Protein powder is a widely known nutritional supplement for bodybuilding and gaining muscle mass. However, it has many more benefits for our bodies than just building muscle mass. There are various types of proteins, including plant-based and dairy-based, which are the most popular. In this article, we will talk about all the health benefits that protein powder has on our bodies.
What is Protein?
Before diving into the details, let’s understand what protein is. Protein is one of the building blocks of bones, muscles, and even skin. It is used to produce the various hormones, enzymes, and other chemicals that our bodies need. Also, it has a huge role in repairing muscle tissues after an intense workout and is therefore widely used by bodybuilders, both amateur and professional.
Types of Protein Powder
Not every protein powder is the same. The most popular protein supplement is whey, but other types of proteins should be mentioned.
It is water-soluble milk and is most widely known. It is popular because it is absorbed by the body very quickly, and usually without any stomach problems. Whey protein is also a “complete” protein, which means that it has all the amino acids that a human body needs to get from food.
This is also a complete protein that contains all the essential amino acids. It is a great choice for vegans and vegetarians since it is a plant-based protein.
Casein is rich in glutamine which has an excellent effect on reducing muscle recovery time. It is a dairy-based protein, so it is not suited for vegans, and also needs more time to digest. Therefore, the best time to use it is at night.
This is an excellent alternative to both Whey and Casein and also contains all the essential amino acids.
Pea is a high-quality, plant-based alternative to soy and other dairy-based proteins. It is also a good source of arginine, which is an essential amino acid.
After eating food that is rich in protein, our body will feel fuller, even if we haven’t eaten a large quantity of food. That way, it will result in smaller portion sizes and less-frequent snacking and will have a direct impact on how much food we ingest. As you can see, it will have a significant effect on a person’s weight management.
In a review from 2017, it was reported that people who used whey protein as a supplement reduced their weight much easier than people who didn’t. Additionally, using protein as a supplement might also reduce a person’s blood pressure and cholesterol, lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
As we already mentioned, protein is very important for proper muscle growth. Many people use protein shakes right after training since it will help develop muscle mass faster in a completely natural way. A person who weighs 80 kilograms should ingest between 120 and 160 grams of protein each day. However, it might be hard to achieve this only from food, and that is why food supplements like protein shakes are consumed. On average, one protein shake should have between 30 and 50 grams of protein.
A study in 2018, which included 49 participants, concluded that protein supplements have a tremendous impact. They increased muscle size and strength in people who performed resistance training, such as lifting weights. However, it won’t increase the muscle mass if a person doesn’t perform any training but will still have other significant health benefits. It was also concluded that the protein intake was equally effective in both men and women, but the actual effectiveness might decrease as we age.
It was also noted that once the quantity of ingested protein exceeded 1.6 grams per kilogram of body weight, no additional benefits are experienced. However, that applies only when it comes to bodybuilding.
Recovery After Exercise
This is another significant benefit of protein supplements. Besides contributing to muscle growth, it will also have a vital role in repairing damaged muscles and tissues. Many athletes experience soreness in muscles after a heavy workout, and protein can help with recovery and make the soreness go away faster. Protein supplements will also reduce muscle damage and improve muscle protein synthesis.
For people who are not engaged in bodybuilding or similar resistance training, a recommended daily intake of protein is around 45 grams for women and 55 grams for men. However, some people can find it challenging to meet that amount, possibly including vegans and vegetarians. In that case, having a protein shake daily is a great way to go.
On the other hand, as already mentioned, some athletes might need to exceed those amounts, especially older adults and bodybuilders. Even a dose of two shakes per day should be taken since the body might be in a protein deficit and will make progress much slower.
As you can see, protein is an excellent nutritional supplement that everyone should consider. The fact is that if you are a bodybuilder, you should have at least one protein shake a day. You might even want to think about having a double dose daily.
On the other hand, if you don’t do any resistance training, you will still find protein shakes useful since they might help you easily reach the recommended daily dose. Protein shakes, and foods that contains high protein levels are also very good for weight maintenance and fat reduction.
There are various types of protein, so you can always find the one that suits you best, no matter if you are a vegan, a vegetarian, or have a milk allergy. As we can conclude, proteins have only a positive effect on our bodies and should be considered by everyone who pays attention to their overall health and well-being. With the information we have looked at above, you should now be fully aware of the health benefits of protein powder.