If you are into fitness, then you probably have heard of protein powder. Protein powder is a popular nutritional supplement made from powdered forms of protein that can come from various sources.
Types of protein powder:
1. Whey protein
Whey Protein is popular because it’s easily mixed and has a naturally mild flavor. It’s a complete protein containing high levels of branched chain amino acids and digest quickly.
2. Casein Protein
Casein protein, like whey protein, comes from milk, however, they have different digestion times. Casein protein digests slower than whey protein. Meaning it is a slower release of protein, hence is good to take before bed. On the other hand, whey digests quickly, making it beneficial for post-workout to help with muscle recovery.
3. Pea protein
Pea protein supplements are suitable for vegans and anyone intolerant to animal-based protein. It is made from the protein isolated from split yellow peas, which are legumes. Pea protein is naturally free from lactose, so it is an excellent choice for people who avoid dairy. Peas are also a rich source of branched chain amino acids, which make it popular with athletes.
4. Hemp protein
Hemp protein is an excellent option if you’re looking for a super-food nutrient boost. It is made from protein isolated from ground hemp seed and is a balanced source of protein, but also contains fibre and healthy fats. Some say hemp protein has an earthy, nutty taste, which makes it great to mix with smoothies and nut loaves.
Benefits of Protein Powder:
Protein can aid in weight loss as it can help support a healthy appetite and keep you fuller for longer. If you are looking to lose weight, you should be in a calorie deficit, meaning your calorie intake is less than the number of calories you burn throughout the day. Protein powder can help lessen your appetite, meaning you will consume fewer calories throughout the day. Your body also needs more energy to metabolise protein than fats or carbohydrates, where more energy is burned in the process, therefore temporarily speeding up your metabolism.
Protein contains amino acids which are the building blocks for muscle growth. Protein powders provide your body with easily digestible amino acids that trigger a more significant response for muscle synthesis with increased consumption. Engaging in resistance training involves your muscle fibres tearing; they are then rebuilt larger and stronger with the help of protein. Therefore, when combined with resistance training and a balanced diet, protein powder can aid muscle growth.
Following resistance training, protein can help repair and rebuild muscle tissue. Therefore, we can use protein powder to speed up recovery and lessen muscle soreness following exercise.
How much protein do I need?
It is suggested that all adults should consume 0.83 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. However, this varies depending on many factors such as your body composition, and level of physical activity.
If you are looking for weight loss:
A protein intake at around 30% of calories seems to be optimal for weight loss. It boosts your metabolic rate and causes a spontaneous reduction in calorie intake. (150 grams per day for someone on a 2,000-calorie diet.)
If you are looking for muscle gain:
It’s hard to give exact figures due to the individual's body difference, but 0.7–1 gram per pound (1.6–2.2 grams per kg) of body weight seems to be a reasonable estimate.
We hope this article has helped you learn a thing or two about protein. Not saying you should hugely increase your protein intake but making sure you are getting a serving of protein with each meal, will go a long way in helping you recover properly and bounce-back after a tough workout.