Our modern world of go-go-go and stress and ever-shrinking time has all of us trying to find ways to cut corners here and there. It’s only natural to simplify our meals, something fast and easy that will fulfill our needs and keep our energy up throughout the day.
And this is where meal replacement shakes come in.
The main difference between a “meal replacement” shake and a “protein” shake are more carbohydrates and (hopefully) more full-spectrum nutrition. They are more or less a protein shake with a bunch of extras to help give you more energy through the whole day, not just the raw ingredients for building muscle.
But still, at their core, they are basically pumped-up protein shakes.
So what is the most important ingredient of a meal replacement shake?
It’s the protein source.
The protein source is the base of a meal replacement shake. With any building, if the foundation isn’t solid, it doesn’t really matter what the extras are. It doesn’t matter if you have fancy lighting and radiant floor heating when your house is sinking into the ground or seeping water.
If the protein source isn’t high quality, your body isn’t going to put the shake to use.
All the vitamins and carbohydrates and all these things added into a meal replacement shake are valuable if they are quality. But your body is made from protein.
Your muscles, your bones, your enzymes, the electrical firing of neurons. These are all protein. Your cells aren’t much more than watery protein factories made of other proteins encased in a bubble of lipids. Vitamins and minerals and carbs are really important – they fuel, augment, and facilitate protein production and function.
But without the raw material of protein itself, they won’t do much.
It’s not common knowledge, but an egg does not equal a steak does not equal hemp protein powder does not equal branched-chain amino acids.
This is because your body doesn’t absorb protein directly. It breaks them down into amino acids and absorbs those, using them to build its own protein. But even then, it only uses a small percentage of them to actually build protein and the rest get converted into energy and wasted. The percentage that is used is called the Amino Acid Utilization tm (AAU), and each protein source has a different AAU tm.
The highest natural AAU can be found in human breast milk, with a 49% utilization. This is fantastic for growing babies, but not so useful for the rest of us. The next highest ratio can be found in whole eggs, with a 48% utilization.
And after that? It just keeps going down.
When we get to the protein source used by most protein and meal replacement shakes, things like whey protein or pea protein, these are all in the 16 - 18% AAU range. So for every 20g of whey protein you consume, your body is only using a meager 3.6g to build protein.
And the highly touted BCAAs? 2% AAU. You would have to eat 50g of this tasteless powder just to turn 2g of it into usable protein. That’s not to say BCAAs don’t have benefits for your muscles because they do. Especially if you are fasting. However, they are not a complete protein without the 5 other essential amino acids and cannot be fully utilized without them.
No matter how much “protein” these highly marketed protein and meal replacement shakes make of the amount of protein, the quality of the protein is just not that great.
They are inefficient at best.
The Perfect Protein Source
So clearly the source of protein is important. But if an egg is as good as we can get, how can we hope for anything better in a meal replacement shake?
Fortunately, we have curious and diligent scientists to figure this out for the rest of us. It turns out, there is a very specific ratio of essential amino acids that maximizes protein utilization by our bodies.
This ratio is the basis of PerfectAmino, our highly regarded product used by champion athletes around the world. It achieves a 99% AAU tm, an incredible improvement to the typical protein powder.
This is by far the highest quality protein source available.
And this is the foundation of PerfectAmino Power Meal, the most advanced meal replacement anywhere in the market today. By starting here, with a fully utilized highly efficient protein source, your body has the resources to make the most out of the rest of the equally high-quality ingredients we put into it, including:
Each one of these individually can powerfully impact your health, vital energy, and performance.
All of them together?
This is next level performance nutrition.
Are you ready to see what PowerMeal can do for you? Click here to learn more!
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I’m a fitness and nutrition coach and a mountain-bike skills instructor. I decided to take all the things I love and start a business called TrailWorks. In a sentence, what I do is teach athletes to ride virtually anything by pairing riding technique with efficient fitness training. For my venture I sought out new and old sponsors to help jumpstart and enhance my rider’s experience.
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Who doesn’t want to perform at their physical potential? We all do. Why? Because of what the performance brings back to us. It can be tangible e.g. better health, sponsorship, and opportunities or intangible, e.g. enhanced well-being , prestige, and influence.
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Whey protein is perhaps the single most-consumed supplement on the market today and now accounts for a multi-billion dollar industry. It is a staple of athletes and bodybuilders, and busy people who need some quick energy “on the go.”
But where did this whole whey fad actually come from? How did this come to be? And, most importantly, what else do we need to know?