Protein powder is a very popular nutritional supplement that has been in the craze for quite a few years now.
Since protein is one of the essential macronutrients, it is high in demand. It helps in building muscle, works on muscles, helps repair broken tissues and makes enzymes and hormones.
Taking protein powder elevates the speed and helps your body work on itself so that you can sweat in the gym and not feel weak.
Protein powder is present in various forms such as plant-based, dairy-based and even options that are non-veg. You can chart out your needs and then plan which one will suit your diet plan.
Benefits of protein powder
Protein is an essential part of our body’s makeup. It is required for the growth of bones, muscles and skin as well. The body needs protein to produce hormones, enzymes and other essential chemicals.
Taking protein powder will be beneficial in the following ways –
If you are trying to get lean, taking protein powder will help you immensely. Since it is an isolated protein, you can take it and feel fuller for a longer time. This will make you not want to snack and eat frequently, reducing your intake and subsequently managing your weight.
It has been discerned that intake of powder protein will help people who are struggling with obesity and such. It can also help with reducing blood pressure, keeping your total cholesterol in check and other such factors that all point toward cardiovascular risks.
Protein powder helps in increasing the rate of muscle repair and growth. If you are trying to get buff at the gym without gaining extra fat, then adding whey protein to your diet will be helpful.
It is also useful for people who are in training for physically taxing sports events such as weight lifting etc.
The best part is protein powder affects men and women the same way, so there is no disparity. It depends on your body’s capabilities.
Helps with recovery
When you are working out and making your body go through a lot of hard work, you do need time to rest and recuperate. To not get slowed down, you need to keep it evenly spaced out and not for too long as it will affect your routine.
Consuming protein powder will help your body regain its original strength and get over injuries quickly.
Helps with nutrition intake
Many vegetarians and vegans find it hard to fulfil their daily protein intake – 46 g for women and 56 g for men over the age of nineteen.
Using protein powder in their diet is an easy solution that will help them reach their daily intake requirement while not having to compromise on their diet.
People who need to take more than their usual intake of protein for a variety of reasons including athletes, chronically ill people and older people can also take the help of protein powder so that they can commit to their requirements.
Types of protein powder
As mentioned earlier, protein comes in all different kinds. The most common are whey, something that you might have heard about somewhere, but it is not the only one. Here are some commonly used protein powders that you need to know about –
Whey protein is a water-soluble milk protein that is very popular among athletes and people who are regular at the gym. It is quick to absorb and retain and has all the required amino acids that our body needs.
Also, it is popular for all the right reasons. It helps enhance your body’s antioxidant defences, helps with inflammatory bowel disease, and is also helpful with type-2 diabetes.
Another popular protein powder, casein is rich in glutamine which is the amino acid responsible for recovery after exercise. It comes from dairy, and hence vegans and lactose-intolerant people cannot indulge in it. Since it is a slow-digesting protein, it is recommended that one takes it after they are done with the gym, preferably at night.
Soy protein is the best alternative for vegans. It contains all essential amino acids so you can take it to fulfil all your needs that casein and whey do for people who consume dairy.
Not as popular as the others, pea protein is a plant-based protein powder that is a good quality replacement and alternative for whey, casein and soy. It is also a good source of arginine, an important amino acid.
Hemp seeds are complete proteins and also have essential fatty acids, making them the best plant-based alternative for vegans and people with dairy allergies.
What to keep in mind when shopping for protein powder
It is important to remember that protein powder comes in various kinds and flavours. You need to narrow down your requirements and flavour preference so that you know what to buy. Their price range is also varying so make sure you do your research and talk to people at your gym before concluding. If it is too cheap, then it may not be of good quality. It is better to buy smaller packets of good quality stuff to check for yourself before investing in protein powders for the long term.
How to use protein powder?
Before using protein powder make sure you calculate what your daily need is and how much of it is unmet from your regular diet. Then check out how much each serving of your protein powder consists of, and subsequently use it in your diet.
The most common way is to make protein shakes, or some people also add milk and fruits to make protein smoothies. It depends on your taste and preference.
To sum up, protein is required by everyone. If your needs are unmet, you can consider including protein powder in your diet. If you are going to the gym and want to get serious about your body, indulging in a good quality protein powder is the right call for you. People who are trying to watch their weight can also try using supplements so that their nutrition needs are met without them indulging a lot.
It is important to choose the right kind for yourself, and it is important to talk to your dietician and doctor before taking any kind of nutritional supplement.