Whether you’re new to fitness or have been donning the gym for years, it is possible that you are limiting your workout potential due to insufficient macro and micro nutrients in your body. Drinking a banana smoothie in the morning can be highly nourishing, but on its own, it may not be giving you the maximum amount of fuel to push you one kilometre further on the rowing machine. That’s where protein powder can help.
What exactly is protein powder?
Protein powder is a specially formulated powder that can be added to water, smoothies or recipes to feed your body with essential, highly beneficial nutrients before, during or after a workout. The powders often contain BCAAs (branch chain amino acids), a naturally occurring amino acid that elevates muscle hypertrophy through increased protein. This feature is especially crucial if your body is in a catabolic state (ie. due to weight loss) as it retains and repairs the tissues you want to keep as you burn fat from unwanted areas. BCAAs are also an energy source due to the way they activate glycogen in your body. Research has shown that as little as 6g of BCAA before a workout can reduce the effects of muscle fatigue and soreness, as well as enhance recovery time, giving you an extra boost to reach your workout potential.
What’s in protein powder?
As well as being rich in BCAA, protein powders can include other helpful ingredients too, such as green tea extract. Green tea hosts a class of antioxidants called polyphenols which are increasingly a subject of research by health experts across the world thanks to their varying benefits on the body. It has been shown to boost metabolic rates, increase energy (partly thanks to its natural caffeine properties) and some studies have even shown that green tea encourages your body to use fat as an energy source, helping you to burn your unwanted lumps and bumps more efficiently.
Also designed to increase metabolic rate is L-Carnitine, a naturally occurring ammonium compound found in a range of protein powders. L-Carnitine plays a crucial role in the breakdown and transportation of glucose, as well as the breakdown and conversion of stored fats into fatty acids and glycerol. Essentially, you can see L-Carnitine as a friend that lends a helping hand to your overall workout, giving you increased metabolism and endurance.
Finally, some protein supplements might contain inulin. Inulin is a naturally occurring storage carbohydrate (classified as a starch) that occurs naturally in foods like sweet potatoes, asparagus and bananas. It works as a prebiotic fibre on the body because it is not absorbed into the gastrointestinal tract, but instead enhances good gut bacteria and improves overall digestion. Consequently, inulin is considered a magic ingredient because it helps you to feel fuller for longer, while helping to digest and maximise energy from the other nutrients in your protein powder.
Are protein powders safe?
Protein powders, when used correctly, are safe. But when selecting a protein powder, there are a couple of considerations to make. Firstly, the powder needs to come from a reputable, scientifically-sound source with a dedication to creating safe, well-researched products. But on a personal level, it is also important to understand what’s on the label of anything you put into your body and only pick products that use naturally occurring, well-understood ingredients that your body will be able to utilise in a healthy, balanced way. That’s where LUXE Fitness can help.
What can Luxe Fitness offer me?
The good news is, LUXE Fitness can offer you a range of products that provide a balance of ingredients such as BCAA, green tea extract, L-Carnitine and inulin in one delicious, easy-to-use supplement. And the ingredients aren’t necessarily limited to just those three! Some Luxe Fitness powders and supplements can also contain replenishing levels of sodium, helping you to avoid dizzy spells, as well as macros like carbohydrates and additional fibre to work alongside the amino acids, giving your body all the fuel it needs to work in harmony as you exercise. And what’s more, all of the Luxe Fitness supplements and powders come in a variety of delicious flavours. To view the full range of Luxe Fitness powders and supplements, you can view our product page.