Protein powder sure can come in handy when you want to amp up your protein intake, say pre or post workout, and you don’t want the bulk of a piece of meat, beans, or high protein grains.
Casually surfing through Amazon for protein options I came across Natural Stacks Whey/Collagen Protein. Even though I’m lactose intolerant, I’ve had success in the past with whey since it’s very low in lactose. Natural Stacks peaked my interest because it contains both whey and collagen protein, for muscle and connective tissue repair, and it also contains colostrum. Yes, you read that right. Needless to say, I was intrigued.
So what are the benefits of each component?
Raw or cold-processed whey is superior to heat processed in providing anti-inflammatory immune factors, a complete range of easily absorbed essential amino acids, peptides that boost metabolism, potent antioxidants and minerals. When whey is processed at high heat and filtered, many of the delicate components are lost. Sure, you get the protein, but you loose a lot of the other good stuff nature has to offer.
If you often suffer from delayed onset muscle soreness after exercise, a high quality why protein concentrate can help.
Did you know that collagen is the most abundant form of protein in our bodies? And that collagen is what keeps our organs (including our largest organ, skin) connected? Collagen is a connective tissue, so once we start loosing it, things start to sag. This can even include the organs on the INSIDE of our bodies, although we tend to be most concerned about the outside.
Supplementing your body with collagen can help keep things strong and elastic. But not all collagen supplements are created equal. Hydrolyzed collagen, or Collagen Hydrolysate, is much more bio-available than a regular collagen supplement, which your body has to work pretty hard to break down. Hydrolyzed collagen is pre-broken down, so your body can readily use it.
I know, this one is weird. It seems that the biggest benefit to humans that bovine colostrum provides is strengthening the gut, especially during stressful situations like viral infections of the gut, or long term exercise. According the the Natural Stacks website:
Colostrum increases the amount of growth and immune factors, making Natural Protein™ up to five times more effective than typical protein powders.
DOES IT WORK?
For me personally, this is a great protein powder, for two reasons:
First, ease of digestion is the most important component for me when it comes to protein powders. Some protein I’ve tried has either made my stomach burn, or made my gut pretty gurgily. With Natural Protein, I feel like it easily passes from my stomach to my gut, with no discernible affect. If my stomach and gut start out happy with it, that’s a good indication that my body can utilize it well (hopefully).
Second, I can drink this protein shortly prior to a workout, and it fuels me during the workout, and gives me endurance through an entire 60 minute session. Since it’s so easy to digest, I don’t feel full while working out, just satiated. Sometimes prior to really tough workouts, I’ll blend it into a Bulletproof inspired latte. Caffeine jolt + protein = a mind and body ready to rally!
If you’re in the market for a really high quality protein powder, I’d highly recommend this one. At $60 per bag of 48 servings, it’s not cheap. But if you’re using it 2-3 times a week like I do, it will last you about 4 months, which breaks out to $15 per month. For such a high quality product, it’s very much worth the cost.