We all know that protein is important for our bodies. Our body needs protein in building and maintaining body tissues and muscles. It is also essential for growth and strengthens our immune system by repairing body cells.
Protein can be found usually in food sources such as fish, dairy, meat, tofu, beans, and lentils. According to the experts at Gasett, the recommended protein intake for women is 50g per day while for men is 65g per day. Too much intake of protein can be harmful to our kidneys as it can excrete a large amount of calcium from the urine and can cause bone problems in the long run.
The need for protein differs from one person to another. Elderly people or those who have undergone surgery and suffering from injuries might need an increase in protein intake. Athletes also need to increase their protein intake to be able to improve their energy. Baseball athletes, for instance, need protein to help their muscles recover and heal from the strenuous preparations, training, and actual games that they play. These muscles usually break down, become damaged, and sore with the rigorous activities that they do.
With the help of science, protein intake is made easy with protein powders. These are dietary supplements that contain a high percentage of protein. But how are these protein powders made? What are the pros and cons of taking protein powders? Read on and learn more.
Components of Protein Powder
A protein powder is a food supplement that is highly processed. It comes in various types. The common ones are soy, casein, and whey.
Soybeans are good sources of protein that offer essential amino acids. Usually, they are defatted and hulled into soy flour then concentrated into powder form. Soy proteins help in preventing cardiovascular diseases and help in promoting bone health.
This type of protein is usually found in dairies. It is a product of the separation process of liquid milk and the isolation of milk protein from fats and carbs. It helps in muscle growth and lowers triglycerides level. It also aids with fat loss.
This is the most popular protein supplement today because it is inexpensive and cost-effective. It is the by-product of making cheese. It is easily absorbed by the digestive system and helps in metabolism and promotes the lean growth of muscles.
The Pros of Protein Powders
It helps in weight loss
Taking protein powder as a supplement improves hunger control and encourages weight loss.
It helps in muscle gain
When combined with regular training, protein powder, especially whey protein, enhances lean muscle gain.
They are convenient
For some people, especially the athletes, taking protein in powder form is more convenient than preparing a meal that is high in protein.
Cons of Protein Powders
It can cause micronutrient deficiency.
Protein powders are merely supplements and do not offer the same benefit as protein-rich foods. Replacing your diet with protein powder may result in micronutrient deficiency.
Too much protein may lead to health complications.
Kidneys are responsible for metabolizing the waste products of protein. Excessive intake of protein powder may increase the risk of kidney stones, kidney diseases, and osteoporosis.
It can contain unhealthy ingredients.
Some protein can taste awful that is why some companies tend to add sweeteners and flavorings. This means that there are added calories that can contribute to weight gain.
Whether you are an athlete or an average person, who simply wants to increase your protein intake, it is best to educate yourself on the health benefits and risks you can get in taking protein powders.
Always ask the advice of health care professionals before taking any supplements to prevent serious health consequences.