Sports supplements have become commonplace among fitness enthusiasts and are now considered a staple for anyone looking to improve their physique.
There are dozens of protein supplements to choose from, whether you are looking to control your appetite, build muscle, or lose weight, which can be incredibly beneficial when combined with regular exercise.
Some people falsely believe supplements are somehow akin to illegal substances like steroids. However, adding protein supplements to your daily routine is a great way to enhance your performance healthily.
Protein is one of the essential macronutrients in our body and is responsible for building muscle mass. These large and complex molecules are made up of hundreds of amino acids, which link together in chains to help build and repair your cells and body tissues. It makes up the building blocks of all of your organs and muscles–it’s even found in your skin, hair, and hormones.
The average sedentary adult should consume anywhere from 45 to 60 grams of protein, depending on their weight. Those who live active lifestyles should eat more to help strengthen their muscles and prevent protein from being burned as an energy source. Your body needs about 10 to 15 grams of additional protein every day to build just a pound of muscle. The easiest way to ensure you consume enough protein in a day is by including protein supplements into your diet, such as in powder form.
Even if you never visit the gym, you’ve probably seen people talk about protein powder online.
So many fitness enthusiasts drink a protein shake after a workout to help them increase their intake and build muscle mass. Common powder types are soy, whey, and casein proteins, with whey being the most popular since it dissolves easily in water.
Making a protein powder drink is straightforward and convenient, supplying a high source of quality proteins effortlessly. These powders can range wildly in price, but the inexpensive ones still provide many benefits.
When exercising, taking additional protein supplements can significantly improve your strength and muscle size, especially when performing resistance training, regardless of gender. Your body needs protein to function and grow, so drinking a protein shake after a training session can benefit you and lead to better results.
Since protein also repairs muscles, using supplements can speed up your recovery time after an injury. You can even utilize protein powders to ease muscle soreness and fatigue after a workout. Your recovery will quicken, and your performance will improve.
Taking protein supplements can help fill your stomach and make you feel full longer, leading you to snack less and eat smaller portions. This makes it easier for you to maintain your weight or lose weight.
It might be more challenging for some people with dietary restrictions to reach the recommended daily protein intake.
The average adult should consume anywhere from 45 to 60 grams of protein, depending on gender and weight, which most people receive from their foods.
Since meat and dairy products are the best protein sources, vegetarians and vegans often utilize protein powders to help supplement that loss.
Additionally, athletes or the elderly need more protein than the recommended intake, so it’s ideal for them to consume protein supplements.
It is always best to get your nutrients and vitamins from whole foods rather than supplements. You will consume much more protein from eating protein-rich foods like eggs or Greek yoghurt than with a protein powder, especially since it won’t be the same quality of macronutrients. Natural food sources provide the essential amino acids that your body can’t naturally make.
Some protein powders might be able to supply enough amino acids, but those will be more expensive. The average powders that most people purchase fall short and fail to deliver the complete profile. If you’re concerned with your overall diet and nutrient intake, you should balance your diet to consume enough whole foods and only add supplements if you need to.
Meat, dairy, and legumes have some of the highest protein content. If you are looking to increase your protein intake with foods, consider adding Greek yogurt, red meat, and beans to your diet. Tofu, eggs, and poultry are also rich in protein and will help raise your consumption.
If you choose to use a protein powder, try mixing it into a smoothie or milkshake. Adding fruits and vegetables will benefit your health and help mask any odd taste.
While taking protein supplements like powders are generally safe and won’t harm your health, there are some potential side effects that you should consider before consuming them:
There are many different types of protein powders to choose from, so you can easily find one that fits your dietary restriction. Be mindful of any allergies you might have, such as soy or dairy, since they are found in many powders.
You should always check the label of your protein supplement to make sure it doesn’t include any extra sugar or processed ingredients. It’s doubtful that you will find a natural flavored one, though, so be sure to keep your portions small and monitor your intake.
Protein powder is beneficial for athletes looking to bulk up and build muscle. Therefore, it contains a lot of calories. Even though it is low fat and low carb, you can still potentially upset your weight if you’re not careful of how much you consume. Since most protein supplements are used in drinks, you won’t feel as full as when you eat a meal, so you might end up consuming too many calories.
Protein supplements can cause potential digestive issues and result in nausea, constipation, or diarrhea, especially if you consume too much at once. Don’t go overboard to try and increase your nutritional intake.
Remember to pay attention to serving sizes and read the labels carefully of every food item you eat since too much protein can also be challenging for your liver and kidneys to handle. Calculate your nutritional needs based on weight, age, gender, and fitness level to determine whether you need to increase your protein. Consult a dietician or your general practitioner if you need further assistance or have particular health conditions.
With the growing demand for supplements, though, there has been a surge in production and advertising for products that claim to have specific properties, like slimming or fat burning, but are harmful to your health.
It is crucial for any athlete, whether professional or recreational, to differentiate between illegal and genuine supplements. Protein supplements aren’t going to grant you increased muscle mass magically, but they are a fantastic addition alongside your regular workout and help you achieve your goals faster.