Benefits of Protein
The word Protein comes from the Greek word proteios which means "of prime importance"
What are protein shakes?
Protein is one of the body's main building blocks for muscle, bone, skin, and other tissues.Used by athletes, protein shakes come in many combinations of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. They can range from 100% protein to mostly carbohydrates with a little added protein and fat.
What are the benefits of protein shakes?Safe for people who are healthy and fit, protein shakes are used mainly by athletes who need nourishment right after their workouts, most people can't make a meal immediately post-workout.
Protein shakes are a safe way to ensure enough protein, when used as part of a balanced, nutrient-rich diet. This counters the view that protein shakes can be harmful to kidneys or bones.
- Although research hasn't proven their role in sports performance and muscle strength, protein shakes may offer certain benefits.
- An endurance athlete may find it easier to train with the help of protein shakes. That's because they help the body recover from intense exercise by restoring muscle glycogen, a fuel source for exercise, which gets used up during workouts.
- For the strength athlete, protein shakes can also help repair damage to muscles that can occur with serious bodybuilding.
- The general fitness enthusiast who works out hard but doesn't want to be a marathon runner or bodybuilder may also benefit.
Some research shows other benefits as well. For example, a study of 130 U.S. Marines looked at intense exercisers who supplemented their diet with 10 g of protein, 8 g of carbohydrates, and 3 g of fat. They had fewer infections, less heat exhaustion, and less muscle soreness. Some protein shakes may help with weight management, as well.
How much protein do you need?Almost all people can get the protein they need from whole foods and drinks in their diet. The recommended daily intake of protein for healthy adults is 0.75 g of protein per kilogram of body weight, or about 45 to 56 g of protein a day.
Protein powders are very popular for good reasons:
- More convenient than high-protein foods like meats, fish, eggs and dairy;
- Either fat and cholesterol-free or contain only a small fraction of the fat and cholesterol found in high-protein foods;
- Money-savers when compared to high-protein foods like meats and fish;
- Beneficial in ways beyond merely supplying extra protein;
- Great-tasting and can be used by the whole family.
Type(s) of Protein
Animal source proteins and vegetable source proteins. Animal source proteins include milk protein derivatives like whey and casein, goat's milk and egg white protein. Vegetable source proteins include soy, rice, pea and hemp proteins.Nutritionally and taste-wise, animal proteins are superior to vegetable proteins and far more popular. Of the animal protein types, the most popular is whey protein. Of the vegetable protein types, soy is the most popular. Most people using vegetable protein powders do so as part of a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, although many people use soy protein primarily for its heart-health and/or hormone-balancing benefits.
Whey ProteinWhey protein is derived from milk. The protein portion of whole milk consists of 20% whey protein and 80% casein protein. Whey is by far the most popular type of protein used in protein powders. For most people, it's the best all-around choice in terms of taste (it's one of the best-tasting), quality (it's the highest) and cost (it's the most economical). Another unique benefit of whey protein, and one that is often overlooked, is that it enhances the immune system in several ways.
Casein or Milk Protein
Egg White Protein
EnhancementsOne very common enhancement, and one that most customers prefer, is the addition of small amounts of lecithin to protein powder. Lecithin is a healthy fat from soy. It's added to improve the mix-ability of the powder and reduce clumping. Unlike other soy foods, lecithin does not have any phytoestrogen compounds and makes a great addition to a protein shake.
Other protein powders are enhanced with digestive enzymes to help improve the absorption of large servings of protein.Another way to enhance a protein powder is by adding amino acids to improve its nutritional value. Although whey protein contains all the necessary amino acids, it doesn't provide them in equal amounts. By adding amino acids like glutamine, BCAAs and arginine, the nutritional benefits of that protein are extended and enhanced.
Other types of enhancements include the addition of carbohydrates and nutritional fats to the protein and/or the addition of vitamins and minerals.