Protein powders, just as the name suggests, are nutritional supplements derived from various protein sources, in powdered form. Protein is vital for our growth and development and plays an essential role in the growth, repair, and maintenance of lean muscle mass and tissue. Buying protein powders is easy as it comes in a number of different varieties, from a number of different sources, and because of this, pretty much everybody is now catered for when looking to increase their protein intake, regardless of dietary restrictions due to moral values, religion, or food allergies. Some of the more popular and beneficial forms of protein powder currently available on the market include the following:
New Zealand whey protein
All natural whey
Time release protein
The above protein powders all promote general health and well-being, but on top of that, each one benefits the body in a unique way compared with the other varieties. The weight gainers for example, are designed to help people bulk up and build muscle mass, whilst the time release proteins digest much slower and are ideal for consumption right before bed. Protein plays a key role in protein synthesis but it also offers numerous other benefits as well.
What are some of the main benefits of Protein Powders?
The great thing about the various different protein powders on our list is that each one is unique and works in a slightly different way to the last one, making them ideal for people with specific health and fitness goals in mind. Some of the more well known benefits of protein powders include:
They help to build muscle
The main reason why so many various different protein powders are now available is that they have been proven to help promote the growth and repair of muscle tissue. Bodybuilders, strength athletes, and people generally looking to build muscle mass will purchase protein powders for that very reason. When we exercise we break down and destroy muscle tissue, it is when we rest that we grow, providing our bodies have the necessary nutrients required to help them synthesise new muscle tissue. Protein supplements help provide the body with the tools and nutrients required for adequate post-workout growth and repair when it comes to lean muscle mass.
They also improve athletic performance
Athletes rely on their muscles for much more than simply looking and feeling good. Athletes put their bodies through tremendous amounts of stress and strain and it is how their muscles re-grow and repair themselves that helps determine just how well that athlete will be able to perform. A sprinter for example, employs fast-twitch muscle fibres in their legs for explosive movement as the muscles in their legs are what will drive them along the running track. If their muscles are sore, damaged, and weak, they simply won’t be able to perform as well as they should. As protein helps promote muscle growth and repair, the bigger, stronger, and healthier the muscles are, the more efficient the athlete will be when it counts.
They promote fat loss
Another great benefit of protein powder supplements is the fact that they also help to promote fat loss. Protein is a thermogenic macronutrient which means the metabolism is forced to increase to provide more energy for the body because it struggles to digest and break protein down when compared with other food sources. Not only does this boost the metabolism, but also, because the protein takes so long to digest, it keeps us feeling full for longer, making it a great appetite suppressant. The more full we feel, and the longer we feel full, the less likely we’ll be to consume unnecessary calories which could hinder weight loss or even lead to weight gain.
They promote general health and well-being
Finally, another great benefit of these various powders is the fact that they promote general health and well-being. Protein is very good for us as it helps our cells to function correctly, helping to promote a number of healthy responses within the body, including helping to boost immunity. The supplements are also enriched with vitamins and minerals, which help with organ function and immunity again. The stronger our immune system is, the less likely we will be to suffer from various illnesses and diseases.
What makes each one so beneficial?
Listing each type of protein powder would take us all day, so instead we’ll take a brief look at some of the more popular and beneficial powders on our list. Whey isolate for example, is considered superior to whey concentrate because whey isolate is made up of around 95% pure protein, as opposed to whey concentrate’s 85%. Vegan proteins are great because they are derived from plant based protein sources, making them 100% vegan friendly. Time release protein works by releasing a steady stream of energy and nutrients into the body over a prolonged period of time, which can prevent the body from entering a catabolic (muscle wasting) state. Whey blends provide a combination of different whey proteins, allowing users to get the best of all worlds.
How should they be consumed and are there any dangers to be wary of?
For optimal results, most people order protein powders and consume it 2 – 3 times per day, with at least one coming immediately following a workout. There are some exceptions to this rule however, including time-release proteins, which should be consumed just before bed, or just before periods where you won’t have access to much food. Always use the product as instructed, and always read the ingredients label to check for any ingredients which you may be allergic to. Overconsumption can result in organ trouble, or even failure, but if you use as instructed these products should be perfectly safe.