INSIGHT INTO PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS
Protein plays a key role in post-exercise recovery and repair. Replacement of glycogen is also important following exercise. After exercise you should consume protein and carbohydrates with a moderate to high GI to restore glycogen levels and for optimal recovery.
Protein powder supplements are popular for a good reason; they are convenient, beneficial for your health and come in a huge range of tasty flavours that can benefit individuals of all ages on different fitness levels. Depending on your fitness level, how often you train, your goals and how much money you are willing to spend- different types may suit your needs best.
What is Protein & Why Do We Need it?
Proteins are made out of smaller molecules called amino acids, which are linked together like beads on a string. Some of these amino acids can be produced by the body, while we must get others from food. The ones we cannot produce and must get from our foods are called the “essential” amino acids.
Proteins are the main building blocks of the body. They’re used to make muscles, bones, organs, hair, nails and skin. Proteins are also used to make enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters and various tiny molecules that serve important functions. Without protein, we wouldn´t be able to survive.
The best sources from food are beef, chicken, fish, seafood, eggs, dairy products, nuts, seeds, quinoa, soy and legumes like black beans and lentils. Animal based proteins, of course, are much more similar to our proteins, thus are used more readily and rapidly than plant proteins. Nevertheless, plant based diets also provide adequate protein.
How Much Protein do I Need?
How much protein you need, depends on your weight, height, gender, goal and your activity level. A common recommendation for gaining muscle is 1,5-2 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight. If you currently hold a lot of body fat, you should use either your lean body mass or your goal weight to calculate your needs, as it’s mostly your lean muscle mass that determines the amount of protein you need. If you don’t do any exercise, aim for at least 0.8 to 1.3 gram protein per kg.
Potential Benefits of Protein Supplements
- Supply your body with essential nutrients
- Boost overall health and immune system & ghts disease
- Increased Strength, power, muscle mass and boost physical performance
- Reduce muscle soreness after training
- Enhance fat loss and build muscle through enhanced protein synthesis.
- Aid healthy growth for toddlers
What are Protein Powders
Protein powders are dietary supplements that contain a high percentage of the macronutrient protein. The protein content is derived from a variety of different food sources, including:
Which Type of Protein Supplement suits Your Lifestyle?
- WHEY CONCENTRATE OR WHEY BLENDS: Great blended in with your morning oats, during the day or as a post- workout supplement. Relatively fast absorbing & good price point. It contains all of the essential amino acids and is easily digested (if you are not lactose- or casein intolerant). It helps boost energy and can reduce stress levels. The best time to use whey is after a workout.
- WHEY ISOLATE: Fast absorbing protein source and is great as a post-workout supplement. Low lactose.
- SOY PROTEIN: Relatively fast digested protein source (Soy protein isolate). The Arginine content in Soy protein makes it a good pre-workout protein as it boosts NO levels but it can be used both before and after a workout or during the day. Soy protein helps reduce high cholesterol and can ease symptoms of menopause. It may also help with osteoporosis (helping build bone mass).
- CASEIN PROTEIN: Perfect before bed as it breaks down slowly and supplies your body with nutrients for hours after you go to bed.
- EAA SUPPLEMENT: can be used like a whey protein pre-, intra- or post-workout but is not a preferred before-bed source.
- HYDROLYSED PROTEIN: This is a high quality fast absorbed protein that often cost slightly more. Hydrolysed protein may be used anytime of the day except not recommended before bed.
- EGG ALBUMIN: Egg whites are an excellent natural source of Egg Albumin. It is also commonly available in a powder form Egg Albumin can be used anytime of the day but is not a preferred before-bed source.
- RICE PROTEIN: 100% plant-based, so it’s a good choice for vegetarians, vegans and people who don’t consume dairy products. It’s also gluten-free.
- PEA PROTEIN: This is a highly digestible, hypo-allergenic and economical source of protein.
- HEMP PROTEIN: 100% plant-based. It’s a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
When Is It Best To Drink a Protein Shake?
Post-Workout: Drinking your protein shake immediately after a workout is a great idea. Taking protein after your workout will help your body to recover and give your body fuel it needs for muscle growth. Also, as the protein uptake is faster in your body immediately after a workout (within 30 minutes) it's a good time to have about 20-30 grams of protein then.
Pre-Workout: Muscle glycogen (which comes from carbohydrates) is our primary source of energy fueling workouts. If glycogen levels are low, like from going too long without eating, your body will begin to break protein down from your muscles during exercise to provide some energy. Loading up on protein and carbs before a workout helps keep you energized and will protect your muscles from being used for energy supply. Drinking a BCAA supplement during a workout is a also a good alternative if you havn't fuelled your body with a meal/ protein supplement before.
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