Friday, June 19, 2015

Protein Powder - A Beginner's Guide

Over the last few decades, protein powders have become mainstream and very popular. In the past, many thought protein powder was for those that pumped iron or were professional athletes. The new understanding of using a protein powder is that you are not taking it to bulk up or become a prize-fighter.

There are many sources of protein like the protein derived from eggs, soy, whey, and milk, also plant proteins for vegans and vegetarians. A popular new trending source of protein, in a powder form, is beef. Beef protein is a good fit for those avoiding plants, dairy or gluten forms of protein.

Why Take A Protein Powder?

There are many reasons why someone would include protein powder in their diet. It is an easy way to get the amount of protein needed for good health. Instances like a child that is a picky eater or a person that is on the go and does not get a balanced meal.

It may also be part of a diet to improve lean muscle mass or as a meal replacement for a weight loss diet. Many will take a protein shake after a workout to recover more quickly.

It will also depend greatly on what type of workout or sports you do. A teen that is active in sports will need more protein than an adult athlete in competition or adult building muscle mass.

Are There Different Types?

There are many types of protein powder. The many choices can be found online, in the supermarket, at a vitamin store or at a local pharmacy. Some will have natural sweeteners or will have added sugar substitutes. Some will list enhancements added to the formula like vitamins, minerals, lecithin and digestive enzymes to absorb the extra protein.

Some will buy a large month’s supply in a 2 to 5-pound tub for a better deal and for convenience. Others may use the premixed single serving sizes to grab on the go. Some have claimed that added ingredients will help build muscle and increase the fat burned.

How To Choose The Best One?

Before knowing the best one to choose, it is advisable to have an idea of your goal in taking a protein shake. You may have heard it is normal when you work out or you may have heard that it will help you lose weight.

It is important to know how much your body will actually need if a workout routine is started. Most people will get enough protein if they eat a balanced diet. Taking too much protein will only be discarded by the body and may have unwanted side effects and damage the kidneys.

Are There Reasons Not To Take Protein Powder?

Learning how much protein your body needs is very important. If you are getting enough through your diet, you may not need an additional amount. You may cause damage to your liver and kidneys to consume too much protein. Some reasons to take a protein powder is when recovering from an injury, sports or other types of trauma.

Elderly people may need an extra amount of protein and calories to sustain a poor diet or to gain weight. Those who choose a vegan or strict vegetarian diet may benefit from a protein in addition to their diet.

When Is The Best Time To Take Protein Powder?

If you need to feel less weak or fatigued when lifting weights or other strenuous exercise, a protein drink may be a good addition. Some say that just before a workout is the best time to take a protein shake, others will say right after one to rebuild muscle and heal more quickly.

Some experts say that either of these recommendations is incorrect. They say that what your body really needs during and after a workout is carbohydrates. The ratio should be a 5-1 or a 4-1 with carbs to protein.

So if your powder has 15 grams of protein, you will need 60 grams of carbs to balance it out and stay healthy, and also have a workout with good recovery.

Is Taking A Protein Supplement Right For Me?

The best way to know if a protein supplement, like a powder shake type, is right for you is to try it first. It has been found that for most adults, a rule of thumb is that for every pound of body weight, a 0.9 grams of protein is recommended.

So it is possible to be taking in too much protein if you are not very active or if your diet already supplies enough. Yet more research has shown that a good time, to have a protein shake is during the day, as a snack or if dieting, a meal replacement, but not recommended to take it surrounding a workout.

Enjoying a protein drink with added fresh fruit or other delicious additions may be just the right option to reach for throughout the day.

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