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Guide to Protein Supplements

What Are Protein Supplements?

If you have been seeking for a way to strength your body and boost your immune system, you may want to consider the addition of protein supplements to your regular dietary intake. Protein supplements can be best defined as a form of nutrition which is ingested in addition to your general diet. They are available in a variety of formats, such as shakes or in the form of capsules. There are many different reasons why an individual may be interested in adding a protein supplement to their diet. For example, some people use protein supplements because it helps them to gain weight and build muscle. Other times, people may use protein supplements to boost their energy or further refine the nutritional value of their dietary intake. As previously mentioned, protein supplements are available in different formats. One of the most popular formats can be found in the form of powdered shake mix. Individuals using this type of protein supplement have the option to combine the recommended amount of powdered mix with water, juice, or milk in order to create a healthy shake. Sometimes these shakes are used as a form of meal replacement, while other times they may be used in addition to a regular meal plane. Individuals who are not interested in creating protein shakes on their own can often purchase them from a few local smoothie or milkshake franchises. These types of restaurants are created for those who want to enjoy their protein supplement on the go as an alternative to the traditional options of fast food that are typically available. There are also many protein supplement brands which have their own unique shakes that are canned and ready to drink. These are typically meal replacement shakes. Capsules are a less popular option for protein supplements because many people have difficulty with being able to dissolve a pill during general digestion. An alternative to this is to consider crushing capsules prior to meals and mixing them within food or drink to ensure that they are digested easily and properly. Depending on personal preference, protein supplements can contain soy protein or whey protein. Those who are vegetarian, vegan, or lactose intolerant tend to prefer the option of soy protein. As with any new health regime, it is always important to discuss supplements with your doctor before you commit to taking them on a regular basis. Your physician can provide you with more insight into supplement usage and which options may be the most suitable based on any current health conditions.

Benefits of Protein Supplements

Protein supplements can be a very helpful addition to those who are seeking to become stronger and healthier. If you are not able to consume enough protein on a regular basis, using a supplement such as a powder is a good way for you to replace the protein that you are missing within your diet. Those who do not have enough protein within their diet can experience issues such as hair loss, a weak immune system, and many other related health problems. The best way for these individuals to combat these problems is to make use of protein supplements on a moderate or as-need basis. Individuals who have issues with their kidneys and have to take dialysis treatments are generally known to have issues with handling protein. It can be challenging for them to get enough protein into their diet on a regular basis. Even with a high protein diet, it may not be enough of a source of protein for these individuals because their kidneys are having a difficult time with processing protein overall. As a result, the American Association of Kidney Patients recommends that individuals should use protein supplements as a way to ensure that they get the required amount of protein necessary under these circumstances. Those who are dieting can benefit greatly from protein supplements as well. The issue with eating a lot of carbohydrates is that your body can digest them fairly quickly and burn the fats associated with them within a short period of time, leaving you to still feel hungry later on. Protein supplements are a good way to get that “full” feeling associated with eating without having to break your diet in the meantime. The protein provided by the supplements will help because your body will break it down into energy and use the extra protein for various other elements, such as building muscle. This is especially important if you are inclined to work out fairly often. After a long workout, your muscles and tissues may be sore and tired. Working out stretches these areas and damages them slightly to an extent, so by having a proper intake of protein, you can help to nourish your muscles and tissues, encouraging them to heal and focus on muscle growth instead. If you are part of a program at a gym or if you have a personal trainer, they will be able to provide you with more insight into the specific amount of protein that you will need in order to get the desired results with your workout routine.

Types of Protein Supplements

Anyone who is new to the use of protein supplements is likely to be curious about the different types of options that exist. Generally speaking, there is not any source of protein that is better than another source. There are different options to help meet the needs and requirements of individuals who may be using protein supplements for various purposes, such as muscle building or to gain weight. One of the first types of protein that is available is egg protein. It can be used for those who are lactose intolerant, allowing it to be an alternative to the traditional casein or whey protein supplements that are available. Egg protein is derived from egg whites and can be digested on a fairly quick basis. It’s generally found in workout supplements because it is able to provide nourishment in the form of energy. It also encourages for muscle building due to the high amount of protein that it has to offer. The more traditional form of protein supplements can be found in the use of whey protein, also known as casein protein. This type of protein is from milk, which is why it is not suitable for those who are lactose intolerant. This type of protein is used more for muscles than anything else. Individuals who have worked out and are searching for something to help repair and build the muscles that they have been exerting should use supplements which feature whey protein. Soy protein is an equally popular supplement that many people are becoming interested in. It is a good alternative for those who are lactose intolerant or searching for a protein source that will fit in well with a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. It provides the same amount of protein that is similar to what you would experience with the previous two types of supplements listed here. It doesn’t digest as quickly, so it can be used for those who are seeking to focus on weight loss or have a source of protein throughout the night. The type of protein supplement that an individual uses tends to be based purely on preference and overall need. Depending on their reasons for taking a protein supplement or other related outside conditions, one supplement maybe more suitable for their usage than another. Other times, the doctor may recommend that an individual should take a certain type of protein supplement because it may be more helpful towards treating a specific ailment. In most cases, people have to take the time to try out different supplements and determine which options work the best based on the reactions of their body.

Who Needs Protein Supplements?

Certainly everyone can benefit from the use of protein supplements within their dietary intake. However, there are numerous groups of people who can benefit from the use of these products on a regular basis. Sometimes medical professionals may directly suggest the use of these types of supplements if an individual has a health condition which would merit the need of an additional source of protein or if the individual is possibly suffering from malnutrition. If you have been considering using protein supplements but you are uncertain of whether or not they may be the right option for you, here is a short overview of some of the typical groups that benefit from the use of these supplements.

Children

Parents who have children who are picky eaters or particularly finicky about eating a balanced meal may want to consider providing protein supplements to help out instead. Since many protein supplements are available in powder form, these options allow parents to incorporate protein into the diet of their children by creating milkshakes or a variety of other treats that kids are more likely to enjoy consuming.

Elderly

Older individuals who are having problems with maintaining their nutrition or are not able to keep an average weight can benefit from the use of protein supplements. Doctors may suggest the use of protein supplements and meal replacement shakes in addition to regular meals in order to help these individuals gain weight over a period of time. Some protein supplements are specifically created for older individuals, being easier to digest and offering additional vitamins that may benefit them.

Body Builders

Protein supplements are more commonly used by individuals who are interested in body building. Since protein is essential in the creation of muscle and building muscle mass, many body builders and athletes focus on having high protein diets. The use of protein supplements ensures that they can provide adequate nourishment for muscles that are currently forming or help to prepare their bodies to be more suitable for muscle building in the future. Generally speaking, anyone can benefit from the usage of protein supplements if they are seeking to improve their health and focus more on the overall impact of their nutrition. Even if someone doesn’t specifically find themselves within one of these categories, they can still benefit from a high protein diet or the use of protein supplements to complement their current dietary intake. Individuals who have diets which abstain from meat or other sources of protein may want to consider the use of protein supplements to replace what they would generally be missing within their typical diet.

Protein Supplement Warnings

Although protein supplements can be helpful to individuals when used in moderation, the use of these products has been a subject of controversy over the past few years. As various studies have been performed on the use of protein supplements, many have realized that if they are used incorrectly or too often, it may be potentially harmful to faithful users of these products. Some studies which were ran a few years ago determined that a few popular brands of protein supplements contained a high level of heavy metals within their ingredients, which could have been harmful to many users over an extended period of time. The largest issue with certain types of protein supplements is that most people are not aware of the ingredients that may be included within the drinks, powders, or capsules. There are a lot of protein supplement brands which do not disclose all of the ingredients that are featured within their product. Since supplements are not considered to be a medication, there are not any laws which require the manufacturers of these products to list all of the included ingredients more specifically. As a result, many people purchase protein supplements assuming that the product only provides them with a good source of protein, when in contrast, it is also providing them with several other ingredients that may remain unknown. At times, this can produce potential health risks depending on how much of the product individuals are consuming on a regular basis. Because people are likely to think that the supplements only contain protein, they are more likely to use a higher dosage than what is commonly recommended. Although some protein supplements have warning labels which instruct individuals not to do this because the supplement can have potentially adverse effects, people are less likely to heed the warning if they are unable to find a full listing of the ingredients that are being used. As individuals continue to consume more protein from these products, it can put them at risk for possible liver damage and even serious damage to their kidneys. The issue is that when too much protein is being consumed on a regular basis, the kidneys and liver have to find other ways to deal with the access amounts that are left over within the body. For some people, this can result in adverse reactions such as dehydration, mood swings, a significant drop in blood pressure, or other health issues. As a result, individuals are always recommended to consult with their doctor prior to the use of these products.

Where to Buy Protein Supplements

If you are seeking to add more protein to your diet, using protein supplements is one of the best ways to accomplish your goal. Regardless of what your needs may be, there are a variety of different protein supplements that you can use to ensure that your needs are being met nutritionally. Individuals who have never purchased supplements before are generally curious about where they will be able to purchase products that they can trust to be reliable. To provide a little more insight regarding this concern, here are a few suggestions of where you can purchase protein supplements.

Health Food Stores

Perhaps one of the most common locations where you can purchase protein supplements is from your local health food store. These types of stores focus mainly on providing customers with various types of vitamin and other healthy supplements. The benefit of purchasing your protein supplement from a store such as this is that you can ask questions about the products and get more solid advice regarding their usage from some of the representatives that are commonly employed there.

Vitamin Stores

Vitamin stores are another unique type of specialty store which can provide customers with access to protein supplements. Some people prefer to purchase their supplements from protein stores because some stores are able to have a wider selection of options to choose from. The individuals that work at these stores generally know a fair amount of information about the supplements if you have any questions that need to be answered.

The Internet

Purchasing from the internet is an option that tends to vary based on its reliability. As long as you are purchasing your protein supplements from a reputable seller or store available online, you generally will not need to be concerned about whether or not you are purchasing a reliable product. The benefit with purchasing your supplements via the internet is that you may be able to find a few bargain prices for the products that you are interested in, as well as having access to plenty of reviews. Ultimately, these are some of the top ways that most people use to purchase their protein supplements. If you are willing to spend some extra time searching for additional information and reading the reviews that are associated with protein supplements that you are considering, you should be able to easily find a few reputable stores where you can purchase high quality supplements. Likewise, another factor to consider is to always purchase your supplements from stores that would allow you to return the product if it is damaged or doesn’t provide the advertised results.

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