With the popularity of strength training sky rocketing (and doing great things for women’s fitness) there’s confusion at the recovery bar: to protein, or not to protein? Every second fitness expert and blogger swears by a different brand of protein, a different way and right time to consume it; so we went straight to the source: Charlie and Lee, the founders of Neat Nutrition.
“We wanted to demystify the protein powder world, particularly for women,” says Charlie Turner, who together with his co-founder Lee, set out to put protein powders in clean-cut packaging, and keep them clean. “Provenance is also important to us, which hasn’t typically been a focus for this type of product before,” he adds.
Fact or Fiction: Plant-based protein is better than whey protein.
“Fiction,” says Charlie… “Both proteins are different, neither is inherently better than the other it all depends on your own diet and lifestyle.” The guys at Neat offer both whey or vegan (hemp and pea) protein and make sure that it does actually work as a supplement, rather than just a bulk-buy one-size-fits-all protein. For example the Neat vegan protein has a slightly different composition so that it includes an amino acid that lots of vegans and plant-based eaters tend to lack – lycein. It’s important they explain, to ensure you’re getting everything you need.
Fact or Fiction: The quality of the protein differs between brands and less is more.
Fact! Like most things when it comes to what you put in your body, better quality protein is a world away from what we think of when we see bodybuilders scoop it from a 10 gallon drum. Most of us have come across it – the ingredients list as long as your arm. You don’t need to troll the web for info, just look for simplicity: the less ingredients the better.
“We were so frustrated with the amount of junk in our proteins, and just looking at a shopping list full of fillers,” says Charlie from Neat. “Our main goal in creating the product was making it simple, making it accessible and intelligible. The ingredients are responsibly sourced, GMO-free and all of our flavouring is natural.”
Fact or Fiction: Protein supplementation will make women bulky, the average person gets enough protein so they don’t need protein powder.
“Well, fact and fiction,” the guys explain. Conceivable, you can eat enough protein in food form to not need protein powder but they’re a fast and convenient way to recover after your workout. It’s about eating it right. Mix it in with healthy fats and carbs – nuts, oats, almond milk. As always, it’s about balance. It’s remarkably hard for women to get bulky, and it takes a very specific diet. Putting in a scoop or two of protein powder will boost your energy levels, help you recover. Turning you into Arnold Schwarzenegger overnight? Maybe not.
The takeaway? Ditch the protein powders packed with fillers and long lists of words you can’t pronounce. Do the research on whey and plant-based options and find out what works best for your body. Don’t ditch the spinach, but don’t shy away from powders – as long as they are high quality they can do you a world of good post-workout, alongside everything else good you’re eating!