Every health food shop, grocery store supplement section and green-based supermarkets have shelves full of protein powder. There are so many different brands and types, it’s easy to walk past them, not giving a second thought about it.
We’re going to discuss the top three reasons you should be using protein powder right now. These include assistance with weight loss, support for strong bones and it can be a great way to supplement a vegan/vegetarian diet. There are some honorable mentions too.
What’s great about protein powder, though, is how useful and handy it can be. You can throw it into almost any food like smoothies, shakes, soups and even gluten-free bread dough.
But, the powder type you get makes all the difference. There can be a lot of difference in product quality and effectiveness.
Before we dive into the benefits, make sure to get your protein powder from a trustworthy supplement store.
1. Weight Loss Assistance
When actively looking to lose weight, making protein powder a part of your daily intake will be invaluable. It helps curb cravings while burning off excess fat. However, protein powder won’t do this on its own, you must be proactive and exercise.
This is because your body will convert the protein into amino acids, which serve several purposes for your body. Such a thing includes repairing muscles while building new tissue. When you don’t take in enough protein, this building-repairing cycle will not take place.
What’s more, protein powder helps the nitrogen balance in your body, which ensures you won’t lose lean body tissue. Even for those just starting on a weight loss regimen, protein requirements only increase because of how it cuts out most foods high in carbohydrates.
Therefore, when engaging in a weight loss diet, let protein powder be a part of it. This helps stave off hunger pangs, a need to snack on sweets and lowers overall caloric intake while avoiding fat-building foods.
2. Strong Bone Support
Aside from what protein powder can do for muscle repair and building, it can also provide the necessary calcium required for strong, healthy bones. Unfortunately, the best source of calcium is in dairy such as milk, cream, cheese and yogurt.
If you’re lactose-intolerant or refrain from consuming anything from animals, this can present some obvious health concerns. Poor calcium intake weakens the bone structure, which creates vulnerability to osteoporosis and broken bones. Plus, calcium is essential to building lean muscle. Without it, this won’t happen.
Therefore, protein powder is excellent for those who have problems ingesting dairy. Whatever the reason, you can compensate for poor calcium by putting powder in a shake once or twice per day. The good news is that most commercial formulations contain up to 20% of the recommended daily dosage.
3. Supplementation for Vegan/Vegetarian Diets
If you aren’t a fish, meat or dairy eater, you absolutely must have protein powder in your diet. Unfortunately, most vegans and vegetarians fail to consume the right amount of protein per day. This results in lowered energy, poor brain function, insufficient muscle mass and an overall weakened constitution.
However, protein powder can take care of all that. The recommended amount per pound of body weight is 0.36 grams. This translates to an average of 46 grams of protein for women and 56 grams for men.
It also solves the issue of when children and teens don’t want to eat meat. You can sneak it into their favorite shake, smoothie or juice. This will be the best way to ensure they meet the 34-gram minimum protein requirement for them.
Because of the vast benefits protein powder provides, there are a few additional things worth mentioning. While these aren’t major or apply to everyone, they are important nonetheless.
- Helps with Diabetes: Because of the hunger suppression toward things like sweets, it helps people with diabetes stay away from sugar. Such a thing can help mitigate a sense of “missing out” on these foods to ensure optimal health.
- Reduces Meal Planning: When unattached and living alone, meals aren’t always ideal. This is especially true if you’re a busy professional or single parent. Tossing a scoop or two in with your juice or soup will provide the minimum daily requirement you need.
- Workout Aid: For those people who are weightlifting buffs, protein powder is a crucial accompaniment to your daily workout. You should have one scoop in a shake prior to working out and another one afterwards. This will ensure the daily requirement, replenish what you use up and boost the repair-build cycle.
Types of Protein Powder
There are many different protein powders. Some are beef-based but others derive from plants. However, understand that animal proteins are “complete,” meaning you don’t need anything else. Ones from the vegetable world will require a mix of several kinds to make it complete.
Peruse the list below to discover which one will suit your needs, preferences and diet best.
- Soy: A vegan and vegetarian-friendly powder, it has high concentrations of protein from this delicious little bean.
- Hemp: This powder comprises seeds from the Cannabis Sativa plant. High in omega 3s, this is a superfood since it also has other nutrients like phosphorous, zinc and manganese.
- Egg: Not only are eggs an excellent source of protein, they’re chock full of vitamins and nutrients. Such a protein powder is good for those who cannot tolerate dairy-based ones.
- Gelatin: This is pure animal protein, which is total and complete. There’s no need to add any other powders to boost the nutrients within it.
- Whey: Ideal for those with an aversion to lactose, it helps replace and support a low dairy intake.
- Pea: Extracted from split peas, this powder is excellent for weight loss while giving vegans much of the protein they need every day.
- Rice: Although low in amino acids, this is a fantastic powder for those who cannot tolerate any animal products in their food and beverages.
- Mixed: These often contain things like soy, rice, pea and hemp protein to provide a more complete supplement. Some are vegan-friendly while others will contain things like egg or whey, making them more for vegetarians.