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Getting the Scoop on Protein Powder: How Can It Benefit You

Protein powder is one of the most popular supplements among gym-goers. It’s concentrated, powdered protein that has been isolated from natural food sources such as meat, fish, dairy, or soybeans. This makes it easier to digest and assimilate into your body. You need protein to support a healthy immune system, heart, brain, and skin functions.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is about 0.4 grams per pound of body weight. For a 150-pound person, about 60 grams of protein per day is appropriate; a 200-pound person will need about 70 grams per day. High-performance athletes may need more.  

Protein powder is a great way to boost the protein content of your diet and may even help you lose weight. When looking for a protein powder, it’s important to read the nutrition label and ingredients list to see if it meets your needs. Here are our top four ways in which protein powder can benefit you.

  1. Build Muscle

When you lift weights, you are breaking down muscle fibers, which are then rebuilt stronger and bigger once you recover. Protein is essential for this process, and many people don’t get enough protein in their daily diet, especially adults over age 50.

Protein powder is a convenient and easy way to boost your protein intake without having to increase your daily caloric intake, which would make it more difficult to lose weight. Drinking protein powder regularly can help you get the extra protein your body needs to build and repair muscles.

  1. Help You Lose Weight

Eating enough protein is one of the best ways to help you lose weight. Protein is filling and has a low glycemic index, which means it doesn’t spike your blood sugar as carbs do. Protein is also more slowly broken down by the body compared to carbs, so it keeps you fuller for longer.

Protein powder is especially helpful for weight loss because it’s easy to add to smoothies or baked goods without dramatically increasing the calorie or carb content. If you are trying to lose weight, be sure to choose a protein powder that is low in calories. Look for powders that have around 100 calories per serving, and avoid those that contain unnecessary sugars or artificial sweeteners.

  1. Provide Essential Nutrients

Protein is an essential macronutrient that your body is unable to produce on its own. It helps build muscle, regulate hormones, and transport vitamins and minerals throughout your body. Protein is made up of amino acids, which help produce neurotransmitters that affect mood, sleep, and weight loss.

There are eight essential amino acids that humans must get from dietary sources:

  • Phenylalanine
  • Valine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Methionine
  • Cysteine

You can get all of these in a balanced way by consuming a variety of plant-based proteins, dairy, or legumes.

  1. Help Recovery and Repair

Once you’ve broken down your muscles during exercise, they need time to repair and rebuild. This process lasts several days, and consuming extra protein can help speed the process up. Protein is a building block of muscles, so the more protein you consume, the more your muscles can grow and repair.

While protein is essential for muscle growth and repair, it’s possible to consume too much. Excess protein can be converted into glucose and stored as fat, which makes it unhelpful for muscle growth. Other nutrients in protein powder, such as vitamins and minerals, can also help repair and heal your muscles. Vitamins C and E are antioxidants that can reduce post-exercise inflammation, and iron is essential for transporting oxygen throughout the body.

Can You Have Too Much Protein?

Protein is necessary for a healthy body, but you can have too much of a good thing. Signs that you may be consuming too much protein include:

  • Weight gain

Extra protein is stored in the body as fat, particularly if you’re replacing carbs with protein.

  • Bad Breath

This can be caused by ketosis, a metabolic state that produces a bad odor.

  • Constipation

Your body needs fiber for healthy bowel movements.

  • Diarrhea

Too little fiber and too much dairy or processed foods can lead to the opposite of constipation.

  • Dehydration

You may not feel thirstier, but it’s important to keep up on your water intake.

If you have pre-existing kidney disease or consume a lot of red meat, you could be at increased risk of heart disease, cancers, and other conditions by adding more protein. Play it safe and know your body!

Protein Power

Protein powder can provide many benefits if you choose the right type and amount for your personal needs. It can help you build muscle, lose weight, and repair and heal your muscles after a workout or injury. Read nutrition labels and product reviews to choose a high-quality protein powder that is low in calories and includes essential vitamins and minerals.

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