You asked they answered….
I’m a huge fan of ‘designer protein’ brand SheSupps. They specialise in female orientated fitness supplements and are the genius behind those glorious glass protein jars.
After asking you all, what you wanted to know about protein. I was fortunate enough to be able to put all your questions to the CEO of SheSupps Charlie Cook and with the help of his company nutritionist he’s lifting the (glass) lid on the facts about protein.
Protein – Your questions answered.
Why do I need to take protein supplements? What are the benefits?
In order to answer this question it is important first of all to understand the role Protein plays in our bodies. Protein is an essential nutrient that we all need on a daily basis, regardless of whether or not we exercise. Body cells and tissues are made up of protein so it makes sense that protein would be an essential part of their health and maintenance. Protein is made up of both essential amino acids (those that your body cannot produce and need to be obtained from food) and non-essential amino acids (those your body can produce and are not derived from food), both of which are essential to maintain a healthy body. Protein is the second most abundant element in the body, second only to water and has various roles in the body such as: building and repairing muscles, strengthening bones and cells, providing a good source of energy & assisting with metabolism
When protein is consumed it is broken down through digestion into individual amino acids and used by the body. In the case of exercising, the amino acids help repair broken muscles making them stronger.
There are lots of ways to consume protein but protein supplements are by far the most popular. Protein supplements transport protein into the body efficiently providing a rapid uptake, which stimulates muscle protein synthesis. Simply stated, taking protein supplements is the quickest way to deliver protein to your muscles. It is also the most convenient and cost effective way of consuming protein. Obtaining protein by using natural food sources can be expensive and time consuming to prepare. Protein supplements are most commonly taken in the form of shakes that are prepared and consumed quickly and also tastes good.
As someone who is new to fitness, when should I start taking protein supplements?
Straightaway. It is very common for women to start out on a fitness journey and immediately decide that they are not ready for Protein yet! This is often because people associate taking protein with producing huge muscles because of the burly muscle men out there, and this is not what women want. Most women want to lose fat, tone up and have a defined muscle outline. Exercise and protein supplements should be taken as soon as possible to achieve these objectives. As mentioned above even when you are not exercising Protein should be an essential part of a healthy diet.
How do protein supplements work?
Protein is powder designed to transport highly bioavailable protein for efficient and rapid uptake to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. That’s the technical term, which sounds very complicated. As mentioned above it’s actually really simple. Your body needs to consume protein to produce essential amino acids. Protein Supplements deliver those amino acids to your muscles in a quicker and more efficient way.
When is the best time to take a protein shake?
You should definitely take Protein immediately following a workout. To maximise muscle repair & growth, you can take a protein shake 45 minutes prior to your workout as well.
How often should I have a protein shake?
If you are exercising regularly you should take protein shakes every day even on the days you rest. As mentioned above protein is great for your body even if you are not exercising regularly and so it cannot do any harm, in fact it will be a good energy source.
Can I take a protein shake after cardio or just after resistance?
The answer is after both. There is this common misconception that protein consumption is only relative to a desire to get bigger/huge muscles. Cardio causes muscle tear perhaps not as much as resistance, but still requires protein for good muscle recovery.
Will protein shakes cause my skin to breakout?
Protein Shakes will not cause your skin to breakout unless you have allergies to specific ingredients contained in the protein. We would advise checking the ingredients prior to consuming to make sure you are not allergic to anything contained in them.
What is the difference between male and female protein supplements?
All supplements studies are based entirely upon the effects of protein supplements on men, because historically only males tended to take supplements. However times have changed and there is movement across the world whereby an increasing number of women are taking supplements. This is no longer a male dominated industry, as women are becoming empowered and enjoying greater control over how their bodies look. It is our mission to focus our studies on females and creating supplements that focus on those things that are more important to women such as convenience, taste and look.
Do I have to take protein supplements or can I get sufficient protein from a well balanced diet?
It is possible to get sufficient protein from a well balanced diet. However, when you increase your exercises and start to break up your muscle, the muscle needs more protein to repair properly. Therefore more protein has to be consumed. To help us to understand this let’s use some numerical values. Experts suggest that those who are exercising regularly should consume 1.5g of Protein for every 1kg of body weight. So if your ideal weight should be 60kg then you should be consuming 1.5g x 60 = 90g of Protein per day. An average sized chicken breast contains around 30g of Protein. So in order to achieve your 90g of Protein intake a day, you would need to consume 3 chicken breasts a day. That is a lot of meat for anyone to consume, not to mention the cost, it’s also time consuming to prepare and eat and unless you plan on eating it without any sauce it will start to increase your calorie intake. Protein supplements therefore allow you to achieve your daily intake goal for protein by supplementing your standard intake of protein with the additional protein you require.
How do protein shakes work in terms of weight loss?
Protein shakes can assist with weight loss if they are being used to replace meals or the protein shake itself contains weight loss ingredients. Caution must be taken when using protein shakes as a meal replacement for weight loss reasons. Your body needs other nutrients in meals and as protein shakes are primarily focused on protein, they don’t always contain all recommended vitamins that you would normally get in a meal. If the protein shake you are taking includes weight loss ingredients like, CLA, acai berry, guarana, green tea extract, etc. then this can assist with weight loss as well as muscle repair.
Can I drink protein shakes even when I am NOT working out?
You not only can but you should! As mentioned above, Protein isn’t just an essential nutrient reserved for working out but is essential to healthy bodily function. In addition, your muscles can take a couple of days to repair and so feeding them during rest days is also very important.
Do you offer products that are suitable for vegans?
Not at the moment. However in the next 3-4 weeks we will be launching a Vegan Protein. In fact that is what we are calling it “Vegan Protein”. Our Vegan Protein is made from Pea and tastes amazing.
I workout in the evenings, how late can I drink a Shesupps protein shake?
The truth is you can drink your protein shake as late as is needed. If you are working out late, you do not want to deprive your body of good repair via protein shakes because it is never too late.
Can Shesupps protein powders be used as a meal replacement?
It can be but as mentioned above the protein powder doesn’t contain all additional vitamins you would expect to get from a meal replacement shake. We created the Slimmer – Meal Replacement powder to specifically focus on replacing a “Meal” and recommend our Slimmer powder for meal replacement. You can still take Protein shakes along side meal replacements powder. In fact doing so will maximise weight loss.
Are your supplements suitable to use whilst pregnant or breastfeeding?
Our Protein & Slimmer Meal replacement powders should be ok to use. We would definitely not recommend using the Lean Protein, Energy Booster Powder/Capsules, Fat Burners or Hunger Reducers whilst pregnant. However, we would strongly advise pregnant or nursing mothers who are considering taking our supplements to speak to their Doctor and seek advise first.
What are the ingredients in the energy booster capsules and are they safe?
Our Energy Booster Capsules contain caffeine anhydrous, bitter orange, niacin, green tea extract, guarana & N-Acetyl L-Carnitine. The main ingredient is Caffeine. Caffeine anhydrous is more concentrated then standard caffeine and works more effectively. Caffeine is safe to consume if an excesses amount is not taken. People react differently to it and so we recommend trying one capsule per serving for your first couple of servings so you can gauge how your body reacts to it. We would recommend taking them in a cycle of 6 weeks on and 2 weeks off to allow your body to have a rest from the caffeine. The Energy Booster capsules are completely safe to take and boost energy very effectively.
How long do Shesupps protein powders last unopened/ once opened?
All of our products have a shelf life of 2 years from the month they are manufactured. We turn over our products very quickly after manufacture, so you can expect to be able to safely use any of our products anywhere from 20 – 22 months after opening them.
Other than in a shake how else can I use my Shesupps protein powders?
You can put our protein powders to so many different uses. Pancakes, Protein Cookies, Protein Cakes, Protein Sorbet. The list and possibilities are endless.
What age are Shesupps products suitable from?
All bodies are different and develop at different paces. There is no specific age at which you can or can’t start, but we would recommend 16 years onwards as a sensible starting age.
What type of protein does Shesupps use, eg: whey, soy etc? How does this compare to other forms of protein?
We use Whey Protein in all our Protein products (with the exception of Vegan Protein which will use Pea). The majority of standard protein manufacturers use Whey.
What is the difference between Shesupps muscle protein, lean protein, and slimmer?
Protein and Lean Protein are part of the “Muscle Range”. The primary focus of the “Muscle Range” is to deliver protein for muscle repair or growth. Click on the picture below for examples of a portion of Lean Protein vs Normal Protein. The main difference between the two being the Lean Protein having less carbs.
The Slimmer is part of the “Slimmer Range”. The “Slimmer Range” focuses on weight loss. Although Slimmer Powder contains protein is doesn’t contain enough to be used as a protein shake. It is designed to be used as a meal replacement and therefore assists with weight loss and getting “Slimmer”. The Slimmer is a very cost effective and convenient way of replacing a meal and boosts weight loss.
Nikki’s Favourite SheSupps
I’ve been a fan of Shesupps since day one. I’ve never come across such beautiful, female fitness supplements before and the designer looking aesthetics of this brand really appealed to me. If the White Company did protein this is what it would look like.
I ordered from them pretty much on the day they launched and I’ve been coming back for more ever since.
I been using them since November and I’ve been lucky enough to try a few of their products and flavours. So here is the lowdown on my favourite SheSupps so far.
I use the muscle range normal (aka not lean) protein. I have strawberry, chocolate and now vanilla flavour. I only ever mix my protein powders with water, so taste is of the utmost importance to me. Vanilla is by far my favourite, tasting just like melted ice cream. It’s so good I could drink it all day long. Strawberry comes a close second. The beauty of the strawberry flavour being that it tastes great mixed with a little bit of water of a lot of water. its never sickly sweet and is always a smooth and delicious drink. Chocolate is my third favourite. I’m not a huge chocolate drink lover ( which is the reasons its 3rd on my list) but this froths up just like a real chocolate milkshake, is smooth and again not sickly. I’ve used it in protein zoats and it tastes amazing! I haven’t as yet tried banana flavour but I’ve had it on good authority from friends, that its another quick mixing great tasting product.
I have tried samples of the lean protein in all the flavours and to be honest it just wasn’t for me. It’s still a great tasting protein and I’ve been told its great with almond milk or in smoothies. But after tasting how absolutely incredible the normal protein was, I just couldn’t give it up for the sake of a few less carbs.
The other product I couldn’t be without is the energy booster capsules. We all know that pre-workout tastes disgusting, so to have that boost delivered from a palate friendly capsule is pure genius in my mind. I started of taking half the recommended dose as they are quite powerful and if you are not used to them it can feel….. weird. But now these are the pills that get me out of bed every morning, on to my mat and push me into my best ever workouts.
So that’s it! That’s everything you wanted to know about protein and SheSupps
I really hope this has been helpful, I know I learned so much from collaborating on this article so I hope its done a good job of answering all your questions too.
If you would like to try a sample of SheSupps, or want to find out more about the products they offer click here