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Food for thought

Six Proven Health And Fitness Benefits Of Whey Protein

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Whey protein has undeniably made its mark in the health industry over the recent years, and although fitness and health professionals are continuously taking advantage of the benefits the protein offers, you may still find yourself asking: what exactly is whey protein?

Essentially, milk is made up of two different proteins: casein and whey. As whey is considered to be a complete protein, containing nine of our essential amino acids while also being low in lactose, it can be removed from the casein protein so we can bask in the bountiful range health benefits it provides. Ranging from effective weight loss to potential anti-carcinogenic properties, here are six proven benefits of whey protein.

Promotes Muscle Growth

When it comes to the fitness and training rewards of whey, gym-goers may be surprised to hear how the protein can significantly advance their results. Coupled with active resistance training, whey protein can increase the synthesis of protein in the body.

A study published in 2009 concluded that the consumption of whey protein in young, healthy men, following a resistance training session, stimulated skeletal protein synthesis to a greater extent than casein or soy.

This means people incorporating whey protein into their training scheme can potentially see greater muscle growth over time compared to those using alternative proteins or if they were solely undergoing the resistance training with no supplementation.

Weight Loss Effects

Not only can whey protein be a useful tool in the process of resistance training, but it has also shown potential to significantly assist with weight loss. For example, following the intake of a whey- protein supplement, a randomised study concluded that a 500 calorie diet coupled with whey protein resulted in a significant difference in regards to body fat loss compared to individuals only on the low calorie diet.

On top of this, subjects on the supplement also showed a greater preservation of lean muscle. This means, for those trying to get a leg-up in the weight loss game, whey protein may prove to be a useful tool.

Reduce Hunger

Protein has a reputation for being an important element when it comes to weight loss, although whey protein may have an advance effected. Whey protein can increase the concentrations of satiety-related hormones in the body, leading to feelings of fullness. Needless to say, this effect comes in handy when trying to lose weight.

Lower Cholesterol

Known to be a weight loss, muscle growth, and even a cholesterol-lowering tool, whey protein proves to be an asset to have on your fight towards a healthy lifestyle. A study investigating the effects of whey protein on various bodily components established that those consuming whey protein over 12 weeks had a decrease in cholesterol compared to those consuming casein. This signifies that whey protein has the ability to lower the amount of LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) within our body, which would otherwise lead to artery wall hardening and a variety other health complications that we would much rather avoid.

Anti-Cancer Properties

An anti-carcinogenic? No…Whey! (sorry). Whey protein is a train that just won’t stop. This benefit has been the subject of research for many years with the protein showing some promise with regards to its anti-carcinogenic properties. An investigation involving rats, the incidence of colon cancer, and the consumption of whey protein produced some interesting results that may offer an insight into the prevention of cancer. In summary, the study concluded the rats that were fed a casein diet had a higher chance of developing colon tumours compared to rats on a whey based diet. More research needs to be done and is continuously being undergone to further examine this relationship, but needless to say, these are fascinating results.

Heart Health

Aside from cholesterol-lowering effects, whey protein can benefit the heart in more ways than one. In overweight or obese individuals, whey protein has shown the ability to reduce blood pressure and support general cardiovascular health. As blood pressure is typically a precursor for a variety of chronic diseases later in later, this blood pressure effect that whey protein can offer, while simultaneously increasing weight loss and lowering cholesterol, is an effect that can help transform and shape a healthy lifestyle.

The list of benefits that whey protein can offer its users is rather extensive, and yet, scientists are still uncovering many different therapies that incorporate the benefits of whey. It seems we are only scratching the surface of this milk-based protein, so there’s simply no telling what the next 10 or 20 years of scientific research could deliver.

Simple Habits To Support Your Gut Health

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The digestive tract is a complex, diverse system that holds the capacity to drastically influence our daily health and wellbeing. Taking care of your gut health simply means supporting the trillions of bacterial cells that occupy it. You want to make sure the tenants are going to look after the place, rather than trash the living hell out of it. You want to ensure the ratio of good to bad bacteria is falling toward a positive balance. Some factors that can throw off this delicate scale include water contamination, environmental conditions, gastrointestinal distress, nutritional deficiencies, stress and specific medications.

Improving and actively taking care of your gut bacteria can offer an extremely diverse range of health benefits to leave you feeling energised and ready to take on the world. Not only can good gut bacteria provide you with an overall sense of wellbeing, but it can also help with your immunity, influence biochemical reactions, enhance digestion and absorption of nutrients, protect the lining of the gut, fight off harmful bacteria and even influence your mental health.

So how can we make sure our gut flora remains in this positive balance so we can reap these health rewards? Here are a few simple habits to adopt in your day-to-day routine to support your gut bacteria and digestive health. These recommendations are for average individuals with no additional requirements or health conditions. Those with any specific needs should speak to a dietitian before making any adjustments to their diet.

Diversify Your Diet

Pack your diet with an abundance of healthy foods to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients that your gut needs to thrive. This includes fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, nuts, seeds, eggs, etc. This can reduce your intake of nutrient-poor foods and leave you feeling fuller for longer, overall helping with weight management, which can be a major cause of poor gut health.

Get Active

Another simple tip that can simultaneously improve your quality of life while avoiding constipation; regular fitness can help keep everything ‘on track’ in your digestive system. Also, as previously mentioned, weight management can help support and nourish gut health.

Up Your Fibre Intake

An integral part of any diet, fibre helps to make stools bulkier while also assisting with movement throughout the colon. Ultimately, this can help avoid constipation.
As well as treating various digestive conditions, fibre can also help with weight management. Good sources of fibre include fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds and many breakfast cereals.

Avoid Foods High In Bad Fats

And yet another contributor to constipation; a diet full of bad fats can be a major factor towards a sluggish and poor digestive system. Although unsaturated fats are crucial when it comes to a healthy lifestyle, pairing this intake with fibre can assist the digestive system with breaking down and passing the food. As poor quality sources of protein also have high amounts of saturated and trans fats, try to consume leaner proteins such as chicken, fish, beans, lentils, and eggs.

Try Introducing Small Amounts Of Resistance Starch

As it’s important to feed our good bacteria to ensure its abundance, incorporating small amounts of resistance starch into our diet can prove to be useful. Although resistance starch cannot be digested by the body, this form of fibre can promote gut health by providing energy and supporting the health of cells in the small and large intestine. Foods high in resistance starch include bananas, lentils, beans, whole grain products and potatoes. It’s recommended to include 20g of resistance starch in your diet per day.

Take Advantage Of Probiotic Foods

Eating foods with good bacteria can be very effective when it comes to improving the ratio of good to bad bacteria in your gut. Probiotics can help keep your gut at an optimal health by combatting the consequences of a poor diet and stress, and can also boost your immune system and assist with IBS symptoms. Some probiotic-containing foods to incorporate into your daily diet include yoghurt, kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut. Probiotic supplements of various strengths are also available at pharmacies.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is a crucial yet simple element when it comes to gut health. Fibre draws water into the colon to create softer stools. This helps the stools to pass with ease. Although there are many different opinions when it comes to how much water you should be drinking per day, try to aim for around eight glasses.

Reduce Your Intake Of Gut Harming Substances

Where necessary, it’s important you reduce your intake of gut-harming substances. This can avoid the bacteria balance from shifting out of your favour, leaving you with all the wellbeing rewards that you’ve earnt. Some substances to limit include antibiotics (unless otherwise stated by a doctor), processed foods, chlorinated water, and pesticides.

Experiencing Serious Gastro-Uncomfort? Maybe The FODMAP Diet Is Your Solution

FODMAP is an abbreviation for a bunch of molecules (with really long names) that are found in the food we eat. As some individuals find it specifically hard to absorb these molecules in the small intestine, FODMAPs can make their way into the large intestine where they can wreak havoc and cause a variety of symptoms that are associated with IBS.

A low FODMAP diet is essentially limiting the intake of FODMAPs through two phases. Phase one involves eliminating all high FODMAP foods from the diet for over four weeks while phase two involves gradually reintroducing these foods to establish the degree of which individuals can tolerate FODMAPs. From here, a long-term diet can be established.

Interested in giving the Low FODMAP diet a go? Speak to your dietitian for more information before commencing as the diet often has different effects between individuals.

The Amino Acid Profile Of Whey Protein

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A well-known reputation of whey protein is that it has a very good amino acid profile. Now, although this sounds quite impressive, what exactly does it mean? Amino acids are an essential aspect of our life, although they can often fly under the radar and go unappreciated. For everything they do for us, don’t you think these molecules deserve just a little bit of love and appreciation? Plus with all the health benefits whey offers, diving into the role amino acids play in this particular protein can be rather fascinating.

Here is a quick, simple guide for understanding the amino acids of whey protein and the health benefits they can offer.

A Brief Guide To Amino Acids

Amino acids are simply the building blocks of protein. When you consume protein, your body breaks it down into specific amino acids which are to be used for various functions. These molecules are responsible for cell structure, protein formation, nutrient transport, tissue repair, healing, genetic transcription and countless other crucial roles. Therefore, it’s important we are providing an adequate, diverse and quality supply to ourselves to ensure all of these tasks can be covered.

The body is able to create eleven out of the twenty amino acids that we require to operate properly. As for the remaining nine, we have to get them through our diet. Although some foods contain an abundance of amino acids, others simply don’t. Therefore, consuming a diverse diet consisting of foods such as lean meats, eggs, poultry, soybeans and various plant foods can compensate and help you achieve your necessary intake of amino acids. However, there are an array of high-quality foods that offer consumers a high concentration of these nine essential amino acids, otherwise referred to as ‘complete proteins’. This is where whey protein enters the picture.

Why Are The Amino Acids In Whey Protein Significant?

When it comes to the different types of protein, whey is significant because it provides us with all nine of the essential amino acids that we require. This makes whey a very useful and simple protein supplement for athletes undergoing active strength training, vegans looking for an easy protein fix or bed-ridden elderly hoping to slow their muscle breakdown. Whey protein is also an excellent source of branched chain amino acids – a form of amino acids that are known to slow muscle wasting, increase protein synthesis and support muscle growth and repair.

How Can These Amino Acids Benefit Your Health?

An adequate supply of your essential amino acids can offer a handful of wellbeing related benefits. Actively incorporating all your amino acids through the diet can prevent muscle loss, improve general mood and sleeping patterns, improve physical performance, and enhance weight loss.

On the other hand, what happens if you don’t get enough of these essential amino acids? As your body will not store any excess amino acids that you don’t require, if you aren’t supplying an essential amino acid through your diet, muscle breakdown will occur. This is typically the first sign of an amino acid deficiency. The body has to get this amino acid from somewhere, so it will be taken from the muscle so it can be used wherever else it’s required. Various other symptoms include poor mental health, general weakness and fatigue, texture changes in skin and hair, and a weaker immune response.

By seeing just how many roles they adopt throughout our body, it’s clear how important amino acids are for our physical and mental health and wellbeing. Although to reap the rewards of these vital molecules, we need to be consuming a diverse diet to ensure we are consuming all of our essential amino acids. In return, we can avoid various health complications and achieve an improved physical performance and quality of life.

How To Calculate How Much Protein You Need

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How To Calculate How Much Protein You Need Every Day

This may sound surprising, although there is an exact value of protein, specific to your individual needs, that you should be consuming every day. Protein plays a huge part towards achieving a healthy quality of life and managing a healthy lifestyle, so it’s important that you’re keeping track of what you’re consuming. Although there’s no need to fear! Here’s a simple guide to understand the importance of protein in your diet, and how you can calculate your individual protein needs.

Why Is It Important To Know If You’re Getting Enough Protein?

Protein is important for a variety of bodily functions, that we aren’t always consciously aware of, allowing us to achieve and sustain a beneficial quality of life. Aside from the fact that your nails and hair are primarily composed of protein, the macronutrient is an essential part of every cell in your body. When digested, protein is broken down into various amino acids, which are crucial building blocks for muscles, bones, and skin, and are also vital in the process of making bodily molecules such as enzymes and hormones.

Why Do Protein Requirements Vary Between Individuals?

Protein requirements vary among individuals mainly depending on their weight, age and general health. People aren’t all identical, therefore specific needs across age and weight ranges will vary. Also, if you have a specific condition where you have increased protein requirements, you’re most likely going to have different needs than others.

How Can You Calculate How Much Protein Your Body Needs?

Recommended Daily Intakes (RDI) and Nutrient Reference Values (NRV) are general, rough guides for people to use to understand and estimate how much protein they require every day. According to these RDIs, average men and women with no additional requirements need about 0.84g/kg (grams per kilogram of body weight) and 0.75g/kg, respectively.

Essentially, protein should make up approximately 15 to 20% of your total energy intake. The first step to calculate how much protein you should be consuming each day is to figure out your average weight.

Weigh yourself for seven mornings in a row and figure out an average. From here, multiply your weight by 0.8 (as the Dietary Reference Intake recommends 0.8g of protein per kg of body weight) to achieve the amount of protein you require per day (in grams of protein).

For example, a young male who weighs 80 kg will require approximately 64g of protein per day.
To assist you in reaching this value, you can take advantage of nutrition information panels to keep track of and record your protein intake. That being said, don’t be too fixated on achieving this exacted value.

As this is intended to be an average, a little more or a little less each day isn’t detrimental.
If you’d prefer not to do the math yourself, many reliable protein calculators can be found online.

What Are Some Quality Sources Of Protein?

So now that you’re aware of how much protein your body needs, where can you attain some quality sources? A quality source of protein should offer consumers a dense source of essential amino acids, while simultaneously being lower in unhealthy saturated and trans fats. For example, eggs, lean meat, poultry, milk, yogurt, fish, seeds, legumes, and soy products are all quality sources of protein that should be actively incorporated into the average diet.

How Can You Optimise Your Protein Absorption?

Despite what many believe, those wishing to increase their muscle mass don’t necessarily need to increase their protein intake. Although athletes do require a slightly higher protein intake, a diet that involves excessive protein can actually be harmful to health, putting a strain on the kidneys, liver and can result in calcium loss.

When it comes to maximising your protein intake to suit your vigorous exercise routine, timing is everything. Following an exercise routine, aim to consume a high quality, protein-rich meal, coupled with a carbohydrate-based meal. This can help manage your body’s protein balance.

Unlike fat and carbohydrates, the human body cannot store protein. Therefore, any protein that is not required by the body will be excreted. So what is the best way to maximise your daily protein intake? It’s best to incorporate small portions of your daily protein requirement into all of your meals, scattered throughout the day. Managing this intake of protein doesn’t take up large portions of your day, and yet it can lead to meaningful steps towards achieving a positive wellbeing.

A Quick Guide For Maximising Nutrient Absorption

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Nutrient absorption is a crucial element of consumption that we have the capacity to influence and control to a certain degree. When we learn these important habits to maximise the amount of nutrient absorption in our gut, we can trigger a variety of health benefits to increase our quality of life. Although, before we can begin to manipulate our own nutrient absorption, we must understand how it works.

A Brief Outline Of Nutrient Absorption

The nutrients that make up the food we consume are broken down and harvested following the stages of digestion in the stomach. Essentially, food moves into the small intestine, where most nutrient absorption occurs. The small intestine is lined with countless finger-like projections, called microvilli, which overall increase its surface area and allow for as much absorption as possible. These microvilli snatch up nutrients and transfer them into the bloodstream to be transported wherever they are required in the body for a variety of specific functions.

High-Quality v Low-Quality Foods: Nutrient Availability

The quality of food that you are consuming can directly influence the number of nutrients your body is going to take in. High-quality foods contain a collection of vital nutrients which are available to be absorbed in the gut when consumed. Some high-quality foods can include lean sources of protein, unsaturated fats and a diverse range of fresh fruit and vege.

On the other end of the spectrum, low-quality foods typically are characterised by having lower vitamin and mineral content and are a poor source of quality macronutrients. This means they aren’t going to satisfy the appetite as effectively as high-quality foods, making you eat more to achieve a state of fullness. Ultimately, fewer nutrients can be taken from these types of foods, overall limiting what our small intestine can absorb.

How Can You Maximise Your Nutrient Absorption?

Prepare Nutritional Diverse Meals

Incorporating a collection of diverse, healthy foods into each meal can maximise the overall amount of essential nutrients your body is absorbing. Protein, good fats, and a variety of vegetables; these are all important, consistent foods to throw on the dinner table each night. As a general rule, aim to make your plate as colourful as possible.

Take Advantage Of Probiotics

Feeding and nourishing the bacteria in your gut can bring forward a variety of nutritional and mental benefits. Probiotics are very effective when it comes to replacing bad gut bacteria with a beneficial alternative. This is especially useful for those with digestive issues, including IBS.

Incorporate Vitamin C Into Iron-Rich Meals

Pairing two specific nutrients together can increase their absorptive ability. For example, vitamin C can increase the bioavailability of iron. This is because vitamin C can convert the iron into an alternative form, which can increase its absorption. On the other hand, there are some nutrient pairings that can impair the absorption of other nutrients. Iron and calcium are a perfect example of this. These two minerals will compete for absorption, which can overall decrease the uptake of iron. It’s simply important to know your pairings so you can supercharge your absorption.

Stay Hydrated

Hydration is a key element that our gut relies on when it comes to effective nutrient absorption. As an adequate amount of water is important when it comes to getting nutrients from the small intestine and throughout the body via the bloodstream, falling below this level can poorly impact this transportation process.

The Effects Of Food Additives

Commonly added to a variety of foods, additives are used to increase the flavour of foods and enhance its appearance. However, a percentage of people can be sensitive to food additives, which can bring forward conditions such as digestive discomfort through inflammation. Ultimately, this digestive discomfort can trigger a variety of conditions that can poorly impact nutrient absorption. If you believe you are poorly impacted by additives, it’s best to keep a food diary and consult a dietician to form a personalised plan.

Compared to a variety of protein products that use these artificial ingredients, commonly leaving behind various gut-related issues, Clean Nutrition products are made from natural ingredients, with no artificial additives. Not only can Clean Nutrition products provide this high-quality source of protein that can be effectively absorbed in the gut, many users claim it’s the first protein they’ve tried that doesn’t bring along these digestive related complications that are associated with other products.

Simple Gluten Free & Paleo Breakfast Pancake

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This recipe is perfect for those that are short for time in the morning but do not want to leave home without a nutritious, high protein and satisfying breakfast.
Preparation and cooking time: Under 10 minutes


  • Pancake Mix
  • half a banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1 scoop (32g) Clean Protein Vanilla or Natural
  • Coconut oil or butter for cooking
  • Almond butter or nut butter for topping


  1. Using the back of a fork, mash the banana, egg and protein in a large bowl until smooth
  2. Heat up your non-stick pan on low heat with 1-2 teaspoon of coconut oil or butter. Pour the pancake batter into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side
  3. Remove from pan and top with your choice of nut butter. Enjoy!


  • Save the other half of the banana for your morning smoothie
  • Adding a tablespoon of almond meal, desiccated coconut or coconut flour will make a slightly thicker batter. If it’s too thick then add some milk or almond milk. Experiment with what works best for you!
  • Mix it up – try adding some cinnamon or vanilla into the batter
  • Keep your pan heat to low/medium to avoid overheating the protein

The Original Protein Ball (Gluten Free & Paleo)

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Struggling to find a healthy snack to tie you over? These versatile protein balls are the perfect snacking partner, convenient and super quick to put together. Make a bulk batch and refrigerate. Take it to work, great for travelling, pre or post work out snack, mid-morning or afternoon pick up…


  • 2 scoops (64g) Clean Protein Vanilla or Natural or Cocoa
  • Approx. 16-18 Medjool dates pitted (approx. 150 grams)
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut; 1/2 for rolling
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder (1/4 cup if using Clean Protein Cocoa)


  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend/pulse until the mixture is completely incorporated (usually takes 3-5 minutes of pulsing). Adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of water, coconut oil, maple syrup or honey will help incorporate the mixture if it is too dry. Continue to pulse until the mixture if fully incorporated
  2. Transfer the mixture into bowl, roll into individual balls and place into a bowl with the remaining desiccated coconut to coat
  3. Place the balls into the fridge to firm up and enjoy!