We can easily write an entire book about protein supplements and still not cover everything. This is a huge topic that keeps expanding as new research is done. Protein stands out as one of the 3 macronutrients that are used by the human body in order to get energy, together with carbs and fats. The protein is basically an amino acids series that is connected, much like a chain. As you, most likely, already know, protein has muscle building properties. However, it is also a nutrient that is necessary for:
- Balancing blood PH level
- Energy when there are no carbs available
- Muscle preservation when trying to cut or diet
- Some necessary chemical reactions
- Maintaining and building proper levels for some hormones
- Proper body fluid balance regulation
- The immune system to properly function
Protein supplements are not understood properly by most people out there. It is easy to make a mistake and although there are so many things that you will have to learn, what is mentioned below is the most important thing at the end of the day. Make sure that you always read reviews and that you take what is written below into account so that you can buy the best protein supplement whenever needed.
Muscle Growth And Protein
Increasing lean muscle mass while training automatically means that daily protein intake has to be increased. The muscle tissue keeps being replaced and repaired. Maximizing repair is only possible when protein balance is proper. As the body does not consume enough protein, the body becomes confused. It cannot repair all that has to be repaired after a workout so muscle will be lost and some vital body functions can be compromised, like blood PH balance or the regulation of some hormones.
When a person goes through a weight training program, there is more muscle tissue that has to be repaired. Bodybuilders, weightlifters and athletes do need to consume more protein. To put it as simple as possible, the body needs this protein in order to increase muscle mass.
Fat Loss And Protein
The protein foods are thermogenic. The body consumes more energy in order to properly digest protein. Because of this, a diet that is high in protein will boost the entire metabolism. This is what increases fat loss. In addition, protein intake is necessary to make the body mobilize the stored fat in order to get energy. When you do not consume enough protein, fat stores will not be accessible and the body will consume muscle tissue in order to gain the energy it needs.
Recovery And Protein
Protein supplements are also necessary when you want to recover after a workout. This is because:
- Muscles lack glycogen
- Muscles have to be repaired as they are damaged
When you get a steady intake of protein, a proper nitrogen balance appears in the body. This puts the body in a muscle repair mode. As people do not consume enough protein, the body cannot recover fast. All athletes that constantly work out will have to increase protein intake, together with people that want to cut fat.
How Much Protein Is Necessary?
You cannot simply take as much protein supplements as you want. A regular dietary allowance for an adult is around 0.8 grams per body weight kilogram. In the event that you are currently involved in an intense exercising program, you want to build muscle or you want to lose fat, these recommendations should be doubled. While calculations are tough, it is a good rule of thumb to make sure that around 20 to 40 percent of all the daily calories consumed come from a source of protein. In the event that you cannot do so through a regular diet, consuming protein supplements becomes a necessity.
What Is A Protein Supplement?
Just as the name implies, this is a nutritional supplement that includes a high quantity of protein. There are different types of protein supplements that can be considered, including:
- Protein powders – the most common of all the supplements
- Weight gainers
- Protein bars
- Meal replacements
Most of the protein supplements on the market include around 20 to 30 protein grams per one serving. In addition, there are minerals and vitamins that are added for fortification purposes. In order to make the protein supplements taste better, flavors are included, ranging from chocolate to peanut butter.
Related Terms You Have To Understand
When you shop for protein supplements, there are various terms that you will encounter. Let us list the most common ones so that you can see what you are faced with:
- Isolate supplement – this is a protein source that was chemically purified in order to remove absolutely everything except the protein sorts. In most cases the isolates are over 90 percent pure protein.
- Blends – the blends are combinations of different protein sources with different purity levels. This type of protein supplement is usually cost effective and can offer both slow digesting and fast digesting protein sources.
- Concentrate supplements – This is not as pure as the isolate protein supplement but still includes around 75% protein. The extra is made out of carbs, fats or lactose when dealing with whey protein.
- Amino Acids – BCAA – The amino acids are the protein’s building blocks. It was revealed that there are over 100 amino acids possible but just 20 are standard. We thus have non-essential and essential amino acids. BCAA stands for branched chain amino acids. The term basically refers to a chain of 3 essential amino acids: valine, isoleucine and leucine.
- Meal Replacements – Such supplements are aimed to replace entire meals. The formula used guarantees a proper intake of all the essential nutrients.
- Weight gainers – These are usually protein powers with high calories. They are used by athletes in order to get rapid weight gain.
- Slow/Fast Digesting – The slow digesting protein supplement offers a long term amino acids and protein stream that can assist the body for longer periods of time. The fast digesting protein supplement is exactly the opposite.
Protein Supplement Benefits
The hardcore athletes need to eat around 5 to 8 small protein meals daily. As you can imagine, preparing all the meals takes time and it is usually really hard to get all the protein quantity that the body of an athlete needs. Protein supplement use brings in the best benefit through the fact that preparation time is really low.
The supplements are portable and can be consumed with little to no hassle. If you do the math, you can save a lot of money when you consume protein supplements. That is because salmon and beef, 2 really popular high protein food sources, are quite costly. A weight gainer is really economic and when you properly time protein intake, muscle mass gains are maximized.
Who Should Use A Protein Supplement?
- Bodybuilders – This is pretty obvious since the bodybuilder needs to add a lot of muscle mass. In such a situation, the use of a protein supplement is basically a necessity.
- Dieters – People that want to lose weight properly and as fast as possible need the protein supplements in order to speed up metabolisms. Meal replacements and protein supplements are necessary to basically fend off hunger and help the body to burn fat.
- Athletes – Any person that is training hard will need more protein in order to insure that the body functions properly and to repair the muscle.
- Hardgaining – If a person is underweight or has a really fast metabolism, eating enough is complicated so normalizing body weight is really difficult. Weight gainers can easily add the vital calories that are needed for proper day-to-day functioning.
Maximizing Results When Using Protein Supplements
It is really important that the body receives enough protein when it actually needs it. This can be complicated. You will want a protein supplement dose as you wake up because the body is normally in fasting mode then. A fast digesting source is necessary during the morning but you should also choose a slow source because it will offer a constant supply of energy as the day passes.
Protein supplement intake is also needed before the workout. A slow digesting source is necessary so that positive nitrogen balance is maintained as the person works out. After the workout you need an approach that is similar to what happens in the morning. The body needs protein fast in order to recover after the workout and then all throughout the day to keep repairing damaged tissue. Snacks and protein supplement meals can be consumed all throughout the day, between the main meals. The best sources available are casein and eggs. Before you go to bed, a casein based protein supplement should be considered to maximize nitrogen balance during sleep.
How To Choose Protein Supplements
It is quite difficult to choose the best protein supplements. That is mainly due to the fact that there are so many products that are available on the market at the moment. There are hundreds and choosing something that is appropriate can be quite difficult.
You will most likely think about price since this is the one factor that many consider. If you only consider costs, it is a huge mistake. The lower cost basically means that the ingredients that are used are of a low quality. The manufacturing process may be poor. In most cases, price does equal quality. Make sure that you research information about the products you are about to buy. You will get more if you pay more, in most cases.
Whey protein is usually necessary and isolates offer the pure whey protein form you need. Sometimes you can even go as high as 98 percent pure protein, with little lactose and fat added. As expected, price is also higher. If the whey concentrate includes more lactose and fat, you will talk about the concentrate. This is the most accessible of the products and the one that is usually bought.
Make sure that you always consider the amino acid profile when you buy protein supplements. Essential amino acids, including BCAA, have to be included. Whenever shopping, the most important thing is to consider how much BCAA and essential amino acids you obtain with one serving.
Keep in mind that you will also want to consider supplement taste. In the event that the protein supplement tastes horrible, it will not be that great and you will not enjoy using it. Reviews can help you to learn a lot about product taste.
The recovery protein supplements are highly necessary for muscle recovery. It is really important that you buy one that is as effective as possible and that complements your regular meal pan. What your body needs and you cannot obtain through the regular meals, include in the form or protein supplements.
Do You Absolutely Need To Buy Protein Supplements?
You will be tempted to believe that absolutely all the supplementation that you need can be gained through what you eat. That is definitely not the case. What you may not know is that most of the food that you find in supermarkets these days is not as nutritious as you may believe or as it once was because of the manufacturing process. Most people are faced with vitamin and mineral deficiencies, together with other nutrition related problems. For athletes of any kind, not getting enough protein is really damaging.
No matter what you may be tempted to believe, it is quite common to end up with imbalances in your diet. It is a guarantee that you will have to use some sort of supplement because of the fact that your nutrition plan has to be complete. When referring to situations like the ones that were mentioned above, it is vital that you always consider protein supplementation. You now know how important it can be and what great benefits can be gained. With this in mind, do your research, compare the protein supplements and be sure that you choose one that is as good as possible, based on the intended use and the concentration that you need.