The Right Protein for your Muscles

What are the different types of protein powders in the market? The weight lifters, trainers, are likely the ones to be able to answer this question well. This is because protein plays an important role in building and repairing muscles.

In the health stores, you are likely to see a showcase of protein powders, ranging from casein, whey, soy isolate, hydrolyzed protein to wholesome soy protein.

Casein Protein
This is milk protein and it constitutes about 80% of protein. It isn’t a good choice of protein supplement as it is difficult to digest and tends to coagulate in our stomach.

Whey Protein
Whey is a by-product of the cheese-making process. It makes up about 20% of the protein in milk. As it is still animal-based, it is also associated with oxidative stress, which can lead to cancer and, cardiovascular diseases.

Soy Isolate Protein
As the name implies, the protein is isolated from soy, mainly through chemical and biological processes. This is not the best choice as due to isolation of only the protein, the rest of the soy beneficial components are left out.

Hydrolyzed Protein
Protein that has been broken down into just amino acids through a chemical process. No other nutrients remain. There are also not sufficient proof to show that hydrolyzed protein can build muscles faster than wholesome sources of protein.

Wholesome Soy Protein
Protein powder made from the entire soybean, with minimal processing. A wholesome soybean contains not only protein, but also phytochemicals and antioxidants that give the body the balance nutrients it needs. A protein powder made from a wholesome soy has no side effects.

How about BCAA (Branch chain amino acid) supplements?

The above link from the explains. There is not enough evidence to show that BCAA supplements can help to reduce muscle soreness or muscle damage. They are also unable to improve strength or running times. In fact, studies shown that BCAA supplements can actually decrease muscle synthesis rather than increase it. Various amino acids are needed to build muscles. Not just BCAA. Over-do of one amino acids may cause imbalance to our body.


In my course of Nutrition and Exercise Science_Part 4: My Healthy Plate

Have you heard of My Healthy Plate?

My Healthy Plate

I didn’t… till I was exposed to it in both my modules of Diet and Disease and Applied Nutrition.

We may be more familiar with the Healthy Diet Pyramid that looks something like this…

Healthy Diet Pyramid

However, in the year 2014, the Healthy Diet Pyramid was replaced by My Healthy Plate in Singapore textbooks as the latter is a much simpler educational tool.  

The change is to encourage healthy eating habits in Singaporeans and to guide us in planning a healthy meal when dining in and/or out of the home.  

As it was said, the majority of people do not meet recommendations for both fruits and vegetables; and more than 50% do not limit the intake of deep, fried products.  Singaporeans are over-consuming unhealthy refined carbohydrates.  Thus the launch of My Healthy Plate which is much easier to remember!

Fill half of our plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter with whole-grains and the other quarter with meat and others. Not missing out drinking more water, use healthier oils and be active!  (at the lower part of the plate)

This also somewhat tallies with the Institute of Medicine, AMDR recommendation for our macronutrients:45-65% carbohydrates10-35% protein20-35% fat.

So, please do not drop off or reduce carbohydrates from our diets as otherwise, our body will not be able to function well in the long term!

11 May 2019.