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Types and benefits of protein powder

If you’ve been hitting the gym, you would have heard of protein powder, a popular nutritional supplement. An essential macronutrient, protein helps in muscle building, tissue repair, and in synthesizing certain enzymes and hormones. Studies have shown that protein powder can also help in weight management. Additionally, many protein supplements come in delicious flavours – now you can have your cake (or protein bar), and eat it too! Read on to learn about the types of protein supplements and their benefits.

Types of protein:

Top manufacturers of protein supplements make them out of high-quality ingredients that are all sustainably sourced. Common sources of protein are dairy, animal collagen, soy, and lentils. Based on their origin, protein powders can be categorized as follows.

Whey Protein: The liquid that remains after milk curdles and the curds have been strained out is called whey. The liquid contains whey, fats, and carbohydrates. Pure whey is filtered out from this mixture and dried to form whey protein powder.

Casein Protein: Casein is the protein found in curds and cheese. As with whey, it is also filtered and dried to make a protein powder containing up to 90% protein.

Collagen Protein:  Collagen is the main ingredient in the cartilaginous tissues of humans and animals. Collagen protein is obtained from either bovine, porcine, or marine sources. In addition to the other benefits provided by protein, collagen protein is primarily known for improving the health of skin, hair, and nails.

Vegan Protein: Vegan protein is made from plant-based sources like pea, pumpkin, and rice. It is gluten-free, non-GMO, and ideal for people allergic to egg, milk, or soy proteins.

Though each protein type has its unique benefits, some benefits are common to all.

1. Pre-workout energy: It is not uncommon among even the most seasoned gym-goers to feel lethargy just before a big workout session. An excellent pre-workout protein shake can enhance energy levels and make you feel more alert. Top-quality protein powders have an appropriate dose of caffeine-induced in them to decrease fatigue, improve mental alertness, and even help you have a significantly higher metabolism rate. That brings us to the next point, weight loss.

2. Weight Loss:

Research says that protein is highly effective in promoting weight loss. It takes longer to digest than carbohydrates, so you feel satiated for longer. When your body digests protein, it releases phenylalanine which, in turn, helps produce a hunger suppressant called leptin. Several studies have found that whey protein ingestion leads to the most significant reduction in appetite vis-a-vis other types of protein.

3. Protein for Muscle gain:

As muscles are made of protein, consuming protein will help you release the required amino acids to build more muscles. Skeletal muscle protein is in constant flux. Sometimes a positive protein balance – that’s when the rate of protein synthesis is higher than the rate of protein breakdown. And sometimes, you have a negative protein balance. If you want to increase muscle mass, you must have longer durations of positive protein balance in your body. Therefore, you must incorporate additional protein into your diet.  

4. Post Workout Muscle Recovery:

During workouts, your muscle can sustain a substantial protein breakdown. Post-exercise protein intake helps in speedy muscle recovery. Since carbohydrates also play an essential role in this process, a protein to carbohydrate ratio of 3 or 4:1 is ideally seen in powders meant for muscle recovery.

In a nutshell

Protein has many proven benefits and not many side effects. Whether you choose protein directly from dairy, fish, meat, eggs, and lentils, or reach out for yummy protein powders, go ahead and give your body the protein it deserves.

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