein that they need from the traditional sources like chicken and eggs. Hemp Protein is considered to be one of the best plant-based proteins because it contains all of the essential amino acids that your body needs. It also contains a lot of the same proteins that the human body has. Because of this it is easily digested. Hemp Protein is high in fiber and essential fatty acids, and is a great source of many vitamins and minerals.