Should You Take Protein Supplements?
Protein is what makes your body work at a cellular level; proteins are the building blocks of your muscles, and this means that taking supplements and meeting protein requirements set out by dietary guidelines is not only important for maintaining a high level of nutrition, but also to assist in the regeneration and restoration of muscles.
“Proteins are also used to manufacture hormones, enzymes, cellular messengers, nucleic acids, and immune-system components.” – Bodybuilding.com
This means that they’re needed on a number of levels, and a depleted source could leave you feeling weak and even ill in some cases. There are a number of ways to introduce more protein into your diet; some of these come in the form of supplements like shakes, bars, and tablets, while others include additional portions of lean meat with meals, or finding animal free sources like nuts, quinoa, and beans.
Why Take Supplements?
Some people frown on the concept of utilizing a supplement rather than taking protein out of the natural components you were brought up with. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with trying to keep your meal plan at par with real home grown foods, but taking advantage of the specially designed protein powders and supplements that are created with the athlete in mind means that you might also reap some additional benefits.
“Dietary supplements offer all of the benefits that natural sources do, though in a different, more quick absorbing form. Athletes and people with a lack of protein in their diets can use them to recover much quicker, build muscle and as a quick source when they need to consume more.” – Healthy Fitness – Hubpages
This means that you’re still getting the same kinds of vitamins and nutrients that you would get by ingesting a piece of chicken with your salad, but your body will have an easier time breaking it down and using the additional protein specifically for your muscles. There are many different shakes and bars on the market – I personally believe that BioTrust’s Low Carb protein tastes the best – but finding one that suits your tastes can be difficult because many of them have such a strong flavor if you’re not yet used to them. Chocolate, orange, strawberry, vanilla, and peanut butter are just a few of the flavors you can find in the powder. Bars come in yogurt dipped and chocolate dipped varieties with varying flavors inside such as chocolate peanut butter and caramel nut.
Restore Energy And Reduce Your Waistline
Protein isn’t just for those who are trying to build muscle or maintain health, they also work well to bring down your weight, especially if the supplement that you choose has whey in it. Whey is a derivative of milk and gives users a large dose of protein as well as the added benefit of an appetite suppressant.
“Australian researchers had 28 obese men consume four different drinks. Those who consumed the beverage containing 50 grams of whey had significantly reduced levels of ghrelin (a hormone that tells your brain you’re hungry) up to four hours later.” – Men’s Fitness
Consuming whey protein shakes daily is a perfectly healthy addition to an active lifestyle as long as proper meals are also being consumed. A protein shake can also help you to take weight off and keep it off because of the essential nutrients you’re getting without the additional fats and sugars. Liquid meal replacements can be dangerous if you’re not following nutrition guidelines, but most protein and whey powders include the necessary ingredients to make these products safe.
Recovering From Injury
As mentioned above, protein does a lot of work in muscle and cell repair, which means that when your body has enough protein and you sleep at night, it gives your cells time to regenerate. This is especially important for athletes or others who might be suffering from an injury. If your stores of protein are depleted then your body will use up what it has in an effort to repair damages caused by an injury, but if you’re supplementing that protein through bars, shakes, or tablets you’ll find yourself having more protein to spare, and your body will heal much faster. Remember to take care of yourself and your levels of protein, not just when you’re hitting the gym or heading out onto a sports field, but when you’re sick in bed as well. Your body never stops needing protein, and if you aren’t getting enough through natural edible products then using supplements is a great way to keep levels where they should be.
Starting Something New
Another athletic association to protein becomes apparent when you begin a new routine in a gym or on the streets as a runner. Anytime you start a new physical activity, you’ve got to remember to bring up your protein levels so that you’re not burning muscle rather than fat. If your body is used to functioning at a certain level of nutrients and then you begin burning more energy than it’s used to, you could have a problem.
“If working out is new to you and you’re trying to build muscle, you’ll require more protein than you normally would.” – Web MD
Your body isn’t used to the work that you’re going to be putting in for the first while, which is why you may need a little bit extra in most departments, especially protein. Without the right amount of protein your tissue and organs could break down and over training could easily lead to strained muscles, damaged joints, and other problems.
If you choose to go with a supplemental approach to getting enough protein in your diet then you should be wary when reading the boxes and packaging of the items you might be indulging in. Most powders have similar properties, but some brands contain much more sugar than others, while some contain less protein. This is the same in energy bars, where the calorie content may be due to added ingredients that you aren’t thinking about. Remember that not every product that resembles a health product belongs in the health and fitness industry.