Study: Variety of Protein Beats a Protein Shake
New research suggests that while delivering muscle-building benefits, excessive consumption of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) – often found in protein shakes – may reduce lifespan, negatively impact mood and lead to weight gain.
University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre, Professor Stephen Simpson and Dr Samantha Solon-Biet research has found the optimal use of protein in diet.
Dolon-Biet said: “While diets high in protein and low in carbohydrates were shown to be beneficial for reproductive function, they had detrimental effects for health in mid-late life, and also led to a shortened lifespan.
“What this new research has shown is that amino acid balance is important – it’s best to vary sources of protein to ensure you’re getting the best amino acid balance.”
The current research examined the impacts that dietary BCAAs and other essential amino acids such as tryptophan had on the health and body composition of mice.
Qualified dietitian and public health nutritionist from the University of Sydney’s School of Life and Environmental Sciences Dr Rosilene Ribeiro recommends eating a wide-range of proteins.
She argues it’s important to vary protein sources in order to get a variety of essential amino acids, through a healthy and balanced diet rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals.
BCAAs are essential amino acids present in protein-containing foods, with red meat and dairy being the richest sources.
Chicken, fish and eggs are also nutritious sources of BCAAs.
Vegetarians can find BCAAs in beans, lentils, nuts and soy proteins.