What are the benefits of Protein powder & How to use it safely?
Protein powder is a popular nutritional supplement and it has a lot of benefits that you should consider. Not only does protein help build muscle, repair tissue, and make enzymes and hormones, but it may also help with weight loss and muscle toning.
While there aren’t any proven side effects to consuming protein powder, remember that too much of anything can have minor impacts. Be sure you get ample solid food with whatever supplement you are trying.
There are many different types of protein powders, including dairy-based and plant-based powders. We cover some of the health benefits in this article along with the different types available.
Table of contents
- What is protein powder and What are its Benefits?
- Types of protein powder
- 4 Benefits of protein powder
- Is protein powder safe for children?
- Buying a safe Protein Powder for its benefits
What is protein powder and What are its Benefits?
Protein powders are usually a protein (a macronutrient) in powder form which is used as an additive to food. They are typically created with a specific desired protein type such as animal or plant-based, and it can vary depending on the fitness program the individual is following.
Animal-based protein powders are usually made up of whey and casein, but beef and chicken proteins are becoming more popular too.
Protein shakes are priced differently and their quality has a range the FDA does not oversee.
Types of protein powder
There are several different types of protein supplements. Whey is the most popular choice but it’s not the only one – research has tended to focus on it because it’s often cheaper, but there are other options too that may be better for some people.
There are many types of protein powder, but the most common ones include:
This water-soluble milk protein is popular among athletes, as it contains all of the amino acids the human body requires from food. The body absorbs whey protein quickly and easily. Sports are a popular choice among athletes as it contains all of the amino acids that your body needs. Plus, whey protein is easily digestible and absorbs quickly into the system meaning it can be taken before or after training for the best results.
This type of protein is rich in the amino acid glutamine, which speeds up muscle recovery after exercise. Casein is found in dairy products, making it unsuitable for many people. It enters the system slower and can be a good option if you’re going to go to bed soon after your workout (since it will help put you to sleep).
Soy protein is one of the best options for dairy-free people. It’s also rich in all nine essential amino acids and can be easily used in cooking since its flavor profile is neutral.
Many plant protein powders have pea protein, which is a high-quality alternative to soy and dairy-based proteins. Pea protein also contains essential amino acids like arginine.
Hemp is a great source of complete proteins, with essential fatty acids. And because it’s vegan or dairy-free, it’s perfect for those with allergies or who can’t have soy.
4 Benefits of protein powder
Protein is one of the building blocks of muscle, bone, and skin. You need a certain amount of it to produce hormones & enzymes, as well as other vital chemicals.
1. Good for Muscle growth
Protein is necessary for building muscle. Many athletes and gym-goers drink protein shake because they believe that these drinks help them get larger after strength training.
Studies show that people who lift weights and use protein supplements see significant increases in the size & strength of their muscles.
Protein supplementation is equally effective in both men and women, but age may affect its effectiveness as requirements increase with age.
2. Nutritional Properties
Protein powder is an easy way to increase protein intake during the day and is mostly for people who have a hard time meeting requirements. Some people, like vegetarians and vegans, may find that they also need it.
Athletes, weightlifters, seniors, and people with chronic illnesses may need more protein than what the recommendation is by a general guideline.
3. Keeps your weight in check
Protein-rich foods and supplements can help you feel fuller for longer – which is why eating them may result in smaller portion sizes and less frequent snacking. That can help people maintain a healthy weight or lose body mass if needed.
Whey protein powder might benefit in helping people lose weight if they are overweight or obese. It may also help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as decrease other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
4. Recovery after exercise
Protein provides more than just muscles. It can also help heal and repair tired, damaged muscles and tissues. That’s why athletes often take protein supplements to recover faster after intense workouts.
Excess proteins from food and supplements are usually processed without issue, but more research is needed to investigate the true limit for each individual.
Until then, if you want to use protein powder, stick to 1–2 servings per day and get the rest of your protein through food.
Is protein powder safe for children?
Protein is essential for growth and development during childhood and adolescence. The best way to get it is by eating protein-rich foods like meat, dairy, beans, lentils & eggs.
There is no data to suggest that protein powder is harmful to children and teens, but it can displace nutritious foods from your diet. The best advice would be to eat more protein-rich whole foods.
Buying a safe Protein Powder for its benefits
If you’re having a hard time deciding which protein powder to buy, here are a few steps you can take to make the process easier:
- Third-party testing: Just look for labels on the product to make sure it’s certified by reputable organizations like NSF International, USP, Informed choice, and the Banned Substances Control Group.
- Label: When looking for a product, read the ingredients list carefully. This will give you more insight into what the product is and whether it contains any ingredients that you’re avoiding.
- Serving size: The best protein powders will contain 20-30 grams of protein per scoop.
Protein powders are great for those who don’t eat meat, elderly people, vegetarians, and vegans. Also, they provide a convenient source of complete protein and other essential nutrients missing in their diets.
People who want to supplement their diet with protein powder should only use a high-quality product and get clearance from their doctor or dietitian first.
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