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Blessed Vegan Protein

Posted on June 28, 2019

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Blessed Protein was released under the brand name Clear Protein, which is actually a sister company of EHP Labs. You’ve probably heard of EHP Labs before—they have the most popular thermogenic fat-burner on the planet: Oxyshred.

 

If you want the inside scoop on Blessed vegan protein (pun intended), then this is your article. There will actually be a second article released soon, which will cover the same product from a different angle. So be on the lookout for it!

 

Let’s drive right into some common questions that are keeping vegan protein enthusiasts up at night.

 

Blessed Protein Calorie Content

As with any protein powder, it contains calories. There’s no avoiding it. After all, protein itself contains 4 calories per gram. So if we have 25 grams of protein in a serve, that’s 100 calories before we add up the small amount contained within the fats and carbohydrates as well.

 

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Given that this product only contains around 2-2.5 grams of fats per serve and 4 grams of carbs (2 of which are fibre), the calorie content is still quite low. The Vanilla Chai flavour of Blessed vegan protein contains 110 calories per serve, compared to 120 calories in Choc Coconut and Salted Caramel Flavours.

 

How much this makes up of your daily calorie needs depends on a lot of factors, like activity level and your frame size. If you’ve been calorie counting for a while, you probably know exactly what you need on a daily basis. If you’re new to the calorie game, here are some energy values from the Ministry of Health to get you started.

 

Will Blessed Protein Make You Gain Weight?

Blessed protein can assist in gaining muscle weight, especially when taken in conjunction with a resistance training program. All quality protein powders will have this effect. However, it is unlikely to contribute to fat gain or fat-weight.

 

Muscle is quite heavy stuff. In fact, it weighs about 15-20% more than fat for the same volume. However, this is healthy weight that also contributes to a more athletic-looking physique. Remember, lean muscle is really important for overall health.

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Increasing your muscle weight will not necessarily make you look bulky—unless you gain loads and loads, which takes a lot of time and effort. Increasing muscle mass (weight) also requires regular intense bouts of weight training and a consistently healthy diet with plenty of protein.

 

What a lot of people don’t realise, is that growing an appreciable amount of muscle, which does increase your body weight, takes a great deal of determination and patience.

 

You won’t wake up one day and freak out at the size of your gargantuan biceps or traps after a few serves of a lean protein powder. The body simply doesn’t work this way.

 

Does Protein Keep You Lean?

Protein is the least likely macronutrient (protein, carbohydrates and fats) to make you gain weight. This is because protein is the most thermogenic macronutrient, meaning that it stimulates more metabolic activity than carbohydrates and fats.

 

Thermogenic simply means to create heat. And body heat is a marker of metabolic activity and the amount of calories or kilojoules you are burning.

 

To be technically accurate, alcohol is the most thermogenic macronutrient. But this is a topic well beyond the scope of this article. So let’s naively exclude alcohol from this discussion.

 

Some of the heat created after eating quality protein is believed to be caused by a processes called protein synthesis. This is the creation of new proteins, like those found in muscle. This makes sense, as quality protein provides basic building blocks for the creation of tissues like muscle.

 

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So when we eat quality protein, our metabolism gets to work repairing and creating muscle (as well as other tissues and organs of the body) to store these important amino acids and keep us healthy. This activity requires calories, and so helps to keep us lean.

 

A study from back in 1996 showed that a high-protein diet providing 36% of energy from protein burned up an extra 297Kj (70 kCal) of energy per day compared to a diet providing 15% energy from protein (1).

 

This may not sound like a lot of extra calories expended. But when you add this up over 50 days, that’s 1 pound (0.45kg) of body-fat that we could have burned off had we chosen the higher protein diet!

 

And that’s just the thermic (calorie-burning) effect of food. What if the macronutrient profile of our meals also affected how much we eat? Well, hold on to your hat.

 

EHP-Labs-Blessed-Protein-vanilla-chai.pngHigh protein diets have been shown to boost levels of hormones that make us feel content, like GIP and GLP-1, and also reduce ghrelin levels (2). Ghrelin is the gremlin of hormones, as it makes us hungry increases food intake and boosts fat storage.

 

So higher protein diets help increase our metabolic rate and also encourage us to eat less. Not bad at all.

 

Animal vs Plant Protein?

There are plenty of reasons why people are moving to plant-based diets. For many, it extends beyond the traditional reasons of ethics and spiritual beliefs.

 

These days, environmental concerns and health reasons often factor into the equation. And though plant-based diets certainly are a growing trend, there’s more to it than being trendy.

 

But hey, there’s nothing wrong with being trendy either, right?

 

Scientists are moving in on the show. Research is pointing towards plant-based protein as a healthier option for anyone wanting to reduce all-cause mortality, which is pretty much the risk of dying from … well, just about any chronic degenerative disease.

 

Even the World Health Organization (WHO) have clearly stated that processed meats are carcinogenic or cancer causing. In fact, these types of meats have been placed in the same carcinogenic class as asbestos! Don’t we need hazmat suits to deal with that stuff?

 

Non-processed red meats, like beef and pork, are classed by the WHO as likely to be carcinogenic.

 

This effect of processed and red meats on our health is becoming clearer as scientists trawl an in-flow of data from populations around the world. It takes time to uncover the truth by this method, but it’s worth it.

 

A study published in 2016 indicated that animal protein consumption was weakly associated with higher mortality (especially cardiovascular disease), compared to plant protein (3). This effect was exacerbated (not weak at all) by smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, being overweight or obesity or physically inactive.

 

So that’s a brief look at animal protein foods. But what about animal protein powder versus plant protein powder? Isn’t this supposed to be a plant-based protein article, after all?

 

Well, it’s starting to look like pea protein can pretty much do anything that whey protein can. So far there are two interesting clinical trials that have examined exactly this, the first of which examined muscle thickness (4).

 

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The most recent study published in 2019 didn’t just look at how whey and pea proteins impacted blood levels of amino acids. They went a step further and looked at actual exercise performance and body composition as well.

 

It’s important to look at end points like this, because, let’s face it, we don’t know everything there is to know about the human body and it can be somewhat predictable at times. So this research was groundbreaking for pea protein.

 

And the results speak for themselves.

 

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No differences were seen between the whey and pea protein groups in terms of muscle thickness, force production, strength and general body composition at the end of the trial, despite the fact that whey protein appears to be nutritionally superior (5).

 

And when you break down whey protein from a purely essential amino acid point of view, it does look superior. Despite this, pea protein still gets results—it works. As they say, the proof is in the pudding. Who knows who “they” actually are, but it must be somebody, right?

 

It makes you wonder then, if whey protein is so nutritionally superior, then what is it about pea protein that really makes it work? Are there some other nutritional factors that promote physical performance and recovery?

 

Let’s take a look at some other nutritional benefits of pea protein and see what we can uncover. Make yourself comfortable and get some veggie snacks ready, because this Blessed vegan protein review is just getting warmed up.

 

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Blessed Protein Nutrition

As with any protein powder, you’re not just getting 100% protein. After all, there isn’t a protein powder on the market (yet) that delivers pure protein with nothing else added.

 

So what makes up the other portion? For example, Blessed protein is 78.2% protein by weight. So in every 32 gram serve of protein powder, we are actually getting 9 grams of—

 

Any ideas?

 

Some of it is essential micronutrients. If you’re not familiar with these, they are nutrients that we only require a small amount of, unlike the macronutrients proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

 

The World Health Organization states that the most important of these micronutrients for global public health are iodine, vitamin A and iron. These nutrients were selected because global deficiencies are common and adversely affect health and development, particularly of children and pregnant women in low-income countries.

 

You might be thinking at this point that you are protected against nutrient deficiencies because of where you live. The seriously limited amount of research that has been undertaken on the Australian population always reveals deficiencies and insufficiencies (mild but significant deficiencies) in a fare percentage of the population.

 

When appropriate (and expensive) testing methods are used, such as red cell magnesium instead of serum, often a different story can really be told about nutritional status.

 

But this is a digression—back to the topic of blessed vegan protein powder.

 

So, we have 9 grams of non-protein powder in each 32 gram serve of blessed vegan protein. Once we deduct 2.5 grams of fat and 4 grams of carbohydrates (including fibre), this still leaves us with 2.5 grams unspoken for in each serve.

 

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About 0.8 grams of each serve of pea protein is typically composed of ash, and there is always water in a dry protein powder (go figure). It only feels dry to the touch because the nerves in our fingertips don’t register moisture beyond a certain point.

 

Let’s take an educated guess that the moisture content is approximately 3.5%, so after deducting the ash and water, we’ve got 0.58 grams leftover in each serve. This is primarily micronutrients, like potassium and sodium.

 

In fact, each serve of Blessed vegan protein contains 340mg of sodium, 179mg potassium and 9mg of calcium. Other nutrients typically found in pea protein are folate, selenium, magnesium and antioxidant phenolic compounds (6).

 

Though the sodium to potassium ratio is typically not ideal when it comes to pea protein powders, it is a good source of selenium and folate. And when it comes to fibre content, pea protein has got the goods.

 

Pea protein is rich in soluble fibre, which offers digestive health and cardiovascular benefits (7). Soluble fibre is a food source for our important microbiome, which keeps our gut healthy and maintains overall health. Scientists are only beginning to uncover the true importance of the microbiome to our overall health and wellbeing.

 

Conclusion

Pea protein powders, like Blessed vegan protein powder, are growing in popularity. Awareness and consideration for the nutritional and environmental benefits is expanding rapidly.

 

Scientific research is showing that pea protein can deliver the nutritional quality and results of whey protein, whilst delivering soluble fibre, alkalinity, and the micronutrients selenium and folate.

 

Despite the fact that all protein powders contain calories, they are unlikely to cause an increase in fat weight. However, they do support increases in muscle weight, which take time to develop.

 

To build lean muscle beyond your genetically determined baseline, an appropriate exercise program is essential.

 

Blessed vegan protein is a great addition to a nutritional supplement regiment, delivering the 9 essential amino acids to support overall health and wellness. This product is especially helpful if your focus is maintaining or gaining lean muscle mass.

 

References

1. Whitehead JM et al. The effect of protein intake on 24;hr energy expenditure during energy restriction. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders. 1996 Vol 20;8 p.727-32.

2. Pesta D and Samuel VT. A high-protein diet for reducing body fat: mechanisms and possible caveats. Nutrition and Metabolism. 2014 Vol 11 p.53

3. Song M et al. Animal and plant protein intake and all-cause and cause-specific mortality: results from two prospective US cohort studies. Journal of the American Medical Association internal medicine. 2016 Vol 176;10 p.1453-1463

4. Babault N et al. Pea proteins oral supplementation promotes muscle thickness gains during resistance training: a double-blind, randomized, Placebo-controlled clinical trial vs. Whey protein. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2015 Vol 12;3

5. Banaszek A et al. The Effects of Whey vs. Pea Protein on Physical Adaptations Following 8-Weeks of High-Intensity Functional Training (HIFT): A Pilot Study. Sports (Basel) 2019 Vol 7;1 p.12

 6. Dahl W et al. Review of the health benefits of peas (Pisum sativum L.). The British Journal of Nutrition. 2012 Vol 108 S3-S10

7. Krefting J. The Appeal of Pea Protein. Journal of Renal Nutrition 2017 Vol 27;5 p.e31-e33