What To Know About Protein Powders

Start With Checking The Ingredient List

What You Need To Know About Protein Powder

Nutritionist Kripa Jalan, suggests having a thorough look at the label. Youll probably see some familiar ingredients, such as whey and casein , soy , hemp, rice and pea protein . But as you skim through the list, you may also come across stuff thats essentially manufactured in a lab and doesnt fall into the real food category. For example, fillers, food thickeners, and artificial sweeteners are some of the most common ingredients youll find in a typical protein powder, she explains. Her recommendation is to pick a product with the fewest ingredients possible and one that is free from artificial flavourings, vegetable oils, thickeners, additives, and fillers.

Unsweetened works best but if you prefer a touch of sweetness, look for one with monk fruit or stevia, she says. When you’re specifically looking to build muscle, pros suggest choosing a protein powder with a high biological value . Find one with branched-chain amino acids , as they help promote muscle growth, and skip sugars and dextrins/maltodextrins, which are sweeteners made from starch. Lastly, and most importantly look for products that have been third-party tested, to ensure safety and quality, she adds

All You Need To Know About Protein Powders And How To Avoid Buying Fakes

Is building rock-solid abs and biceps, and that enviable set of pecs a herculean task? The protein-fuelled, chiselled hunks at the gym might agree. You know what else is equally tough? Finding suitable and authentic supplements to meet their protein requirements? Fake body-building supplements are on the rise in the country like never before, courtesy Indias widespread grey market. This not only means that the thousands of rupees you body-building enthusiasts are shelling out on protein powders might be going waste, there are health hazards too.

So, how to tell the real from fakes? Just follow our quick guide, so you sweat it out in your workouts and not in finding the right protein supplement, if at all you need it.

When do you need to buy protein powder?

1)When you want to boost your muscle mass and require aid in quick muscle recovery.

2)For weight loss. Contrary to popular belief, consuming protein increases the feeling of satiety, it prevents one from overeating.

3)For boosting overall health. It lowers cholesterol, blood pressure and increases immunity.

How much should one consume in a day?

The recommended consumption of protein is 0.8 gm for every 1kg. This means that if a person weighs 90kg, then the requirement of protein would be around 75-80 gm per day. But this only applies if youre not working out. It is obvious that if youre working out, your protein intake doubles as it is required to help in muscle recovery.

What You Should Do

McManus says that in certain cases, chemical-free protein powders may be helpfulbut only with medical supervision. Such cases could include

  • difficulty eating or an impaired appetite
  • a surgical incision or a pressure wound that is not healing well
  • a serious condition requiring additional calories and protein in order for you to get better .

Otherwise, get protein from whole foods: nuts, seeds, low-fat dairy products , legumes , fish, poultry, eggs, and lean meat. “You’ll find,” McManus says, “that there are many ways to get protein without turning to a powder.”

You May Like: What Foods Have Collagen Protein

Factor #: Protein Quality

For many people, the quality of the protein source is the highest priority. When it comes to assessing quality, theres a lot of talk about complete versus incomplete proteins.

Proteins are made up of amino acids, which are sort of like different colored Legos. They can be put together in different ways to serve different purposes in the body.

In all, your body uses 20 different amino acids.

Seven of those amino acids are non-essential amino acids. Thats because your body can create those on its own.

There are also four conditionally essential amino acids, which are ones your body can make, but not always. For example, your body might have a harder time making enough of them when youre sick, or after hard athletic training.

The other nine amino acids are known as essential amino acids . Your body cant make these, so you have to get them from food.

This is important, because EAAs play key roles in building and repairing tissuelike musclebut also in building hormones, enzymes, and neurotransmitters.

Branched-chain amino acids , a subcategory of EAAs, are especially important for their role in muscle protein synthesis.

Muscle protein synthesis is the process your body uses to repair and build muscle after exercise. While muscle protein synthesis is much more complicated than just one amino acid, leucine plays an integral role in triggering the process, which makes it probably the most well-known BCAA.

What To Consider When Buying A Protein Powder

Protein Powder Review: What You Need to Know

One of the hottest crazes inspired by fitness fanatics, sports enthusiasts, bodybuilders, dieters, or anyone looking for overall wellness, is protein powders. Go to any supermarket aisle that sells protein powder and youll discover the options are endless. Varieties to choose from like whey, pea, soy, rice, and hemp, make shopping for a protein powder simply overwhelming.

But which one is best for you? Heres what to know when searching for the protein powder to suit your needs:

Don’t Miss: What Plant Contains The Most Protein

Are Protein Shakes Safe While Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding mothers have unique nutritional needs, and they typically require additional protein. It can be hard to get enough protein in your diet, which is why protein drinks can be a convenient and popular option for a new breastfeeding mam. Protein powder might be beneficial if shes interested in postpartum weight loss.

One of the most common questions I get from new moms is whether or not protein powder is safe to consume while breastfeeding. No mother wants to drink something that would harm her child knowingly. Since protein powders often contain many different ingredients , its wise to make sure protein powders are a safe option for helping you meet your nutritional needs. Protein powder can be a great way to add some additional protein to your diet while breastfeeding.

Here are some additional common questions I often see regarding protein, along with our recommendation for the best protein powder for lactating moms. The most important thing is to have a healthy mom and healthy baby so making sure your protein powder is safe is essential.

Myth #: If My Kid Is Not Into Sports He/she Doesnt Need Protein Powder

FACT: No matter the daily activity level, every kid requires protein. Protein powders are an important source of amino acid that is required for the strength, repairing, and rebuilding of muscle tissue. Unlike fat and starch, a human body does not store excess amino acids for later use, therefore, amino acids must be consumed daily. Since kids do not meet this requirement through their daily diet, a protein powder can be an effective option.

Recommended Reading: Is Protein Shake Good For Health

When Should I Drink Protein Shakes

For most people, heres what matters most: The amount of protein you consistently eat over the course of the daynot precisely when you eat it.

Thats not to say that nutrient timing is totally bogus. Theres certainly evidence that in some situations, protein timing matters.7

But unless youre an elite athlete or pursuing extreme fat loss or muscle gain, you dont need to worry too much about when you get your protein. Read: Drink a protein shake when it makes the most sense in the context of your daily life. For example, you dont have time for a good breakfast, its going to be several hours before your next meal, or its simply the most convenient time.

Benefits Of Whey Protein Powders:

Everything You Want & Need To Know About Protein Powders – by Dr Sam Robbins
  • A great benefit of whey protein is that its a complete protein. You dont need to carefully balance different incomplete proteins to ensure a fully effective diet. Instead, whey protein will serve you well.

  • While its not a primary benefit, its worth thinking about: whey protein can actually boost your immune system. Whey is a rich source of the amino acid cysteine – this amino acid can boost levels of antioxidants in our cells, leading to increased immunity.

You May Like: How Do You Get Protein Out Of Your Urine

How Much Protein Do You Really Need

People selling you protein powders are always pushing you to eat more protein, but you dont need to. Ive tried as little as 0.5 grams per pound of body weight to as high as 3 grams per pound of body weight .

More will NOT build any extra muscle especially in the long-run and if anything, itll increase muscle breakdown .

Plus, its just very unhealthy to have so much protein.

What Ive found is the most amount of protein you really need is about 1 gram per pound of bodyweight. I weigh about 200 lbs and I eat about 200 grams . Even if youre taking steroids and working out really hard you do NOT need more protein.

Id rather you ate more fat and carbs.

Protein Shake Mistakes You Keep Making

So far, we’ve covered understanding what protein is, how protein shakes should never replace real food and how much protein you need to build muscle, plus the best sources. Read on for the mistakes you keep making.

Protein Shake Mistake #1: Youre Overcomplicating Things

Got milk? Plus dried fruit and few scoops of almond butter? Youre doing it wrong. Load up your DIY shake with too many ingredients and youre going to whack up the calorie count for no extra benefit, says nutritionist Scott Baptie.

You May Like: How To Track Your Protein Intake

One Possible Concern About Protein Powder

A couple tests over the years analyzed whether contaminants, such as heavy metals, are found in protein powder. One such test was conducted by the Clean Label Project in 2018. Of the more than 130 protein powders tested, the group found that 75% of the examined products contained measurable levels of lead. This and other study findings appeared concerning, so a 2020 study published in Toxicology Reports looked into the potential health effects that may be tied to consuming protein powders. The researchers found that up to three daily servings of protein powder was not associated with an increased risk of non-cancerous health effects due to heavy metal exposure.

However, if you are still concerned about heavy metal exposure, you can certainly opt not to use protein powder at all. Or, choose one that is third-party tested for heavy metals, such as Naked Nutrition. You could also reach out to any brand to ask about testing or request a particular product’s analysis, if you want more information.

When And How Should I Use Protein Powder

Everything You Want &  Need To Know About Protein Powders

Research has proven that consuming protein, in combination with carbohydrates, after your workout is a successful way to stimulate protein synthesis and restore muscle glycogen stores. I should repeat, in combination with carbs! You should consume a source of carbohydrates along WITH the protein for the full benefits. One of the biggest issues I see is when individuals mix their protein powder with water alone post-workout. Use milk instead of water or have a large piece of fruit, such as a banana, along with your whey.

Even better, mix your protein powder into a smoothie rather than just water/milk. Adding fruits and vegetables increases the nutrient content and antioxidant level, which are also very beneficial to exercise recovery. Plus, if you find it hard getting enough veggies in during the day, throw a few large handfuls of spinach into your blender along with fresh fruit and you won’t even taste it! Also, more protein does not always mean better. Your body can only process so much protein at one time, meaning one serving will be plenty!!

Protein powders can also be a great way for athletes struggling to gain weight and have a hard time eating large volumes of food. I recommend adding unflavored protein powder to pancake and waffle mix, oatmeal, or making a shake and adding a multitude of nutritious foods such as oats, peanut butter, chia seeds, etc. to up the calories. .

Don’t Miss: Can Premier Protein Help You Lose Weight

What Are The Different Types Of Protein Powders

You can meet your body’s needs by eating more protein-rich foods or drinking shakes that contain protein powder. Shakes may help you lose weight, but they offer less nutrition than whole foods. If you do use protein powders to meet some of your nutritional needs, there are several types to choose from. The most common types are:

  • Whey protein: This is the most commonly used type of protein powder. It contains all of the amino acids you need and is best for everyday use. Whey protein is good to use after a workout.
  • Soy protein: This is also a common choice and helps build muscle.
  • Milk protein: This type helps support your bodys defenses and builds muscle.
  • Egg protein: This is released more slowly than whey protein, and you can take it throughout the day.
  • Hemp protein: Hemp is plant-based and a good way to get omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Pea protein: This is also plant-based. Its easily digested and hypoallergenic.
  • Brown rice protein: This is another plant-based option that is good for people who are avoiding gluten.

Know The Protein Powder Lingo

The protein listed in the ingredient list of your powder of choice may indicate its an isolate or concentrate. Protein isolate is the most finely filtered form of the powder, meaning it contains very little stuff other than protein such as fat, fiber, or lactose. This creates a product that is at least 90 percent protein by weight. Concentrate tends to be more budget-friendly and contains more calories from fat and carbs at the expense of proteinthey typically top out at about 80 percent protein by weight, although can be lower than 50 percent which is not ideal. So the grams of protein per serving will be more in an isolate powder than a concentrate. But for most peoples needs, this is hardly a deal-breaker as a concentrate powder can still deliver adequate amounts of high-quality protein to support your muscle needs.

Some products contain a mix of isolate and concentrate protein in what they call a proprietary blend. You need to be leery of this as the ingredient label may list this: Proprietary blend . The concern here is that the consumer has no idea how much of each they are getting. It could very well be 90 percent less protein-dense concentrate and only 10 percent isolate, despite a price tag that is similar to what a 100 percent whey isolate would demand. Looking at the amount of protein relative to the serving size will give you an idea of what you are getting. More protein per gram of powder indicates a higher quality product.

Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Dairy Free Protein Powder

Weight Loss Drug Dnp Linked To Deaths

One product being sold illegally but still available online, mainly from suppliers based outside the UK, is 2,4-Dinitrophenol .

DNP is an industrial chemical that isn’t fit for human consumption. It’s highly toxic and causes significant side effects, and has led to at least 3 reported deaths.

DNP is thought to be particularly popular among bodybuilders, who are attracted to its promises of quick-fix rapid weight loss.

Other names for DNP, which comes in a pill or powder form, include:

  • Dinosan
  • fever
  • vomiting

Using DNP over a long period of time can lead to cataracts and peeling skin, and may cause damage to the heart and nervous system.

Animal studies have suggested DNP may also cause cancer and increase the risk of birth defects.

If you think you have taken DNP, you should seek medical advice immediately.

The Food Standards Agency is working with the police and local authorities to prevent DNP being sold illegally to the public, particularly online.

But many websites offering DNP for sale are based abroad, making this work harder.

Some of these sites offer illegal products alongside legal weight-loss drugs, making it very difficult to tell the difference.

The Proper Evaluation Of Protein Powderand What Isn’t Revealed To The Public

What You Need to Know About Protein Powders – Easy Homemade Protein Powder Recipes

Jaclyn Bowen, MPH, MS, and Executive Director of the Clean Label Project , is particularly fired up about revealing the truth to consumers about their products. The CLP constantly is testing different products, and recently revealed a study regarding paint stripper found in popular decaf coffee manufacturers. After taking a look at F-Factor’s CoA herself, she had a few things to shareincluding the CLP’s process, and the side effects of consuming contaminants on the body.

“So many people and brands discount heavy metals, pesticides, and plasticizer contamination,” says Bowen. “The regulatory focus of food safety in America is on pathogen and microbiological contaminantsthings that will give you vomiting or diarrhea in 24 to 48 hours. However, consumer sentiment is shifting towards the role that food and consumer product safety plays in chronic disease cancers, infertility, etcetera. These diseases don’t manifest themselves for years, even decades. There is a growing divide between the court of law and court of public opinion when it comes to the definition of food and consumer product safety. Clean Label Project uses consumer education to pull through industry change and regulatory reform.”

However, while the Prop 65 warning label is required for California, companies are not required to release their full evaluation.

Read Also: What Foods Reduce Protein In Urine

Popular Articles

Related Articles