The Ultimate Protein Powder Guide: Protein FAQ

Basics and Beyond!

Fitness is a multi-billion dollar entity, and dietary supplements such as protein powders have become hugely popular amongst the masses. Today, there is no denying the fact that we live in an image-conscious world. The desire for a perfect and healthy physique is fostered by health-minded individuals across the world.

protein powder Professional athletes have long relied on dietary supplements to build muscles and strength. Protein powders are not confined merely for bodybuilders or underweight weaklings looking to beef up their muscles. Its followers range from professional athletes to homemakers looking forward to leading a healthy lifestyle.

Today, the market is flooded with a wide spectrum of protein powders, which are readily available without the need for a formal prescription. Packed with the goodness of vital amino acids and other nutritional contents, protein powders are seen in the cabinet of almost every household out there. With an abundance of avid followers, it’s interesting to learn whether protein powder has been able to live up to the hype or not. Let’s study the basics of protein powders before we dig deeper to unveil other interesting facts associated with the use of protein powders.

How does protein powder function in our body?

Not many individuals out there are aware of the fact that the majority of our living cells would die without the supply of protein. Once inside the body, protein powder facilitates several bodily functions. More than often, they target certain metabolic pathways or functions such as energy supply, digestion process, fat metabolism or physical activities such as weight training, jogging, etc. These functions experience a boost in a positive manner with the consumption of protein powder. Unused proteins are disposed of from our body as waste.

What is protein powder made from?

Protein powders consist of four basic elements-milk, egg, rice, and soy. Most protein powders sold in the market contain one or a combination of these ingredients. The four ingredients outlined here are obtained in concentrated forms and then powdered to be reconstituted into a solid or liquid form of a supplement.

Why should you consider protein powder?

At some point, most minds might have pondered over this million-dollar question. Why would one choose a protein supplement as opposed to natural protein foods? Oddly enough, the answer to this question is pretty simple. Protein powder delivers the desired amount of protein required by our body without the presence of additional carbohydrates and fat that is usually present in a natural protein-rich diet. Natural protein foods such as eggs, milk, meat, etc come with a baggage of fat and carbohydrate along with protein supply, whereas protein powders are available in concentrated forms with a very little amount of carbohydrate and fat.

In other words, consumption of protein powder is a great way to supply your body with all the raw materials required to build muscle and power, without the risk of gathering unwanted flesh on your body. Besides this, protein powders are easy on our digestive system. Unlike solid foods, supplements are effortlessly absorbed by our bodies. The wide variety of flavors also satisfies our taste buds.

Because protein powders are prepared to keep in mind the daily dietary needs of an average individual, it maintains our immune system at peak working order. Needless to say, nothing beats protein powder, when we talk about a powerful fuel that can help us build strong, lean, and big muscles without the involvement of nasty side effects. This is one of the prime reasons why serious bodybuilders swear by it.

Types of Protein Powders

Broadly speaking, there are five different types of protein powders. Most of these offer similar health benefits with certain variations. Let’s take a look at each of the five types of protein powder.

Whey Protein

Whey protein powder is without a doubt the most popular protein supplement out there in the market. Whey proteins are made from milk protein. They can be mixed easily with water or milk. The two most important selling points of whey proteins are that they are quite inexpensive and are absorbed very quickly by our bodies. The speedy digestion feature enhances one’s overall health and productivity.

Casein Protein

Unlike whey protein, casein does not offer the benefit of rapid digestion. This in turn makes it an ideal meal replacement product. The slow digestion process will ensure that your body is not negatively impacted if you go without food for an extended period of time.

Soy Protein

Soy proteins are very similar to whey proteins in terms of functionality. However, they do carry a drawback. Soy protein breaks down very easily in comparison to whey protein. Consequently, our muscles receive less supply of amino acids.

Egg protein

Egg protein can serve as a perfect diet replacement. Packed with vital amino acids and other ingredients, they can supply our body with a great number of proteins without going high on carbohydrate and fat content.

Benefits of Protein Powder

weight training Throughout the history of bodybuilding, proteins have been used in one form or the other. It’s no secret that protein powder can help one build lean muscles. It also helps one recover from injury very quickly and improves our recovery period during endurance training. Besides this, it’s also used as an effective weight-loss tool in conjunction with proper diet and exercise. As mentioned earlier, it also boosts our immune system.

It can regulate our blood sugar levels as well. Not to undermine the fact that it offers us great nutritional benefits, thereby contributing to our overall health. Protein shakes are an ideal choice for time-pressed individuals looking to enjoy a hearty meal within minutes.

Protein Powder and weight Loss

Today, protein powder finds a place in most of the weight loss diet plans out there for a good reason. The fact that protein powder aids in the muscle-building process helps one get rid of unwanted fats. It’s a documented fact that an increase in body muscles promotes weight loss. 

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Are protein powders safe for women and children?

Once seen as a private domain of bodybuilders, protein powders are found to be extremely safe for women and children as well. After all, the comfort of on-the-run nutritional benefit sounds alluring to everyone out there. In recent years, product manufacturers have been creating products keeping in mind the target audience. You will find separate supplements for men, women, children, elders, etc. These supplements have different serving suggestions on them depending upon the sex and age of the user.

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That being said, the American Academy of Pediatricians suggests that dietary supplements should not be consumed by individuals below the age of 18. However, there is no hard and fast rule over here. It’s not uncommon to find teen bodybuilders resorting to supplements for rapid results. The key over here is proper guidance and use. As long as one follows proper guidelines, one won’t encounter any issues.

On the other hand, pregnant women and individuals suffering from any kind of ailment should necessarily seek their physician’s consent before laying their hands on dietary supplements, in order to play safe with their health. After all, one can’t afford to take healthcare for granted.

Are protein powders a good choice for Vegetarians?

As outlined earlier, protein supplements are made from concentrated ingredients derived from natural sources. So, there is no reason why vegetarians should hold themselves back from investing in protein powder. Most vegetarians struggle to meet their dietary protein requirements because vegetarian foods have to be consumed in large quantities to fulfill the requirement. Protein powders can easily curb this problem, which is why they are considered as a good dietary food supplement for vegetarians.

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What is the ideal time to consume protein powder?

Most people are seen throwing an arm and a leg to figure out the best time to consume protein powder. The market is filled with contradictory information, which doesn’t help the cause. Remember, protein powders are easily digested by our bodies, which means that they reach our muscles faster than any other source of protein. To make the most of this feature, one should consider consuming protein powder post-workout so that the starving muscles obtain an immediate supply of protein. Protein powders can serve as a good pre-workout snack as well for the same reason. Your body will receive a constant supply of energy, thereby ensuring that you don’t slow down during endurance training.

How much protein should you intake?

The body’s requirement for protein depends upon your body weight and daily activities. Individuals leading a sedentary lifestyle would require less protein in comparison to those who lead a super active lifestyle. On a more general level, protein consumption should be 1.5 grams per pound (0.45 kg) for those training with weights and 1 gram per pound for those resorting to protein powders to merely meet their body’s nutrient requirement. Adequate water consumption should accompany protein powder to ensure that all essential nutrients are spread evenly throughout the body.

Do protein powders carry any side effects?

protein shake Protein powder has its fair share of controversies and side effects. There are certain minimal side effects associated with the use of protein powder. That being said, there are no credible records over here. High amounts of protein intake are blamed for certain digestive problems, kidney issues, liver failure, and allergic reactions amongst users.

As mentioned earlier, there is bare minimum evidence that can back up these claims of adversity. However, the irony lies in the fact that most supplements are not keenly regulated by the FDA for purity, safety and other essential standards, which is why the risks involved( if any) will vary from brand to brand. As they say, anything in excess is bad for our health, so one’s best bet would be to make sure that they don’t abuse their body by going high on protein consumption. One should consume it in moderate quantity as prescribed by an expert or as outlined on the product label.

Should you believe everything that is advertised?

Before investing your hard-earned money on any dietary supplement, you should do proper homework from your end. It’s high time for people to stop falling prey to advertising gimmicks. Most celebrities and models are paid to endorse a particular product, and they may not necessarily be using them in real life. Everything that you see in a magazine or on your television screen is wrapped as per the producer’s requirement. Your best bet would be to check honest customer testimonials about the products by researching hard so that you don’t include your name in the list of victims getting scammed by bogus offers.

What is the Cost of Protein Powders?

Needless to say, protein powders come at a cost. Fortunately, they aren’t very expensive. You will be able to buy one without creating a dent in your bank account. That being said, the price will differ from one brand to another. As a smart consumer, you should be wary of hyperbolic claims. One is advised to refer to the standard nutritional labels to picture out the cost of the supplement.

For instance, a 10-pound container costing £70 with 53 servings will cost you £1.32 per serving (price divided by the number of servings). So, make sure to check the labels to see how many servings the container has so that you are able to evaluate the standard cost of the supplement by dividing the servings by the price. The price range will fall somewhere around a few cents to a few dollars for each serving, depending upon the chosen brand.

Which is the best protein powder out there?

It’s next to impossible to reckon a name over here because each protein powder will act a little differently. Remember, all protein supplements are not created equal so it’s in your best interest to choose the one that best fits your needs, price, and taste bud.

Would an online deal be safe for me?

Today, it won’t be an understatement to claim that an average consumer gets overwhelmed by the number of products and information available in the market. With most consumers drifting their preference towards the Internet, there is no reason why you should shy away from considering an online deal. It’s relatively easy to browse through different products before finalizing one. Also, one doesn’t have to step out of the four walls of their house to obtain the product. With so many online stores readily waiting to serve their next client, you can expect some discount coming your way as well.

On a whole, protein powders make a great gift for anybody with a keen desire to improve his/her health. Experts reckon that protein powders do more good than harm. One’s best bet would be to team it up with a balanced diet and exercise to experience the best results for their time and efforts. It’s also important to stick to the basics. Don’t use it aggressively!

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