Written by Carina Fabia
Last updated on: Sep 17, 2022
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Vanilla protein powder allows individuals to enhance their protein and amino acid levels. It is simply a protein powder with vanilla flavouring to give it a more enjoyable taste. Lots of people find the vanilla flavour works to overcome the natural taste of protein powders.
Protein powders are able to support athletes who are suffering from sporting injuries to recover faster, help those who are trying to increase their muscle mass whilst also having the ability to aid consumers looking to lose weight. Further to this, some take vanilla protein powder as a dietary supplement if they are following a diet which can be restrictive in protein and specific amino acids. A good example of those who may need to take a protein supplement are people following a vegan lifestyle; as sometimes vegans can struggle to attain all their essential vitamins and levels of protein which our body needs (1).
Whilst there is a vast range in the types of protein powders you can by all powders from a concentrated form of protein food, such as eggs, dairy, peas and soy. The three most common forms of protein are protein concentrates, isolates and hydrolysates (2). Most protein powders also come with which our bodies need. Lots of proteins now come with the added benefit of being flavoured, and also contain lots of added minerals and vitamins. These additional elements of protein powders make specific powders more appealing to different groups of people.
An added benefit of having vanilla flavoured protein is it contains vanillin which studies have shown has antimutagenic and antioxidant properties (3). When decided which type of protein source you want in your protein powder, for example pea or whey, it is beneficial to look carefully about the added health benefits they bring and weigh this against your own fitness goals.
As well as being a great tool to cover the natural taste of some protein powders, which some describe as undesirable, it also believed vanilla bean provides added health benefits. For example, one such benefit is the antimutaganic and antioxidant properties vanillin holds. Antioxidants protect our cells from developing serious conditions and diseases like cardiovascular complications, inflammatory disease and even some cancers (4). These properties come from the natural compound vanillin which is a primary component of the vanilla bean extract (5). Whilst the overall health benefit of vanillin does look promising, its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties do need further testing. So far studies have only been undertaken on animal subjects (6).
In addition to this, there is some research to imply vanillin can be neuroprotective. In a lab experiment held on rats, one study had promising evidence which showed giving vanillin as a post-treatment could significantly ameliorate early neurobehavioral deficits, decreased infarct volume and brain edema (7). Once again, more evidence is needed to see the extent vanillin extract can support brain health in human’s, and the extent of protection it can provide us against any neurodegenerative diseases.
There has been a lot of research into how protein powder is able to help revive the body post workout and to help the body with injury recovery. In terms of choosing to take a vanilla flavoured protein supplement, one study revealed the choice to have a vanilla flavoured protein can also promoted increase in intramuscular vascularization for certain muscles; as well as, pro-inflammatory potential for the tibialis anterior (8).
In addition to this, there is a wealth of studies to suggest the properties within protein powder are very beneficial to support the recovery process. One particular study reviled subjects who took a protein supplement post daily training showed a more significant reduction in muscle soreness and markers of muscle damage (9). Many protein powders include Beta-Alanine, which has been shown to help improve exercise performance in those undertaking High intensity interval training (HITT) and short sprints (9). With further evidence to suggest beta-alanine supplementation can delay the onset of neuromuscular fatigue (10).
Another popular ingredient is Caffeine. There is some evidence to suggest caffeine is able to boost athletic performance in both short-term high intensity exercise and endurance-based activities (9). A final, popular ingredient used in protein supplements is creatine. This is a naturally occurring compound, found in skeletal muscle and is made from amino acids which are found in red meat and seafood. Creatine is widely used in protein powders and is believed to increase athletic performance, particularly for those who are weight training (9). In addition to this, research has shown creatine supplementation can enhance post-exercise recovery and protect against potential workout injuries (11).
It is not the inclusion of Creatine alone which enables protein powders to support the bodies muscle gain, high protein intake has also been shown as advantageous (12). Research has shown the consumption of protein as a supplement alongside a healthy diet is a great way to maximise your lean body mass index, whilst also improving upper and lower body strength (13).
This is because our bodies uses protein to build and repair muscular damage, as well as to fuse broken muscle fibres back together. It is this process or rebuilding the muscles which
helps our bodies increase in strength and size. Of course, the frequency and intensity of your training regime paired with the amount of weight you are lifting will also influence the speed at which muscle mass is gained (14). Due to these scientific findings many athlete’s looking to build muscle and body builders choose to take vanilla protein powder to help them achieve the level of muscle they desire.
Manufacturers have managed to produce a range of different forms of vanilla protein powder. Flavoured protein powders are a great alternative to a meal as they will provide you with a high-quality protein and amino acid content and the feeling of being full up whilst also providing less calories than a meal would. Both whey protein powder and pea protein both have lots of studies to show they are great options for those seeking to lose weight through protein shake supplements (15, 16). Further to this, research has shown, high protein diets increase energy expenditure, whilst also helping to control appetite and improve feelings of satiety (17).
Protein powders, vary not only by the source of protein used, or the inclusion of different vitamins and minerals but also through the status of whether they are a diet power. Diet protein powders are a great way of supporting those on a calorie deficit diet or seeking to lose weight. More typically, powders ten to have whey as their main source of protein, but there are also vegan blends which are readily available.
But what makes diet protein powder an effective tool for weight loss? Diet protein powders contain ingredients which are not found in regular protein powders. These ingredients can include: L-Carnitine, Green Tea and Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
How do these ingredients work? Studies have shown L-Carnitine not only aids acid metabolism, but also helps to transports fatty acids into your cell’s mitochondria (18). This evidence has led some scientists to believe using a protein powder which contains l-carnitine may increase the speed at which your body’s composition improved and your body weight reduces. Green tea extract is included in a concentrated form, which contains high levels of catechins and moderate levels of caffeine. Research has shown consuming green tea can increase our body’s expenditure of energy over a 24-hour period (19). Finally, the ingredient CLA, which is a fatty acid, is included in some Diet Protein. This added ingredient has been used in some studies to help with patient weight loss. One particular study reviled obese patients who took a CLA supplement over a 12-week period experienced a quicker weight loss journey than those who didn’t (20).
Finally, vanilla protein is a great way to supplement the diets of those who may not be getting enough protein, vitamins or minerals. For example studies have shown if the consumption of animal foods is very low or absent supplementation or fortified food is often necessary (9).
Some of the nutrients lacking in a vegan lifestyle include: Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Iodine, Omega 3, Iron, Calcium and Zinc. This is because typically the foods consumed on a vegan diet are not rich in these nutrients. Protein powders are often packed full of these types of vitamins as well as protein and amino acids which are essential to the wellbeing and maintenance of our bodies.
Vanilla protein is a delicious and effective way to boost your body’s protein and amino acid levels. This in turn can boost the rate at which your body can recover from workouts and injuries. As well as, being able to support those who are looking to change the way their body looks; whether this be through weight loss or muscle gain.
It is important to research which form of protein is the best for your personal goals and values, with a wide range of vegan and non-vegan sources available. Remember to read the label and instructions carefully and ensure you are making and consuming your protein powder as directed; too much protein can cause serious health issues.