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Protein Supplements

Protein Supplements

Protein supplements are nutritional supplements that are intended to add nourishment to the body in addition to what is provided in food. They are used by people who need to boost their protein intake for any number of reasons but are most often used by people focused on fitness who are trying to build muscle. Two of the most common kinds of protein in supplements are whey protein and soy protein.

It is quite common for protein supplements to come in the form of a powder. These powders are made to be dissolved into liquids and consumed as drinks. Many of them are flavored so that they taste like milkshakes. Common flavors are chocolate, mocha, vanilla, and strawberry. Some protein supplements come pre-mixed in bottles or cans and are ready to consume. Protein supplements can be added to smoothies to boost the level of nutrition in the drink. This is a rather popular way to ingest extra protein. In fact, there are a number of smoothie chains that include protein supplements on their menus. For use in a smoothie, it is best to use supplements that are either flavorless or fruit-flavored.

It isn't only fitness enthusiasts who benefit from these kinds of supplements. Protein supplements can be very important to people who have dietary restrictions that keep them from eating meat, fish, dairy, or other common foods that are rich in protein. Vegetarians and vegans often rely on protein supplements. Not all supplements are entirely vegetarian or vegan-friendly. There are a few products on the market that are formulated specifically for people who follow these kinds of diets.

Protein Supplements

Proteins are essential nutrients for the body. There are approximately 50 such essential nutrients that our bodies require and which can't be manufactured by it. These nutrients are divided into 6 main categories consisting of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. All of these nutrients are obtained from the food that we eat/drink.

Water is considered to be the most essential of these nutrients, followed by protein. Protein is the major structural component of all cells in the body, especially muscle. This also includes body organs, skin, and hair. Proteins are broken down into amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins. These are used as precursors to co-enzymes, hormones, immune response, cellular repair, and other molecules necessary for life. Also, protein is required to form blood cells, and it is used as a fuel only when carbohydrate and lipid resources have depleted to a low amount.

Types of Protein Supplements
Maximum number of users of protein supplements are those who exercise for long, especially body builders. It is also taken by those whose normal diet is poor in proteins. Health stores today are flooded with a variety of these supplements. You can easily get confused, which is why you should exactly know about the type of protein supplement required.

1. Whey Protein
Whey protein is the best and most popular protein supplement used by power exercisers and bodybuilders. Whey protein is obtained during the process of converting milk to cheese. It helps in producing amino acids that are used in building and maintaining muscle tissue.

2. Soy Protein
As the name suggests, soy protein is derived from soybean plant and is a good source even though it is not a complete single source of protein. Soy protein is claimed to be the next best source of protein after meat. Studies have shown that soy protein reduces LDL cholesterol, while maintaining HDL cholesterol.

3. Egg Protein
Egg protein is considered to be one of the best forms of natural protein. The egg's white is the proteinaceous part. Many people still consume raw eggs to get this protein; however, it is not the advised way of having it. The main issue pertaining to eating raw eggs is the contamination with the Salmonella bacterium with the secondary issue involving the availability of the B-vitamin called biotin. Eggs should be boiled or well-cooked before consumption to eliminate certain bacteria that could cause illness. Egg protein supplements provide all the benefits of this protein without the added cholesterol that egg yolk (yellow part) comes with.

4. Casein Protein
Casein gets digested very slowly and is a good source of protein. This supplement is best when taken at night before going to bed, since it is said to be effective approximately 6 to 7 hours after consumption.

5. Whey/Soy Isolate Protein
Whey/soy isolate protein supplement is the same as normal whey/soy protein supplement, except for the fact that it is much more concentrated in the level of proteins. Normally whey/soy protein supplements contain about 75 to 85% protein, while the isolate of both contain approximately 90 to 98% protein. The isolate variety is more expensive and usually used by those whose workout is extremely strenuous.

6. Hemp
Hemp oil is rich in essential fatty acids, and hemp seeds contain protein which is complete and highly-digestible.

Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

1. Protein: As the name suggests, whey protein powder is loaded with protein. Since proteins act as building blocks for the body, consumption of high quality protein helps build strong muscles. Whey protein is digested by the body easily and hence it provides quick nutrition to muscles. It promotes faster muscle protein synthesis, as compared to other proteins. Whey protein powder is popular amongst bodybuilders as it promotes fat loss. Different types of protein components make whey protein powder a great source of good protein. These components promote faster recovery of a muscle from exercise-related damage.

Protein Supplements

2. Amino Acids: The protein obtained from whey protein is a high quality protein or complete protein because it comes with an excellent essential amino acid profile. Whey protein fulfills the daily requirement of essential amino acids. It contains all essential amino acids that are required for the proper functioning of the body. These components promote the release of various hormones (including insulin), enhance the function of endocrine system and help boost energy levels in various ways. As whey protein helps maintain hormonal balance, it helps prevent excessive stress and depression. High amount of the amino acid 'cysteine' obtained from whey protein is believed to lower the chances of breast cancer in women.

3. Carbohydrates, Fat and Cholesterol: Whey protein powder contains little or no fat. Absence of carbs, fat and cholesterol makes it a perfect supplement for weight loss. As it contains very low or no carbs, fat and cholesterol, it helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Whey protein powder is therefore considered as a good supplement for athletes. Whey protein being carbohydrate free does not lead to abnormal blood glucose levels. In fact, it lowers the chances of developing diabetes.

4. Lactose: Lactose present in cow milk can also be found in whey protein powder. Those who have been diagnosed with lactose intolerance may experience stomach pain, gas, diarrhea and bloating, after consumption of whey protein powder.

5. Beta Lactoglobulin: This is the major component of whey protein which binds to the fat soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K) and helps store the vitamins in the body. It thus ensures availability of fat soluble vitamins. It promotes liver health and prevents muscle breakdown.

6. Alpha Lactoglobulin: It binds with calcium and ensures availability of sufficient calcium in the body. Whey protein thus helps prevent osteoporosis. Alpha lactoglobulin helps regulate sleep. It acts as a stress reliever and prevents severe mood swings and depression.

7. Immunoglobulins: Immunoglobulins from whey protein powder offer several health benefits. They help strengthen the immune system and prevent various types of diseases and disorders including heart diseases and cancer.

8. Glycomacropeptide: This element helps prevent accumulation of dental plaque. Thus it prevents dental cavities and tooth decay and promotes dental health.

9. Lactoferrin: It binds with iron in the body and prevents the growth of pathogenic bacteria. It promotes iron absorption in the intestines. It also ensures presence of sufficient beneficial bacteria in the gut.

10. Antioxidants: Whey protein powder helps raise the level of glutathione in the body. Glutathione is an antioxidant which helps cancel the harmful effects of free radicals on the body. Antioxidants help delay the process of aging by strengthening all bodily systems. Infants, growing children, adult men and women, pregnant and lactating women, and elderly can reap the health benefits of whey protein through regular consumption.

Body's Protein Requirements
It is very rare in developed countries to find people with protein deficiency. Many, especially children, in very poor countries suffer from a condition known as 'kwashiorkor' due to protein deficiency. It results in a skinny appearance and a bloated stomach. Adults who often feel weak, have poor infection resistance, go into sudden depression, and lack energy should get themselves checked for protein deficiency. On an average, a normal person should get approximately 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Exercisers should get nearly 1 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight depending on the severity of exercise performed.

Protein is very good for the human body, but an excess consumption of anything good will surely result in unpleasant consequences. Excess proteins are of no use and must be eliminated from the body. This puts an extra load on the kidneys and liver. As long as one is young and healthy, the organs will be able to take the load. Its effects, which could at times be fatal, will surely begin to show as one gets older. Take protein supplements only if you are certain that you are protein deficient, if you exercise for long hours, or if you practice bodybuilding.

Myotcstore Related Products:

Naturade NRG Protein booster Vanilla flavor - 16 oz

MLO sports nutrition super high protein powder - 16 oz

Designer Whey strawberry protein powder - 2 lb

Country Life Biochem Ultimate Protein System, Chocolate - 1 lb

About Time All Natural Whey Protein Isolate, Chocolate - 2 lbs

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