It's what's on the inside that counts! In honor of National Nutrition Month, we want to dive deeper and give you more information around ingredients that you can feel good about putting in your body.
By now, you know that Après is packed with good-for-you ingredients that give your body what it needs to sustain + replenish and keep you going strong . . . after anything. Today, we're welcoming nutritionist and soon-to-be RD Maddie Pasquariello from @eastcoasthealth, and getting down to the basics by taking a look at the ingredients of Après and debunking some popular nutrition myths.
So, let's take a deeper dive at what this means for you.
You can absolutely get all the protein you need in a day from plant sources instead of animal sources! There are so many options – beans, lentils, tofu and soy, nuts and seeds and even grains all have protein in them. What matters is that you’re getting enough protein for your body’s needs, and getting a diversity of proteins and all the amino acids you need to create a complete nutrient profile. Protein is responsible for everything from tissue repair to growth, maintenance of pH levels in the body, organ function, digestion, fluid balance, nutrient storage and so much more.
Animal vs plant-protein: Animal proteins are typically considered "complete" proteins, in other words they have all the amino acids that your body needs. Plant proteins, on the other hand, are “incomplete." What this means is that you have to eat them in combination with one another to form a complete profile of amino acids to help your body thrive. When it comes to health, plant proteins are a powerful part of a balanced diet and can be very beneficial thanks to their anti-inflammatory nature and their correlation with lower rates of chronic disease. On the other hand, plant proteins can take a bit longer to digest than animal proteins, so it’s all about doing what works best for you and your body.
The blend of protein in Après forms a complete amino acid profile, thanks to the inclusion of pea, chia, hemp and cacao protein. This is so important because all of the amino acids have different jobs and contribute to different parts of our metabolism and bodily functions. It also helps the body absorb it better and ensure that you get all the benefits from it!
Another argument that comes into play when we compare the two is sustainability. While it varies from one kind to another, plant proteins are a pretty clear winner when it comes to the resources they use during production and processing. Pea protein is one of the most sustainable sources of protein to grow, and that's just another reason why Après created its protein blend around it.
How much protein you need depends on your level of activity, your body, how many meals you eat per day and many other factors. A general rule of thumb is anywhere from 20-30 grams of protein per meal. That said, many of us actually get too much protein, especially if we’re eating animal protein based diets. So, if you’re having more than 3 meals in a day, you can break this down into smaller amounts.
MCTs are a specific type of fatty acids called medium chain triglycerides found in coconut oil. They’ve gained popularity as a source of “good fats” that can help assist with weight loss as well as sustained energy, improved brain function and longevity as we age and better heart and skin health. MCTs are best consumed in moderation, so if you’re cooking with coconut oil or drinking an Après, you’re definitely getting enough to reap the benefits!
Electrolytes are compounds that ionize when they dissolve in a solvent, like water. When it comes to diet, these are sodium, potassium, calcium, bicarbonate, magnesium, chloride and phosphate. They are all essential, so having an improper balance of electrolytes can be a sign that something is off in your body. Electrolytes help regulate everything from pH to daily hydration, as well as bone and joint health, digestion, sleep and more. Think of them as keeping your body in homeostasis!
Sugar, just like everything else, is fine in moderation. I like to generally NOT think of it as an all or nothing thing, because avoiding it entirely can just make you crave sugary foods even more. Natural fruit sugars are great for helping provide energy - these are your body’s fuel source and you need them to thrive! Think of the type of sugar you’re adding to your meals - are they more natural forms like honey, maple syrup and coconut sugar, or are they refined sources like granulated white sugar and corn syrup?
All sugar behaves relatively similarly in the body, but coconut sugar won’t cause quite as much of a spike in blood sugar, and actually contains additional minerals like iron, zinc, calcium and potassium, along with fatty acids and antioxidants. As something you’re adding into your daily meals, drinks, etc. it could be worth making the swap to a more natural form of sugar, if this is important to you! If you’re someone who consumes very little sugar day to day though, it probably won’t make a huge difference. So fear not!