Protein supplements for weight gain. As we all know the food you eat is extremely important and you should always make a conscious effort to eat healthy. But because of unbelievably hectic schedules and pressures from work and personal life, it is next to impossible to eat six perfectly balanced daily meals throughout the day. Thus a huge range of protein and other dietary supplements are available in the market. But most people don’t know the why, how much, when and which protein supplements is to be used.
What are protein supplements?
Protein supplements are powders and bars that consist mainly of protein (mostly whey). As an active person, you need a diet rich in protein to improve muscle recovery and growth, maintain muscle tissue, and strengthen your immune system. But most of the people don’t have the time to actively look after diet, so protein supplements can provide you the convenience needed.
Different types of protein supplements
There are different types of protein supplements available in the market like:
- Whey protein: Whey protein supplements are made from cow’s milk. Owing to its quick digestibility, it helps in quick recovery from exercise. Whey protein supplements preserve muscles and hence they are the best to use.
- Casein protein: Pronounced kay-seen, it is the predominant protein found in milk. 80% of cow’s milk is casein and only 20% is whey. Casein molecules form a gel in the stomach, which is able to provide a sustained slow release of amino acids into the blood stream, sometimes lasting for several hours (3 to 7 hours). This makes casein an ideal choice before bedtime to support growth and recovery as you sleep.
- Beef protein: As the name suggests, they are derived from beef and are released slowly in the bloodstream. They are a rich source of blood building iron and also B-vitamins. They are digested in 4 to 5 hours.
- Egg white protein: Egg white protein is made from egg whites and has many of the benefits of egg whites. It is recognized by body builders and nutritionists as a highly superior source of protein.
- Soy protein: The rather slower releasing proteins, soy proteins are catching on with their counterparts because soy has the ability to reduce the risk of hormone-dependent cancers. They are digested in 2 to 3 hours. Soy protein is popular among vegetarians as it is made from soy beans. American Heart Association considers it as a “heart-friendly” protein.
All these protein sources provide all nine essential amino acids that your body cannot make on its own, and are therefore considered “complete” proteins. They are available in fluid, powder, and solid food formulations.
How much protein do I need?
According to the American Dietetic Association, a healthy adult needs one gram of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. So if you weigh around 65 kg, you would need about 65 grams of protein a day.
However, if you are a sportsmen or an athletic, you would need anywhere between 1.6 to 1.8 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight. If you are consuming more than 2 grams of protein per kilo of body weight per day, it’s important that you drink plenty of water to help protect your kidneys.
Do I Need Protein Supplements?
According to nutritionists, your entire protein requirement can be met by dietary sources alone. But if you don’t have time to go home and prepare a meal or have trouble eating anything in the morning; protein supplements are a convenient way to ensure that you meet your protein needs. Athletes and seniors may benefit from a using protein supplements, as they tend to have higher protein requirements.
Are there any side effects?
Although protein supplements are one of the most excellent forms of protein, there are a few side effects:
- Whey protein concentrates can cause allergies in people who are lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerant people should choose whey protein isolate as they usually contain less than 0.1 gram of lactose per tablespoon.
- Extremely high qualities of proteins can affect kidney functions negatively.
- High doses of protein also exert an unbearable pressure on liver and may lead to liver damage. It can also cause an increase in urinary calcium loss, which can increase your risk of osteoporosis.
It is advisable to consult a nutritionist before introducing a protein supplements in your diet.
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If your goal is not just to keep fit, and you want your muscles to grow bulky, then protein supplements can give you the boost you need. However, you shouldn’t see them as a replacement to natural food.