What Does Protein Powder Do To Your Body

Your Body May Not Actually Need The Protein Powder You Are Having

Does Protein Powder Work? (Spoiler: YES, but there’s a catch)

PintrestHere is a quick guide to know the total grams of protein you are consuming:Here are some guidelines on how you should choose your protein powder:Protein powder with milk or water?Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the doctors are their independent professional judgment and we do not take any responsibility for the accuracy of their views. This should not be considered as a substitute for physician’s advice. Please consult your treating physician for more details.

Types Of Whey Protein

  • Concentrate: Products with whey protein concentrate vary widely in their protein, lactose and fat content. Whey protein concentrate is in many protein drinks, bars and nutritional products. Its also used in infant formula.
  • Isolate: This type is consistently high in protein and low in fat or lactose. You may see it listed on the labels of protein supplements, such as bars and drinks. Whey protein isolate may be a suitable choice for people who are lactose intolerant but dont try any of these if you have a milk allergy.
  • Hydrolysate: Also known as hydrolyzed whey protein, whey hydrolysate is the easiest to digest. Its gentle on digestion because its long protein chains, called peptides, are pre-broken down into shorter ones. Specialized infant formulas often use hydrolyzed whey protein. You may also see it in medical supplements for nutritional deficiencies.
  • They May Contain Added Sugar Calories Or Even Toxic Chemicals

    Adding protein powder to a glass of milk or a smoothie may seem like a simple way to boost your health. After, all, protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle, bone strength, and numerous body functions. And many older adults don’t consume enough protein because of a reduced appetite.

    But be careful: a scoop of chocolate or vanilla protein powder can harbor health risks. “I don’t recommend using protein powders except in a few instances, and only with supervision,” says registered dietitian Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

    Also Check: How Much Protein Do I Need Per Day

    Whey Protein May Help Treat Type 2 Diabetes

    Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease characterized by high blood sugar and impaired function of insulin.

    Insulin is a hormone that is supposed to stimulate the uptake of blood sugar into cells, keeping it within healthy limits.

    Whey protein has been found to be effective at moderating blood sugar, increasing both the levels of insulin and the sensitivity to its effects (

    These properties of whey protein may even be comparable to those of diabetic drugs, such as sulfonylurea .

    As a result, whey protein can be effectively used as a supplementary treatment for type 2 diabetes.

    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 .

    Bottom Line:

    Whey protein is effective at moderating blood sugar levels, especially when taken before or with high-carb meals. It may be particularly useful for people with type 2 diabetes.

    Protein Shake Mistake #: Youre Selling Yourself Short

    Who Should Use Protein Powder and Why  Momsanity

    When it comes to protein powder, theres no such thing as cheap and cheerful. According to Baptie, if your shake contains a concentrate powder with a suspiciously low price and a long shelf life then youre forking out for something packed with fat and carbs. These are the best whey protein products you can buy.

    The Fix

    Whey Isolate protein. Its a touch more expensive, but when it comes to powder you get what you pay for. Due to its long refinement processing, isolate will give you a higher quality protein without the unnecessary additives, says Baptie.

    Not sure your current shake packs the right punch? Check one scoop of your powder contains at least 20-25 grams of protein. Drop below that and youll soon notice your wallet shrinking and belly fat bulging.

    Also Check: Which Foods Are High In Protein For Weight Loss

    What To Look For When Shopping For Protein Powder

    I generally recommend opting for plain, unflavored, unsweetened protein powders. These products allow you to add your own sweetener, if needed, and flavor the powder yourself with all-natural seasonings. Plain powders are also more versatile because they can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. Plus, they’re typically free from unwanted additives, like artificial flavors and sweeteners.

    Check ingredients lists, and look for brands where the only ingredient is the protein itself, such as “pea protein isolate” or “sprouted brown rice protein.” That said, some plain powders do add probiotic and/or enzyme blends. While not necessary, these additions may be beneficial, particularly if you don’t consume them from other sources.

    If you avoid dairy or are trying to consume a more plant-based diet, plant protein powders are a great option. Recent research from JAMA Internal Medicine found that a higher intake of plant protein, as compared to animal protein, is linked to a lower risk of death from all causes, particularly heart disease, the number one killer of both men and women in the US.

    And in case you’re wondering, plant powders are just as effective at building muscle. A 2019 study published in the journal Sports found that pea protein produced results on par with whey protein for muscle strength, performance, body composition, and muscular adaptations following eight weeks of high-intensity training.

    Do You Really Need Protein Powder

    The short answer: no. You can easily get the protein you need from;natural sources, such as eggs, chicken breast, fish, beans, milk, cottage cheese, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Athletes rely on protein powder because they typically need more protein, plus its convenient. In general, athletes need anywhere from;0.54 to 0.91 grams per pound of body weight every day, and carefully time that before and after workouts, to maximize muscle recovery and growth. For instance, if youre running 25 to 30 miles per week, you might want to chase tough workouts with 20 grams of protein, along with some carbs. That could be 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt with berries and whole-grain cereal, or 2 scrambled eggs with a whole-wheat English muffin and a piece of fruit. But when youre busy, its easy to grab a shake or a bar. Just remember: its never a good idea to take supplements you dont need, and you dont want to let extra protein turn into excess calories.

    Make sense? Still want to use one? Heres what you need to know if you choose to include a protein powder in your diet.

    You May Like: What Kind Of Protein Is In Muscle Milk

    What Exactly Does Protein Powder Do In The Body

    Protein contains many building blocks and amino acids that make the protein body can be absorbed immediately after ingestion. Amino acids are just the smallest form of protein that we also produce ourselves, but they are not enough for sports. They help with immune defense, regeneration and stress reduction. Additional intake Above all, it favors the speed of regeneration and the extension of muscle growth. Since protein is also removed from the body during intensive training units, the deficiency caused by training can be more quickly compensated with a protein shake.

    Consequently You Could Have Stomach Pains

    How to Choose the Best Protein Powder for Your Body Type

    Whey protein concentrate may also cause GI discomfort in those with severe lactose intolerance, as most dairy protein powders are made from proteins in milk whey, which contains lactose. Still, the Whey Protein Institute claims that whey protein concentrate is said to contain very little lactose, so just be sure to read the label before purchasing!

    A plant-based protein powder such as Orgain Organic Protein may be a better option for those with lactose sensitivities, as it’s made primarily of pea protein and brown rice protein.

    Don’t Miss: Is There Protein In Avocado

    When You Consume Your Protein Actually Matters

    If youre someone who drinks protein shakes in order to get enough protein to maximize your gym gains, you probably chug one right after your workouts. And while thats not a bad idea, theres an even more important rule when it comes to timing your protein intake: Its crucial to space out your protein intake throughout the day.

    Protein is vital after a workout, Ansari says. But it is important for people to know that more is not necessarily better.

    The amount of protein your muscles can absorb after working out varies, depending on factors like how much you exercised and your body composition, Ansari says. The Academy/DC/ACSM all recommend consuming 15 to 25 grams of protein within two hours after your workout to maximize MPS, while the ISSN recommends getting 20 to 40 grams .

    If youre looking for an easy-to-remember rule, aim for something in the neighborhood of 20 to 30 grams of protein after a workout. So in terms of food, that could be a 7-ounce container of 2% fat plain Greek yogurt of protein; a 4-ounce chicken breast ; or a scoop of protein powder.

    Protein Shake Mistake #: Beware Of Intolerance

    A lot of protein powders will contain dairy, soy, corn starch, and additives your body may be unfamiliar with or allergic to. Whey is by far the most popular powdered protein and, if you have an issue with dairy, whey will have all the same problems being as it is, a milk derivative.

    Soy protein isolate can be cheaply obtained and can cause inflammation, nausea and skin conditions. Corn starch has a habit of sending your blood sugar into peaks and troughs. Reading the long and complex ingredients list can be tough going but may just save your workout.

    You May Like: Are Protein Powders Good For Weight Loss

    What Else Is In Protein Powder

    There are other concerns, too.; In 2010, Consumer Reports tested 15 protein drinks for heavy metals such as cadmium, lead, arsenic, and mercury. Three of them had potentially harmful amounts of contaminants, based on federal safety guidelines.

    That same year, ConsumerLab, which independently tests supplements, said nearly a third of 24 protein supplements they tested for quality assurance failed. Two of them had a potentially risky amount of lead. Others had more cholesterol or sodium than was listed on the label.

    And not all protein powders contain what the manufacturers claim. In 2015, Brazilian researchers tested 20 protein supplements. Eleven of them, including four made in the U.S., had less protein than stated on the label.

    In 2013, a panel of nutrition experts reviewed protein supplements for the U.S. military. They did note worries regarding quality control and contaminants, but they concluded that such supplements generally appear to be safe for healthy adults.

    You May Become Bloated

    What Benefits Does Protein Have To The Body

    Eating too much whey protein in one sitting can leave you feeling bloated and even give you bad gas. This is especially the case for those who have irritable bowel syndrome as well as lactose sensitivities. Whey protein powder is a dairy product, so it does contain lactose: a type of sugar many people have a hard time digesting. Common side effects of lactose intolerance include bloating, gas, and stomach cramps.

    For a list of foods that have the opposite effect, be sure to check out;21 Easy Ways to Debloat After Overeating.

    Recommended Reading: What Kind Of Milk Has The Most Protein

    How Does Protein Powder Work In The Body

    Protein is a vital component of bone, muscle, and skin and its no secret that professional athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and bodybuilders incorporate protein supplements in their regular training routines. One of the most common forms of these supplements is protein powder, which comes in various forms, such as whey, soy, and casein protein. The main reason behind the increasing popularity of the powder supplements is that theyre water-soluble, meaning that they can be easily mixed with milk, water, or juice to make a tasty, nutritious shake. Besides promoting muscle growth, protein powders also help repair tissue and boost the bodys production of enzymes, hormones, and other vital chemicals.

    But just how exactly do protein powder supplements work? Lets find out.

    Fundamental Protein Math

    First off, in order for any protein supplement to work, you need to know exactly how much protein your body needs. If you consume too much of it, your body will merely break down the protein for energy, and you wont be seeing the physical improvements you want. In recent studies, researchers have noted that, for the average adult, once the protein levels exceeded 1.6 grams for each kilogram of their body weight, the participants didnt experience any additional benefits. Plus, unnaturally high doses of protein can be extremely hard on your kidneys and liver.

    Optimizing Protein and Calorie Intake

    Increasing Muscle Growth and Maintaining Muscle Mass

    What Is Whey Protein

    Whey protein refers to a group of eight proteins found in milk. These proteins, in order from the biggest to smallest amounts in milk, are:

    • Beta-lactoglobulin.
    • Lactoperoxidase.
    • Lysozyme.

    Manufacturers add enzymes to milk in the cheese-making process. The enzymes curdle the milk, which separates the liquid whey from milks solid curds. The curds, which contain most of the milks fat, are the main ingredient in cheese.

    When the solid curds are removed, youre left with watery whey protein, which has varying amounts of lactose and fat. Usually, manufacturers pasteurize the whey to kill bacteria and then dry it. Voila! Whey protein powder.

    You May Like: Can You Have Too Much Protein On Keto

    Side Effects And Risks Of Whey Protein

    Whey protein is generally safe for most people to take, as long as they dont have a dairy allergy. But there are some drawbacks:

    • Calorie content: Whey protein may be low fat and low carb, but it still has calories. Too many calories from anything, including protein, leads to weight gain, Smith explains.
    • Extra sugar or processed ingredients: Many protein powders and shakes contain processed ingredients like artificial flavors, sweeteners or added sugar. Its better to get your protein from whole foods and a varied diet, rather than a supplement, bar or shake, says Smith. If you use a supplement, look for one that lists whey protein as the only ingredient.
    • Possible contaminants: Protein supplements dont have strict regulations like foods and drugs. The purity might not be proven in some protein supplements, says Smith. They can have fillers or heavy metal contaminants that arent listed on the label. Choose whey protein products that are NSF Certified for Sport or certified by Informed Choice. These products have been independently tested for purity.
    • Possible digestive problems: Some people experience constipation, diarrhea or nausea from taking whey protein, especially if they take large amounts.

    How Much Should You Take In

    Drinking High-Protein Drinks Every Day Does This To Your Body

    The minimum amount of protein that you should take in for building muscle is 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight . Any additional protein that exceeds the daily minimum for muscle gain just helps to speed up the healing process.

    Even though there has been debate over a maximum amount of protein you should take in, it is my belief that it is not possible for somebody to take in too much protein, however, if you take in huge amounts of protein it is a good idea to supplement your diet with calcium and magnesium since excessive amounts of protein has been proven to deplete the amount of calcium and magnesium in the body. However, I emphasize high protein ingestion for more than one reason. Not only do muscles require the marvelous ingredient to repair and grow but also three-quarters of the solids in the body are comprised of proteins.

    Read Also: What Is The Best Protein Bar On The Market

    Protein Powder Helps Overcome Fatigue

    This positive safety profile of protein powder allows you several benefits. For example, increasing your intake of protein powder can make you feel more alert. An looked at the effect of taking protein powder right before 30 minutes of exercise. The results showed that whey intake increased exercise capacity and decreased fatigue.

    Read more:Diseases Causing Extreme Fatigue & Weakness

    Related: How To Load Up On Protein To Lose Weight

    Meanwhile, if your smoothie is a stand-in for a full-fledged meal, she advises shooting for getting between 25 to 30 grams of protein in your glass. Most brands of whey protein, the most popular kind out there, come with a scoop that typically measures out an ounce of powder and provides 20 to 25 grams of protein. If you mix it with milk, kefir, or yogurt, youll get some additional protein there. She notes that adding in some nuts, nut betters, flax, hemp, or chia seeds can add healthy fats to your meal to help keep you full for a full four to six hours, while mixing in some veggies and fruits , will help you hit your carbohydrate, vitamin, and mineral needs.


    Before you get sucked into the whole whey/casein/soy/pea/rice/hemp debate, dont. Whey, which comes from cows milk, has been shown to be more effective in stimulating muscle protein synthesis, its affordable, and in my opinion tastes the best,” says Fear. “So I recommend whey protein unless a client has a reason not to use it.”

    You May Like: What Causes Protein In Blood

    How Much Protein Do We Need Per Day

    The amount of protein you need every day varies from person to person, but its recommended that each person gets between 56 grams of protein for males and 46 grams for females. Though this is a good guideline, the amount of protein you consume depends on how active you are and your fitness goals. Men looking to build muscle will likely want to consume more protein as they are breaking down their muscles more often during exercise and working these muscles harder than a sedentary person.

    If your goal is to gain muscle mass, you should try to consume 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily. Women need to consume less protein even if trying to build muscle because most women have less lean muscle comparative to total body weight than men. Women looking to gain muscle should try to get 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per pound every day.

    Popular Articles

    Related Articles