Protein is important for a huge number of biological processes that happen in our bodies around the clock. Learn more about protein supplements here.
When you think of protein supplements, you may well imagine muscly guys downing protein shakes after a workout at the gym. But protein isn’t just important for bodybuilders and athletes, and more and more people are choosing to supplement their diet with protein powder – whether consumed as a shake or in some other way.
Protein is important for a huge number of biological processes that happen in our bodies around the clock. The building blocks of proteins are smaller molecules called amino acids. Bodybuilders take protein powders because the amino acids help muscles to repair and develop after a workout.
Protein also plays a part in maintaining a strong immune system, healing wounds, keeping skin healthy, and developing muscle strength.
Benefits of taking protein powder
There are several reasons why you may choose to drink protein shakes throughout the day to supplement the protein you receive from your usual diet:
- Convenience: Rather than having to shop for and cook food, shakes can be made up anywhere in a matter of minutes.
- Faster absorption: If you need a quick post-workout boost, liquid protein is easier for your body to absorb.
- Better control over the flow of amino acids: By choosing different types of protein powder at different times of day, you can keep up a constant supply of amino acids.
- Fewer food cravings: Useful if you’re trying to control your body weight – a protein shake at the beginning of the day can stabilize blood sugar levels and stave off cravings.
While anyone may use protein supplements to increase their protein intake, there are certain types of people who might particularly benefit:
- Growing teens: When your body is still growing it’s using a lot of protein already. If you’re working out as well, you might need that extra dose.
- Those starting a new workout program: If you’re just starting out and trying to build muscle, your body will need more protein than normal.
- Those starting a more strenuous workout: If you have become used to a certain level of exercise and you decide to make your program more strenuous or train for an event, that extra protein will give your body a boost.
- Anyone recovering from an injury: Your body uses protein to heal itself so you can aid your recovery with protein supplements.
- Vegans and vegetarians: People who aren’t getting protein from common sources like chicken, meat, fish, eggs, and dairy may need a supplement to maintain healthy levels of protein.
Choosing a protein supplement
There are many different types of protein powder which typically come from five sources: whey, casein, soy, rice, and egg. Each of these has its own properties and will be beneficial to certain people at certain times.
For instance, whey powder is usually consumed straight after a workout, while casein is more suitable to take between meals or before going to sleep.
Some protein powder blends combine these fast- and slow-acting ingredients to offer a balanced supply of protein during the day.
When selecting a protein powder, check that it has low fat and carbs (1-5 grams of each per serving) and high protein (about 20-30 grams per serving).
It’s a good idea to stick to a product with 7-10 ingredients. If all the ingredients have long, scientific-sounding names you can’t pronounce, you may want to look for a more natural alternative.
Ultimately, the best protein powder for you will depend on your reasons for taking it. Click through to see our wide selection of protein powders and Diet Shakes available to order online.