Protein is an essential ingredient in the growth and repair of body tissues such as epithelial, nervous and the muscle tissues. However, the amount of protein required by the body varies due to a number of reasons, including health status, level of workout and gender. Studies have shown that women, more than men experience protein deficiency and this can be problematic, especially during intensive workout. If you are not getting sufficient supply from the traditional whole foods, you can take protein powders to supplement your dietary needs.
Types of Protein
The two main types of proteins in protein powders are vegetable and animal source proteins. Protein powder is highly convenient and does not spoil easily compared to protein rich food sources such as chicken, pea, low fat dairy products and lean red meat. Although the nutrients contained in protein powder is the same as that found in whole foods, the latter comes in different levels of strength and is generally healthier since it contains additional compounds like antioxidants and phytonutrients. The growing use of protein according to Nutrition Express is attributed to the following key reasons:
- The need to supply extra protein in the body
- Protein powder has a pleasant taste and can be consumed by all family members
- It contains only a small fraction of cholesterol and fat and in some instances none at all
- It is more convenient compared to protein rich foods such as fish, dairy product and meat
- Protein powder is much cheaper compared to high protein foods like fish
Protein is at the center of all biological processes taking place in the body and the amino acids forms the basis for this development. According to Bodybuilding.com, protein is made up of 20 different types of amino acids, eight of which are categorized as essential since they can only be obtained by consuming protein foods. In terms of gender balance, the CDC and Prevention average semi sedentary individual protein intake for men per day is capped at 65 grams while that of women is capped at 46 grams. However, these figures increase immediately when a person engages in regular exercises because the breakdown of lean muscles ultimately increases the demand for protein in the body.
If you choose to perform exercises regularly without dieting, your daily protein consumption should stand at about 1 gram of protein per pound of your body weight. On the other hand, if you are on a strict diet and exercising at the same time, you will need a daily protein intake of up to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of your body weight, the magazine adds. It is important to reiterate that the body’s protein requirement increases when the caloric intake decreases. When taking protein, it is important to dispel rumors that protein can cause the user to feel bulky and that a high protein diet can cause kidney problems. However, if you have a kidney problem, it is important to consult a doctor.
Adding sufficient amounts of carbohydrates, fat and protein to your diet plan is critical in sustaining good health. A research study published on WebMD indicates that most Americans receive an estimated 15% of the daily intake of calories from protein. The body requires a daily consumption of about 10 to 14 grams of protein to promote muscle buildup. Women in particular, have a lot to gain from taking protein powder and other protein supplements. Written on Top10supplements.com, the benefits of using protein powder for women include:
- Enhance growth – growing teens need a steady supply of protein, and protein powder can help plug the differential.
- Ideal for vegan lifestyle – high concentrations of protein in foods like eggs, fish and peas often forms the basis of a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. You can substitute any of these common protein rich foods by introducing protein powder.
- Recommended during recovery – athletes performing strenuous exercises and people recovering from injuries need to replenish the protein levels as fast as possible in order to hasten the healing process. Protein powder offers a fast and convenient relief during such situations.
- Enhance workout routine and muscle building – If you decided to ramp up the frequency of your workout, you can use protein powder to replace the diminishing levels of protein. The same applies when you want to build your muscles.
- Stabilizing energy levels and appetite – protein generally takes a long time to break down and be digested by the body compared to foods rich in carbohydrates. This means taking sufficient amounts of protein will make you fuller for longer periods of time.
- Boost the body’s immune system – besides building muscle strength, protein powder can boost the immune system since it contains critical compounds such as glutathione, which is known to enhance the body’s immune faction.
- Ensure the calories burn more effectively – The amount of calories required by the body to process and utilize a nutrient or the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) is usually at its highest during the processing of protein. The TEF level of protein stands in the high range of 20% to 35%. Since the body uses more energy to breakdown protein compared to fats and carbohydrates, the weight loss results in people who consume high amounts of protein is often more pronounced compared to those on low protein diet.
- Protects against loss of muscle – when the levels of carbohydrates and fats in the body drop due to low caloric intake or strict dieting. The body taps into the protein reservoir to boost the energy levels. For this reason, taking sufficient protein can go a long way to recover lost energy and prevent the breakdown of muscle tissues due to the absence of sufficient amino acids.
Part of the Workout Culture
Protein powder has become a crucial component in today’s workout culture because it also has the potential to lower disease causing risk factors, build a better body composition and enhance weight loss in women. According to a 2007 weight loss study published on Livestrong, a group of obese women who used protein shakes as replacement meals for a period of 16 weeks experienced an impressive loss of 20% body fat and 10% body weight. The study also established that the development and reparation of lean muscle as a result of protein uptake helped generate more energy and break down of body fat.
Studies have shown that women who perform strength training on a regular basis can benefit from the availability of high quality, quickly digestible protein supplements to stay in great shape. Protein powders have also been shown to be critical in maintaining the muscle formation in women as they age.
During the aging process, women are prone to suffering conditions like Osteoporosis and sarcopenia, the slow natural loss of the body muscle mass. In yet another study published on Livestrong, post menopausal women taking protein powder during a 12 weeks limited resistance training showed steady gain in bone and muscle strength.