My beloved husband Ryan (the owner of Camel Culture) and I are about to celebrate 10 years of wedded bliss this summer!
Thank you, thank you.
We are great lovers and friends, we enjoy working together, and we agree on most things….except for one.
That’s right. We are talking about a 10+ year disagreement, folks.
A little fun fact about Ryan, he is an avid athlete and played sports on a collegiate level! Way to go, babe! But, he’s been hooked on protein powder.
I’ve been trying to convince him that there are better sources of protein than an unnatural powder full of additives!
We married young, we were broke as a joke, and the luxury of protein powder has never been at the top of my grocery list.
Thus, the conundrum.
In this blog post, I am putting an end to this 10+ year disagreement with my husband by appealing to that which he loves more than protein powder -CAMEL MILK!
In this article,
- We will examine another macronutrient in camel milk -protein!
- Describe what protein is.
- How much protein we need.
- And prove to Ryan (and you) that camel milk is a better protein food source than protein powder.
What is Protein?
A biologist at Clark University helpfully explained that a protein is a molecule that is made up of smaller components called amino acids. (1)
He encourages us to think of them like beads on a string where “each bead represents an amino acid, which are smaller molecules containing carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and sometimes sulfur atoms.”
There are 22 different amino acids (or beads) that can be combined in countless ways. Amino acids can be folded up into a myriad of shapes which then influences its function in the body.
Where Do Amino Acids Come From?
It’s a simple answer -from the food we eat!
We can also make some in our bodies. But imagine with me that protein string of beads (mentioned above) in a glass of delicious camel milk.
Your body absorbs that protein string of beads, and then the string is broken down and all the beads are released into your digestive system.
The beads float around and then are taken up into your body's cells where they will be used to string together a new set of beads that your body needs for functioning.
A regular bead making factory in our bodies!
It’s important to note that we can make about half of the amino acids (or beads) that our body needs, and then we need to get the rest from the food that we eat.
So the protein we consume becomes a very important food choice!
Amino acids are further broken down into 3 groups (or at the risk of taking this analogy too far… 3 kinds of beads):
- Essential amino acids: cannot be made by the body, and must be supplied by food. They do not need to be eaten at one meal. The balance over the whole day is more important. (2)
- Non-essential amino acids: are made by the body from essential amino acids, or in the normal breakdown of proteins. (2)
- Conditional amino acids: are needed in time of illness or stress. (3)
So, let’s string some of these beads together and see what a few of these proteins actually do.
What Do Proteins Do?
In my own research about camel milk, I have been enlightened by the importance of proteins.
Maybe you thought, like me, that proteins are an essential part of our diets to keep us fuller longer or to help us build muscle mass...
But like me, the train stopped at muscle mass...
Well, let me tell you, the train does not just stop there with proteins, but actually picks up steam and begins chugging down the track at an alarming rate!
Camel milk is well-known for containing protective proteins which strengthen our body’s immune system.
But it's also gentle on your gut because camel milk does NOT contain that villainous allergenic protein -Casein! (12)
Proteins are said to be the building blocks of life and that every cell in the body contains protein. (2)
Think about that! One article says that if you used density to estimate the cells in a human body, you’d come to a staggering 724 trillion cells. If every cell contains protein, I think we can begin to see just how important protein truly is for humans.
Scientists are still learning what exactly proteins do.
But let’s cut the scientists some slack, because it is believed that there are around 20,000 different proteins in our body! One study I found believes there could be even more! (4)
3 Functions of Protein in Your Body
With the seemingly countless number of proteins in our bodies, it makes sense that their functions are also nearly innumerable.
But there are 3 broad categories of what proteins do -structural, biochemical, and process signaling.
1. Let’s start with some structural proteins you may have heard of before.
Collagen anybody? It is estimated that one quarter of all the protein in our body is collagen.
This may seem extreme, but we need the string-like structure of collagen to hold our body together -like our skin cells, bones, and even our teeth. (5)
Or what about keratin? Our hair and nails are made of another structural protein called keratin. (6)
2. The second function of proteins is a biochemical one, meaning helping our cells carry out a particular reaction.
Even the breaking down of proteins into amino acids I mentioned above takes place because of the protein, pepsin. (7)
Hemoglobin is another biochemically functioning protein that helps carry oxygen around in our blood. (8)
3. The third and final broad category of proteins falls into process signaling.
Our circadian clock proteins help us tell time and decide when we are hungry or sleepy. (9)
Wow! Our bodies are amazing, right?
Proteins mean so much more to me now than being just a bland macronutrient on a food label.
How Much Protein Do I Need in my Diet?
We know we need protein. That is crystal clear by this point!
But how much protein does each person need? The answer will vary for each person.
Get your calculator out, and I will walk you through it.
A simple rule is to take your weight, divide by 2.2, and then multiply by 0.8. (10)
Here is an example: 130 lbs / 2.2 = 59. 59 x 0.8 = 47 grams/day of protein.
So my friend who is 130 pounds needs 47 grams of protein per day.
Note: If you are super active or a professional athlete, you multiply by a factor of 0.9 or 1.0 accordingly and likewise, if you are sedentary or lightly active, you would lower the multiplied factor to 0.5 or 0.6.
Granted, my husband and I had different protein needs based on our weight and activity levels.
But the reason why camel milk is a wonderful protein food source comes down to QUALITY!
Camel Milk vs. Protein Powder
One pint of our camel milk contains 12 grams of protein, and our camel milk powder has over 7 grams of protein in just 3 tablespoons.
Maybe you’re a muscle-head who only cares about consuming a high quantity of protein?
But from what we saw above, the quality of the protein we consume is also super important!
Think of ALL the unique proteins our bodies need to function healthily, and all of the different amino acids needed to form these proteins.
Camel milk is the only dairy that contains 200+ unique proteins that your body craves!
Whereas protein powder will only offer you a limited number of different proteins, camel milk offers your body a diversity of quality, natural proteins!
Additives: The Downfall of Protein Powders, Drinks, & Bars
Let’s be honest, we’re all busy and proper nutrition is hard.
The temptation of protein drinks and bars is to replace meals with them or not use them with moderation.
Unless you have liver or kidney issues, the chances of you getting too much protein to the point of harming yourself is not what we are worried about.
But here is where our camel milk is really going to shine...
Protein powders and bars contain high amounts of ADDITIVES like creatine, caffeine, fat burners, energy boosters, sugars, artificial flavors, and preservatives. (11)
How many of those yucky additives in camel milk?
You guessed it.. ZERO. No additives!
Camel Milk: A Healthy Sources of Quality Protein
Here is my argument for camel milk.
You could spend your money on protein powders and supplements, but you will not get a diverse, quality protein source. And you will also be consuming tons of unhealthy additives.
Or you could funnel that money to purchasing high quality sources of proteins like lean meats, healthy nuts, eggs, beans, and…
If you get your protein from camel milk (12), you will be:
- Better nourished overall
- Meeting your daily protein requirement
- Consuming high quality and varied proteins
- Free from all those unnatural, yucky additives & preservatives
That’s a win-win-win-win in my book!
Fortify Your Immune System... & More!
But there are many more health benefits found in camel milk protein, like:
- Researchers have documented antioxidant effects (13)
- Helps lower blood sugar and lipid levels (14)
- Protect your immune system
Especially today, with the COVID-19 pandemic, don’t you want to fortify your immune system as much as possible?
To summarize, protein is an important macronutrient found in our camel milk.
Think of proteins like a “string of beads” where each bead is a much needed amino acid.
Our body is constantly breaking down these strings of beads we consume and restringing the beads to make the essential proteins our body needs to perform structural, biochemical, and process signaling functions.
We all need varying amounts of daily protein depending upon our weights and activity levels.
While protein shakes, bars, and supplements are tempting, we can easily get all of the daily protein we need by following a health diet that includes camel milk!
Protein supplements contain yucky additives like creatine, caffeine, fat burners, energy boosters, sugars, artificial flavors, and preservatives. The quantity of protein may be high, but the quality is very low!
Alternatively, camel milk is a healthy protein source.
Compared to other milks, it offers the highest quality of diverse proteins, while also providing our bodies antioxidant, blood sugar lowering, lipid lowering, and immune strengthening effects!
Leave a Comment:
- Would you consider funneling your budget away from protein powders, bars, and supplements... and toward camel milk?
- Who won the 10+ year debated argument between my husband and I? Camel milk or protein powder? I thought so. Still love ya babe;)