Mr. Khan spends 2 hours daily in working out in a gym . He wants a complete workout with resistance training to develop strength, flexibility and a toned body, for that his gym instructor recommends him to take protein powder supplement daily . He is not sure about which protein shake will be best for his body. He has googled but got confused over the so many options in market. Let’s help him to gain knowledge about what is protein powder , how to use , any side effects of its using.
Protein is an important macronutrient which plays various functions in the body including providing immunity, building muscles, repairing tissue , making hormones and enzymes. Protein powder is an easy way to enhance your protein intake which is difficult to meet from normal food sources .Especially athletes need this kind of supplements. Normal requirement of protein is 1 gm/ kg but those who train hard need extra protein which is about 1.6 gm/kg to gain muscle and recover effectively from the workout.
Protein powder supplement is mostly beneficial for –
- who need to grow muscle mass
- who is sick not able to eat enough food
- vegan , doesn’t get animal protein
- older people having less appetite
Protein powder for women: Many supplements brands are now marketed specifically to women to help in maintaining a healthy hormonal balance and metabolism , along with improving the texture of skin and hair.
Different types of Protein Powder: A numerous types of protein powder is available in the market . They are mainly either animal based or plant based.
Animal based protein are – whey , casein, egg, collagen protein powder.
- Whey protein – Most common protein powder in the market containing all essential amino acids ,it is basically a milk based and water soluble powder.
- Benefits – Helps in weight reduction , lowers cholesterol level , control blood pressure and prevent cardiovascular disease.
- Casein protein – Another high quality protein made from milk, containing all essential amino acids.
- Benefits – Increase muscle mass, boost immunity, helps in weight loss
Whey vs Casein Protein: Whey protein is fast digesting protein , takes roughly 20 minutes to be digested and absorbed, that is why it is recommended to drink whey protein shake directly after a workout as muscles are literally hungry for carbs and protein after a hard workout session, so it’s most beneficial to consume during this period. Casein is a slow digesting protein , takes about 2-4 hours to be absorbed. So it provides a steady stream of protein to the exciting muscles to stay protected .
- Egg white protein – Before the popularity of whey protein , egg protein was the favorite of bodybuilders as mass gainer . Egg is considered a high BV protein at 100 . Rather than consuming a large number of eggs at a time, bodybuilders, athletes, and even fitness enthusiasts use egg white protein powder which serves more protein in a scoop.
- Benefits – increase muscle tone , increase protein consumption without increase consumption of fat, saturated fat and cholesterol
- Collagen protein -Collagen is the main component of connective tissue that makes up several parts of the body, including tendons, ligaments, skin, and muscles. Collagen peptides are very much beneficial for maintaining skin structure and strengthening bones. However, because normal collagen production declines with age, getting additional collagen from dietary supplements may provide added support as we get older.
- Benefits – Boost elasticity of skin, slow the aging of your skin by reducing wrinkles and dryness, helps relieve joint pain.
Plant based proteins are – soy, pea, hemp and brown rice protein.
- Soy protein – Soy protein made from soybean, is a complete protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids. Soy is a good source of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) – leucine, isoleucine and valine which play an important role in building muscle, recovering from heavy workouts, and improving exercise performance.
- Pea protein – This vegetable source of protein is extracted from yellow peas. It is free from common allergens and is both vegan and vegetarian-friendly. It is also rich in iron
- Hemp protein – Hemp seeds are high in vital fatty acids as well as complete proteins. Hemp is a great option for vegetarians and anyone who is allergic to dairy or soy.
- Brown Rice protein -Another popular vegan protein supplement among fitness enthusiasts . It is easily digestible.
Beneficial property of Protein Powder Supplement:
- increasing muscle tone
- weight loss
- boost immunity
- control high blood pressure
- control type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
- improve heart health
- reduce inflammation
- improve digestion
Animal Protein Powder vs Plant Protein Powder:
From nutritional prospect , there are a lot differences . Animal based protein powder contains more protein in comparison with plant protein. Mostly all thr essential amino acids are present in animal protein powder. If you’re looking to get as much protein as possible, choose a powder made from whey, casein, eggs, or collagen. Whey and casein protein powder also contains a good amount of calcium , though depends upon the formulation of the product you’re purchasing .
Plant based protein powder is designed for vegetarians or vegans. It is mostly suitable for those who are allergenic to milk products. In addition , plant protein powder provides extra fiber. But the problem with this supplement is taste and texture . For that reason, many people have to add other stuffs with it like sweeteners , fruit , butter etc.
Regardless of the type of protein supplement you select, it is always recommended to choose an organic supplement with as few ingredients as possible.
How to add protein powder
You can mix protein powder with water and milk, smoothies and soups and baked goods. Protein shakes can be made in many different interesting ways. You can also add it to any home based meal. It is worthy to note protein powder does not provide enough calories and nutrition to be your actual meal.
The generally recommended scoop is 1 to 2 (25 to 50 grams) per day, but it is recommended that you follow the serving directions on the package. Maximum 2 protein – shakes per day is enough. Taking more of this is unlikely to provide more benefits, especially if you’re already getting enough protein. You need to consult a sport dietitian regarding the dose and use before choosing anything.
Side effects of Protein Powder
Before going gaga over protein powders , one must realize that consuming too much protein for a long period can produce undesirable results such as dehydration and disturb digestive system. Too much protein is not harmful for the people whose kidney function is normal , but it can produce severe adverse effect in kidney failure patients.
A 2011 study revealed those who consumed whey protein even during the short period experienced an increase in urine plasma urea, urine volume, and calcium excretion, while the pH of urine citrate decreased. This essentially indicates increased stress on the kidneys, which is the first step in kidney disease.
Remember protein powder is ultimately a processed item containing chemicals such as artificial ingredients, additives, flavour enhancer , extra sugar , heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium and arsenic and may also contain other contaminants that can contribute to adverse health effects. Protein powders may also contain a good amount of sugars and calories which can produce detrimental effects in diabetic people.
The main problem with protein powder marketing is that the FDA grants permission to the manufacturing company to evaluate the safety and labelling of the product, as a result we don’t know what the company is claiming is right or not. Most low cost protein powders available in market contains steroid as hidden contents which can produce harmful effect to the body like indigestion or heartburn, increased appetite, which could lead to weight gain, difficulty in sleeping, changes in mood and behavior, such as feeling irritable or anxious.
It is noteworthy, all protein powder supplements are not unsafe. All you have to do is to find the best protein powder as per your need. You must scan the ingredients label and put it back if you see artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors, mention of GMO.
Don’t fall for advertising when you’re selecting the protein powder supplements. Mr Khan should consult with a sport dietitian before going with anything . Dietician would be able to assess best whether you really need a protein supplement, and if you do, how much of it you need. Make sure you buy genuine protein supplements. There are a lot of fake products available in the market. So, make a conscious effort in determining the genuinity of the seller and the product first. But, the best is to have all your protien needs met from natural sources/natural food.
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