What are protein supplements ?
Along with Carbohydrates and fats Proteins are considered as three major components of human diet. In a balanced diet a certain amount of protein is prescribed by nutritionists and dieticians for an average person. However those who engage in intense physical activities
Bodybuilders and athletes may choose to rely on additional protein sources along with their normal diet for a variety of reasons. The protein supplements could be in the form of powder, ready to drink shakes, protein bars, gels, meal replacement products etc. Protein supplements are also known as recovery supplements as they help athletes to recover from intense training and assist in putting on extra muscle mass. The ease of consumption, possibility to add a flavour, lower cost than meat and fish products, ease of preparation and transport, tailormade recipe to fit one’s bodily requirements are some of the reasons bodybuilders and sports persons prefer to take protein supplements.
There are different protein sources and the quality of protein may vary depending on the source, the amino acid profile and the digestibility and assimilatory factor.
Benefits of Using Protein supplements
Proteins are the building blocks of the body. They form the cellular components and in turn they are responsible for building up tissues, mscules, bones and skins and organs of the body. They are also required to produce enzymes and hormones in the body which take part in complex metabolic activities of the body. Some of the benefits are highlighted below boradly.
- Supervised intake of protein supplements may help in weight management and lose excess weight of the body. Taking whey protein can help obese and people with higher fat mass reduce the weight and subsequently combat lifestyle related diseases.
- Protein supplements help athletes gain muscle mass after rigorous strength training
- Protein supplements intake help in speeding up the recovery stage of the athletes, bodybuilders and other sports persons.
- Protein are also used in producing enzymes and hormones, which in turn make the metabolic processes seamless and help the human body fight with diseases effectively.
Types of protein powders
The protein powders are the most popular types of supplements in this category. They are mixed in a liquid substrate such as fruit juice, milk, water or smoothie and consumed before or after the workout and sometimes replacing a meal. Let’s discuss about some popular protein powder sources
- Whey protein powder : Whey protein powder is one of the widely used protein supplements. Its is water soluble, and a complete protein. Whey protein contains all of the amino acids that the human body requires from food. Due to quick absorption by the body it is preferred by the people engaging in sports activities.
- Casein: Casein is rich in glutamine. Its believed that taking casein helps in speeding up recovery after exercises. Casein comes from dairy, making it unsuitable for vegans and people with lactose intolerance.
- Soy: Soy protein is an excellent alternative to whey or casein for people who do not consume dairy. It also contains all the essential amino acids.
- Pea: Pea protein is a good source of the amino acid arginine.
- Hemp: Hemp seeds are complete proteins that also contain essential fatty acids. This makes hemp an excellent choice for vegans or those with dairy or soy allergies.
Though protein supplements have multiple benefits, they should be taken under expert guidance and supervision. Excessive protein intake might cause altered metabolism in the body, hence under guidance from a professional protein supplements may help in achieving goals safely.