For athletes and fitness enthusiasts at all levels, taking protein powders have become a staple of their daily routine. By taking protein powders, people hope to enhance their gains from there workouts and build muscle. If you’re new to the world of fitness, you may be wondering why protein powders are so popular. Keep reading to learn more about these nutritional supplements and their benefits.
Why Take Protein Powder?
Protein powder is a health supplement that can help build muscle, repair tissue, and make enzymes and hormones. For the most part, people use these supplements to maximize the results of their vigorous workout routines. Others use protein powder to decrease their appetite and ultimately help them lose weight.
Protein supplements are also taken by those who don’t produce or take in enough protein through food. For example, many vegans take protein powder to supplement their protein intake.
What Types of Protein Powders are There?
Protein supplements are concentrated powders derived from either plants or animal byproducts. Popular protein powder options include whey, pea, egg, hemp, and rice. There are three common categories of protein powder:
Protein Concentrates– Heat and acid or enzymes are used to extract protein from the source. These powders typically a ratio of 60 to 80 percent protein to 20 to 40 percent fat and carbs.
Protein Isolates– After the heat extraction process, a filtering process removes even more fat and carbs to make the protein powder more concentrated. Protein isolate powders can contain 90 to 95 percent protein.
Protein Hydrolysates– This type of protein powder is the easiest for the body to absorb and use. Additional heating with acid or enzymes breaks down the bonds between amino acids, forming hydrolysates.
Common Protein Powder Products
Whey protein is a protein powder produced from the milk curds that form during the cheesemaking process. Whey can be quickly digested and is rich in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Leucine, a BCAA, helps in promoting muscle growth and recovery after resistance and endurance exercise
Casein is another protein found in milk, but it can be absorbed and digested more slowly than whey. Taking casein powder gives your muscles a gradual, steadier exposure to amino acids, thus reducing the rate of muscle protein breakdown.
Collagen protein is derived from the bones, skins, and cartilage of animals. Unlike other protein powders, it also contains glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. Collagen makes up the connective tissue in your skin, hair, nails, bones, lungs, heart, and liver and helps build muscle mass. To learn more, you can find collagen protein powder here.
Vegans, vegetarians, or users allergic to dairy or eggs tend to favor pea protein powder. It comes from a high-fiber legume, the yellow split pea. It is rich in BCAAS and carries all but one of the essential amino acids.
Soy protein powder is a plant-based supplement that is also popular with vegans. Defatted soybean flakes are washed in alcohol or water to take out the sugars and dietary fiber. The supplements have very little fat and no cholesterol.
Hemp protein powder is another plant-based supplement that has grown in popularity. Hemp is rich in essential amino acids, including omega-3 fatty acids. It only has small amounts of the psychoactive component THC. Hemp is an excellent alternative for vegans or those with dairy or soy allergies.
You can find protein powders at pharmacies, retail outlets, gyms, or online stores. Remember that it’s important to talk to a doctor or licensed fitness coach or nutritionist before starting any supplement regimen.
The first step in using protein powder is determining how much protein is needed or deficient in your system so that you can supplement it properly. Protein powders carry concentrated levels of protein, averaging about 80 grams per serving. The average man only needs approximately 56 grams per day, and the average woman needs 46 grams per day.
Protein powders are soluble in hot and cold water. They can be odorless and tasteless, although there are also flavored varieties available. Most people who take protein powder incorporate the supplement into shakes. You can also stir the powder into You can also stir them into water or your favorite smoothie without affecting the taste or texture.
Keep in mind that protein powder shakes do not replace meals and should be consumed along with a balanced diet.
Get Started on a Better Lifestyle
Protein powders can be very beneficial to your health and make muscle building much more manageable. Whether you’re a professional athlete or just getting started on your fitness journey, taking protein powder is a great way to enhance your workouts.