What You Need to Know About Protein Powder

November 12, 2012

What You Need to Know About Protein Powder

Muscles need protein in order to become bigger and stronger. Bodybuilders and professional athletes use protein powder to supplement their protein intake. There are many brands, flavors and textures available without a prescription in supermarkets, health food stores and online sites. Protein nutritional supplements alone will not build muscles unless a person regularly works out with weights or implements another vigorous exercise routine. Powder Ingredients Protein powder is made from high sources of natural protein such as rice, eggs, soybeans, whey from milk. Basic protein sources are made into a soup and then dried into a powder, which can be stored for long periods of time. Powders are then added to liquids, baked goods or other foods in order to add protein content to a person’s diet. Some powders contain sweeteners, caffeine or vitamins. Always read the ingredients label before purchasing. Depending on the brand purchased, protein powder can be used as the basis for a shake drink or can be added to soups, breakfast cereals or other foods. Cold shake drinks are the most common usage, with the powder added to water, milk or fruit juice. The Importance of Protein Unlike other body chemicals such as fat, the body cannot store protein. In healthy people, excess protein is excreted through urine or feces. In order to create strong, aesthetically pleasing muscles, a person must consume protein throughout the day before of after a workout. But eating natural sources of protein can lead to overeating and obesity. Protein powders offer protein without the added bother of eating extra protein-laden meals.

Protein is not only used by the body for making muscles and tissues. Some studies indicate that eating some protein powder every day can aid the body’s natural immune system by helping wounds heal faster. Healthy skin also needs protein in order to remain supple and heal from minor injuries. Some doctors recommend a small powder shake per day for patients having trouble maintaining their blood sugar levels or for vegetarians that have difficulty getting enough protein in their diets.

Pros and Cons

Protein powders can be packed with extra calories, which can make a person put on fat instead of muscle. Muscle is also heavier than fat, so protein powders cannot be used as a means to lose weight as many people gain weight while taking these products. However, this will muscle weight and not fat. An average person with moderate exercise levels will get more than enough protein in the form of meat, eggs, dairy products or beans. Otherwise, the extra protein will be removed from the body by the liver and kidneys. Only an athlete, an athlete recovering from an injury, rapidly growing teenager, bodybuilder or a professional model need to consume vast quantities of protein.

Large amounts of protein consumed over a long period of time may damage the liver or kidneys. For people who already have kidney or liver problems, extra protein may be harmful. In order to get the right dose for you, talk to your doctor or nutritionist before using protein nutritional supplements. Your individual dosage will be based on your gender, age, dietary preferences and current weight.

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