Why should I take protein powder?

Active lifestyles require optimum fuelling and in a time where simple carbohydrates dominate our food supply, it is important that we strive for balance in terms of our macronutrients i.e. protein, fat and carbohydrate intake. Quality wholefoods including premium plant-based protein powders naturally provide important micronutrients (such as vitamins, minerals and trace elements) that facilitate many functions including energy release from the macronutrients. Including a quality protein supplement is an excellent addition to a healthy balanced diet - providing essential amino acids for maintaining healthy muscle mass and helping regulate blood sugar levels. Protein powder provides a powerful base ingredient to deliver a convenient quickly assimilated meal for an active lifestyle.

Research reveals that higher-protein diets that contain between 1.2 and 1.6 g protein per kg/day and potentially include meal-specific protein quantities of at least 25–30 g protein/meal provide improvements in appetite, body weight management, and/or cardiometabolic risk factors compared with lower-protein diets.

 A 2015 systematic review revealed that protein supplementation may promote muscle hypertrophy (protein synthesis) and enhance gains in muscle strength in both untrained and trained individuals. Evidence also suggests that protein supplementation may accelerate gains in both aerobic and anaerobic power.

In short, the main benefits of protein are:

a) Muscle tone

b) Satiety – or the feeling of being satisfied after a meal so you will not be hungry later on

c) Blood sugar balance – protein inclusion in a meal has the effect of gradual glucose release and hence a more sustained energy release throughout the day

d) In addition, plant protein provides important metabolic nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients such as polyphenols, saponins, and prebiotic carbohydrates (these exert immune protective, antioxidant and cardio-protective effects – additional support for an active lifestyle.

 What is the best time to take a protein supplement?

The International Society of Sports Nutrition position stands on nutrient timing suggests that post-exercise ingestion (immediately to 3 hours afterward) of amino acids, primarily essential amino acids, has been shown to stimulate robust increases in muscle protein synthesis, while the addition of carbohydrate may stimulate even greater levels of protein synthesis. Pre-exercise consumption of a carbohydrate and protein supplement may result in peak levels of protein synthesis.

Is plant protein as effective as whey? 

Typically whey has been seen as the holy grail of protein supplementation for those engaging in regular demanding fitness-training sessions. The good news is that plant proteins are comparable to and even demonstrate superior effects to whey based protein formulas.

 Pea protein (Pisum sativum) contains 85% protein and is particularly rich in essential branched-chain amino acids (BCAA; leucine, isoleucine, and valine) known to play an important role in muscle protein synthesis. Studies have shown that an increased plasma concentration in leucine favours muscle protein synthesis and that its action on muscle mass is potentiated by the presence of the other amino acids naturally present. It is suggested that the consumption of a protein or EAA complex that contains sufficient leucine has been shown to shift protein balance to a net positive state after intense exercise training.

Brown Rice Protein is the concentrated fraction of the whole rice grain, which is produced through a wet milling and all natural proprietary process. It is produced by various steps of fermentation, filtration processing, and enzymatic processing to remove the protein and fiber from wholegrain brown rice. Brown Rice Protein uses non-GMO brown rice and it is hypo-allergenic and completely dairy and lactose-free. (awaiting technical details on specifics from supplier)

Rice protein isolate, an allergen-free plant protein, containing 8% leucine may be a suitable form of protein to support muscle hypertrophy in combination with resistance training (RT). Based on the available data, the hypothesis is that higher doses of rice protein (48 g) will be comparable to an equally high dose of whey protein in its effects on lean mass and strength when given following RT. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of higher doses of rice protein compared to equally high doses of whey protein on skeletal muscle hypertrophy, lean body mass, strength, and power when given following 8 weeks of periodised RT in those individuals with previous RT experience.

 The results from this research support the proposed hypothesis that higher doses of rice protein (48 g) will be comparable to an equally high dose of whey protein in its effects on body composition and exercise performance after periodised RT. In other words, rice protein supports changes in strength and body composition similarly to whey protein.

Increasingly, research suggests that plant protein sources provide a suitable alternative to the more traditional animal-derived proteins.

Ref: The effects of 8 weeks of whey or rice protein supplementation on body composition and exercise performance. Nutr J. 2013 Jun 20;12:86.

Hemp protein contains a full spectrum of essential amino acids; vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and EFAs help support demanding training regimes and offers a clear benefit to any active individual. Hemp proteins have anti-inflammatory properties, and are key for speeding the repair of soft-tissue damaged caused by physical activity. Hemp protein is completely dairy and lactose free. (awaiting technical details on specifics from supplier)

How much protein do I need each day?

Well, it’s a good question….The Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) is set at 0.75g of protein per kilogram body weight per day in adults and is based on estimates of need. The RNI is the amount of a nutrient that is enough to meet the requirements of the majority (97.5%) of the population. Only a minority of the population (2.5%) will need more than this amount.

This equates to approximately 56g/day and 45g/day for men and women aged 19-50 years respectively. It is the position of the International Society of Sports Nutrition that exercising individuals ingest protein ranging from 1.4 to 2.0 g/kg/day. Individuals engaging in endurance exercise should ingest levels at the lower end of this range, individuals engaging in intermittent activities should ingest levels in the middle of this range, and those engaging in strength/power exercise should ingest levels at the upper end of this range.

Daily Protein Needs based on Exercise type




Exercise type

Protein intake (g)/ kg

Female (60kg)

Male (75kg)

Basic need








Strength and Power (Weight training)




Anaerobic training (football, martial arts etc)




 International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: protein and exercise 

I thought whey protein would absorb faster. How does it compare with pea and rice protein?

Whey has a higher Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAA) rating. Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score is a method of evaluating the protein quality based on both the amino acid requirements of humans and their ability to digest it. However combining the pea and rice proteins together (as found in the Macacha formulas) provides a complete protein resulting in an equivalent PDCAA score to that of whey.

Why is plant protein more sustainable? Is it really better for the environment?

“In addition, what’s good for you is good for our planet. Livestock production causes more disruption of the climate than all forms of transportation combined. And because it takes as much as 10 times more grain to produce the same amount of calories through livestock as through direct grain consumption, eating a plant-based diet could free up resources for the hungry.

How do I know your botanicals are ethically sourced?

We strive to ensure that all of our growers and suppliers adhere to our strict criteria on product quality, ethics and sustainability. We regularly audit all our suppliers to ensure product authenticity and that fair trading practices are maintained. Visit our ingredients section for more on current positive initiatives involving all aspects of our supply chain, including our growers and suppliers.

 Are naturally derived vitamins better that synthetic ones?

This is a highly controversial area and the research is somewhat inconclusive. However, there are indications that natural forms may be preferential in terms of bioavailability and safety profiles. Natural forms are often present along with phytonutrient co-factors which can elicit additional protective effects and may play a role in enhancing bioavailability. 

Can I use the protein powder for cooking?

    Whilst the blends could be used for cooking, the essential range is best suited as it is the most neutral in flavor. Pea has a distinctive savoury profile. However, it is very versatile and you can use pea protein powder to make creamy protein sauces, protein soups, crepes, savoury pancakes, and breads. You can also use it to make protein muffins, cupcakes, cookies and protein bars! Pea protein powder gives a wonderful bready texture to baked goods. It is this quality that makes it one of the best flour-replacing powders.

    Brown rice protein is excellent for making delicious protein cakes and biscuits. However it naturally readily absorbs liquid so you have to be careful not to use too much, ensuring you have sufficient moisture balance within the recipe otherwise the foods can be too dense.

    Hemp combined with cacao is a wonderful partnership and really optimises the flavour profile. Again, hemp absorbs liquid readily and it is crucial to provide plenty of high liquid containing or ‘moisturising’ foods to balance the texture. Hemp is ideal for protein truffles, cakes, chocolates, and brownies. It also works very well in savoury pancakes.

    For fantastic creative energy-packed recipes from our guest chefs, please visit our recipe section or send us your best recipe for a chance to win protein packed goodies! (link to recipes).

    How is this protein different than a conventional protein?

    We believe plant protein offers a number of distinct advantages. It is ecological, organic, and contains important vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrient co-factors.

    Research highlights that plant protein has an excellent profile and that health and performance gains can equally match or exceed those delivered by animal-derived protein.

    Free From

    Gluten, Dairy, GMO-free. They dont inlcude: artificial colours, sweeteners, and/or flavourings.

     How does the muscle ‘repair itself’?

    Demanding physical exercise results in exercise-induced muscle damage. This results in an adaptation that takes place such that the muscle is more resistant to damage and any damage that does occur is repaired at a faster rate. The body repairs itself through a process known as hypertrophy, where the muscle fibers adapt, develop and gain improved strength as a result. In muscle, testosterone stimulates protein synthesis (anabolic effect) and inhibits protein degradation (anti-catabolic effect); combined, these effects account for the promotion of muscle hypertrophy. Essentially, muscle tone relates to the state of contraction of the muscle. Through regular physical training and improving the lean to fat ratio towards improved musculature, a more ‘toned’ physique can be achieved.

     How will I know that I have gained muscle tone?

     A very practical approach is how well your clothes fit, however, if you prefer the more scientific approach it is worth having your body fat measured. You can follow the NHS guidelines for health by measuring your BMI.

    This is a guide for healthy weight range although does not take into account muscle gains.

    Another important measure to use alongside the BMI test is the waist to hip ratio.

    The waist to hip ratio calculator gives determines the possibility of health risks and is an indication of whether you have an apple or pear-shaped figure.

    Research from the Institute of Preventative Medicine in Copenhagen has indicated people who have more weight around their waist are referred to as apple shaped and are subject to more health risks than pear shape figured people, who have more weight around their hips.Other methods include the use of skin calipers or by using bio-impedance scales.

    BIA measures the impedance or resistance to the signal as it travels through the water that is found in muscle and fat. The more muscle a person has, the more water their body can hold. The greater the amount of water in a person's body, the easier it is for the current to pass through it. The more fat, the more resistance to the current. BIA is safe and it does not hurt. In fact, the signal used in body fat monitors cannot be felt at all either by an adult or child.


    An ideal fitness reference range for women is 21-24% and for athletes 14-20%. Measuring body fat levels by using bio-impedance scales is far more motivational as subtle improvements in body composition can be established, rather than just measuring weight which does not take into account improved body composition. Whilst bio-impedance scales are useful they do have some limitations due to variable effects due to hydration or food intake.

    For more information please see:

    Am I going to get big muscles?

    No, protein in isolation will not result in gaining bulky muscles. Such physiques are dependent upon many factors including genetics, training intensity and gender differences such as hormones. The dominant factor in the development of muscle mass in response to weight training is the hormone testosterone. However testosterone levels are many times higher in men than women, hence there is little concern for women gaining big muscles through weight training. What weight training can help you achieve is; helping burn more calories at rest, build stronger bones, help stabilise blood sugar and improve core stability thereby reducing the risk of injuries. Muscles adapt and strengthen in relation to the resistance put upon them, and this takes time and commitment. Nutrition is a key component for a healthy physique and a quality protein supplement can help towards healthy muscle function, tone, and lean body mass.

    Can I measure strength? How do I know I am stronger and why is that important?

    Strength is important no matter what anyone tells you. Whether it’s in the gym or the ability to engage in daily activities such as climbing stairs or walking the dog – these all require strength. Through exercise and optimum nutrition, you can help maintain strength with age and potentially take your strength to the next level. By gradually increasing weight training intensity over a period of time you can clearly measure strength gains or through increased endurance (number of repetitions). Your response and adaptation to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can also be a marker of strength and other performance parameters. HIIT is becoming a highly regarding method for building strength and fitness for those with time limitations

    An emerging and trendy strategy to measure strength is through self-monitoring using wearable technology with real-time feedback. Devices such as Fitbit, Nike FuelBand, Jawbone, and the Apple watch have helped define new ways of monitoring health data. New emerging wearable technologies are introducing strength measurements, creating an enormous opportunity for tracking training progress. 

     But is it not better to have protein with some actual food let’s say chicken or eggs or nuts?

     Wholefood is naturally the best option, which is why at Macacha we strive to source the finest quality unadulterated plant protein for optimum absorption and maximum results. An active lifestyle incorporating regular training sessions increases the demand for extra nutrients. High quality, plant-sourced protein supplementation provides a healthy, convenient solution for helping provide key amino acids and crucial co-factors to help optimise recovery and muscle maintenance.

    Why would I choose a product with added ingredients (superfoods etc) instead of plain protein?

    For those looking to focus on specific areas such as; energy, beauty or weight control, we have carefully formulated synergistic organic blends, which on top of the benefits of protein, contain a specific blend of phytonutrient-rich botanicals providing an array of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and plant-based antioxidants.

    The Protein Blends have been formulated based on providing the following:

    1. Organic plant-sourced protein powder – supplying key amino acids along with naturally occurring co-factors (compounds that support the metabolism of the protein and may confer other health benefits) for optimum performance
    2. Nutrient-dense Organic wholefood blend – to support whole-body health e.g. endocrine and metabolic demands, provide synergistic nutrients for female support, and to aid recovery from exercise
    3. Specifically focused ingredients targeting functional needs e.g. Green coffee to support healthy body composition (percentage of fat versus lean tissue in the body)

    How can I guarantee that your product meets WADA approval?

    We ensure that all of our products are suitable for high-level professional sportsmen and women and that they comply with the standards outlined by Informed-Sport. For a list of our approved products please visit the Informed-Sport website.   

    Can I take the both Serenity and the Energy blend at the same time?  

    Yes, these can be used together to great effect. Although they seem polar opposites in their effects, yet there are opportunities for synergy in combination.

    One approach would be to include the energy formula for an early morning workout. Providing vitalising nutrients, adaptogens, and amino acids to stimulate the senses, awaken and refresh along with facilitating effective muscle recovery.

    You could then utilise the Serenity blend after an evening session to either reinforce the mood-soothing effects of a yoga session or relax and unwind, such as after a hard spin session. Alternatively, you could choose to use the Energy formula on days that require increased mental and physical demands needing a greater energy input and save the Serenity formula for weekend nervous system reboot and recovery.

    How about Omega 3? Do I take them at the same time?

    Omega 3 fatty acids are another key player in cardio-respiratory health, muscle recovery, structural integrity and hormonal synthesis and maintenance. They are also key to regulating inflammation and exercise performance.

    It has been suggested that the ingestion of EPA and DHA of approximately 1-2 g/d, at a ratio of EPA to DHA of 2:1, may be beneficial in counteracting exercise-induced inflammation and for the overall athlete health.

    Taken on a daily basis, the inclusion of the important EFAs, particularly omega 3 can help support cellular health and limit the negative effects of exercise-induced inflammation. High quality, plant-sourced, omega 3 rich oils can be found in our product section (insert hyperlink). fish oils? Or just seed/coconut/sunflower or other alternatives e.g.

     How much Omega 3 per scoop in a Hemp protein serving?  



    Brown Rice









    Fatty acids




    Energy Values




    What about my kidneys? 

    The major concern associated with renal function was the role that the kidneys have in nitrogen excretion and the potential for a high protein diet to over-stress the kidneys. In healthy individuals, there does not appear to be any adverse effects of a high protein diet. In a study on bodybuilders consuming a high protein (2.8g/kg) diet, no negative changes were seen in any kidney function tests (Poortsman and Dellalieux, 2000). However, in individuals with existing kidney disease, it is recommended that they limit their protein intake to approximately half of the normal RDA level for daily protein intake (0.8 g/kg/day). Lowering protein intake is thought to reduce the progression of renal disease by decreasing hyperfiltration (Brenner et al., 1996).

    Flamboyant Flavonoids (they give colour to fruit and veg)!

    Flavonoids, a diverse group of phytonutrients or plant chemicals are responsible for the vivid colors in fruits and vegetables. They are powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits.

    What are Polyphenols?

    Polyphenols are secondary metabolites of plants and are generally involved in defense against ultraviolet radiation or aggression by pathogens.  They are naturally occurring compounds found largely in the fruits, vegetables, cereals, and beverages and typically contribute to the bitterness, astringency, color, flavor, odor and oxidative stability.  Polyphenols may be classified into different groups as a function of the number of phenol rings that they contain and on the basis of structural elements that bind these rings to one another. The main classes include phenolic acids, flavonoids, stilbenes, and lignans.