Everyone knows that bodybuilders and athletes use protein to build lean muscle and to stop the breakdown of muscle during dieting. Since protein powders have been introduced into the supplement market, they has been of staple of athletes worldwide as a way to get enough protein in their diet without having to eat chicken and fish every hour.
The misconception is that protein is only for athletes and bodybuilders. Below, we will give you just a few of the positive benefits of protein powder supplementation that every individual can enjoy.
Take Protein for Weight Loss
Yes, you read that right. While dieting, taking protein powder (if done correctly) can help you lose weight safely and efficiently. A diet that is high in protein and lower in carbs and fat will benefit your body in a host of ways while helping to drop excess weight more easily. Also, if you are working out, protein supplements will help you build more muscle, changing the overall shape of your body.
One myth we hear a lot is “Protein will make you big”. While this is true if you take an abundance of it and lift weights for a living, most of us will only receive the body slimming benefits when doing more cardio and exchanging a protein shake for chips or junk food.
Certain types of protein will also “fill you up” and substituting protein for junk food will make a huge impact on your weight loss goals. If you plan on replacing any meals with a protein shake, we suggest using a meal replacement powder. Meal replacements will have more carbs, but these will be good carbs like oats and slow burning carbs that keep you feeling full AND healthy. Meal replacements generally have more nutrients that can replace what a regular meal would give you.
Take Protein for Building Muscle
As already discussed, taking protein will aid your body in building more muscle if that is your goal. Protein shakes will help your body recover from hard workouts and during that recovery, repair and rebuild stronger, bigger muscles. The MINIMUM suggested amount of protein is 1G per LB of body weight for building muscle. So if you weigh 170 Lbs, you should be taking at least 170 grams of protein in per day. To get this amount of protein by food, you would have to eat about 4 chicken breasts every day. That is just to get the minimum amount required for muscle building. Eating some chicken, fish or other protein source and supplementing with protein powder makes it easier to get your required protein in every day. Also of note, the body can only process a limited amount of protein at a given time, so your protein intake (whether from food or powder) should be spread evenly throughout the day.
Supplement with Protein for Health
Besides what was already presented, supplementing with protein can also have the following health benefits:
- Protein can lower blood pressure. One study in overweight individuals showed that whey protein supplementation, 54 g/day for 12 weeks, lowered systolic blood pressure by 4%. Other milk proteins (casein) had similar effects.
- Protein may help treat type 2 diabetes. Whey protein has been found to be effective at moderating blood sugar, increasing both the levels of insulin and the sensitivity to its effects. Taking a whey protein supplement before or with a high-carb meal has been shown to moderate blood sugar in both healthy people and type 2 diabetics.
- Protein may help reduce inflammation. A large review study found that high doses of whey protein supplements significantly reduced C-reactive protein (CRP), a key marker of inflammation in the body.
- Protein may be beneficial for sufferers of IBD. In both rodents and humans, whey protein supplementation has been found to have beneficial effects on inflammatory bowel disease.
- Protein supplementation may enhance the body’s antioxidant defenses.One of the most important antioxidants in humans is glutathione. Unlike most antioxidants we get from the diet, glutathione is produced by the body. In the body, glutathione production depends on the supply of several amino acids, such as cysteine, which is sometimes of limited supply. For this reason, high-cysteine foods, such as whey protein, may boost the body’s natural antioxidant defenses.
- Protein may have beneficial effects on blood fats. In one study in overweight individuals, 54 grams of whey protein per day, for 12 weeks, led to a significant reduction in total and LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol.