Sentinel Performance LLC

One of the most hotly debated topics in the health/fitness world is whether or not consuming whole-food protein sources (ie meat, fish, eggs, beans, etc) is better than taking protein supplements (ie whey protein shakes, bars, tablets, etc.), or vice versa. To help you understand the benefits of each, here are the salient points of both sides of the debate:

  • Whole food sources provide more vitamins and minerals (protein, B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, zinc and magnesium, L-carnitine) than whey protein
  • Protein supplements are digested faster and enter the blood stream quicker than whole foods
  • Protein supplements (typically) are lower in fat because they can be manufactured to be so
  • Whole foods offer a better “thermic effect” than protein supplements (the body burns more calories breaking down whole-food protein sources than it does breaking down supplements)
  • Protein supplements are more convenient than whole foods Whole food sources are cheaper than supplements
  • Protein supplements offer a higher Biological value-to-calorie ratio than whole foods (supplements offer a higher amount of “usable protein” without the calorie cost vs whole food sources; an important consideration for weight loss clients)

So what’s the takeaway?! Because your body was designed to ingest, digest, and utilize whole foods versus synthetic supplements, eating meat, fish, eggs, and legumes (high whole-food protein sources) is the most favorable way to get your daily protein intake, whenever possible. However, when you are in need of a very quick, readily-available way to get protein into your system (ie post-workout) supplements provide a great alternative.

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