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Benefits of Protein Powders - What's your favorite brand?

Posted May 05 2009 5:55pm


Protein Powders

Protein Powders

You’ve read a million articles… heard or watched a million endorsements that elicit the benefits of protein powders that can turn you into ‘The Incredible Hulk’ or his delightful real-world compadre, Hulk Hogan.

Before we can talk about protein powders, let’s understand what protein is and how foods high in protein benefit our bodies.

So, we’ll begin with the premise that protein is good for you. OK, you know this already… don’t you?

Good.

Let’s find out why.

For a start, the muscles, immune system and your organs are composed of protein. And we all know how important they are to our health. Secondly, with the regular intake of protein-based food, our body is able to build, replace and maintain tissue as mentioned above.

Now, in order to carry out various functions, of which tissue-building is one, the body requires the assimilation of 22 amino acids that are vital to our health. Interestingly, the body is able to create 13 of these acids by itself but the other 9 acids can only be made by the intake of food that is rich in protein.

So how are these essential amino-acids created?

During the process of digestion, the protein-rich food is broken down into these amino acids which are then used for a specific health-building function, such as making hemoglobin or improving cardiovascular health… or in simpler words, improving the performance of the heart.

Now, in order to build these remaining nine acids, researchers have classified food such as meats, eggs, nuts, grains, legumes, and dairy products such as milk and cheese as protein-rich food. From this list, you would’ve noticed that these protein sources are primarily from animals so it’s pretty obvious that it’s not fair if you’re a strict vegan!

And that’s where protein shakes, powders, and even protein bars are helpful, especially as they are responsible for building muscle and working against (for our good, of course) the accumulation of fat in our bodies.

However, most experts say that taking protein shakes, powders and bars with the objective of building muscle also helps, because it’s easy to get quite a few extra calories in a well-blended mix.

Now, if you do not eat a lot of protein-based foods and need to resort to protein supplements, whey-based protein shakes are very helpful, while also decreasing the absorption of glucose in the bloodstream. It also has the largest biological value of protein as compared to any other food while not having any known negative side-effects.

Now, moderation is important while taking protein supplements as too much of it can cause damage to your liver. Experts suggest that you should take 1 gram of protein supplement per pound of body weight… meaning if you were 150 pounds, the safe limit is about 150 grams per day.

The reason why I mention this is because in our desire to be fit, there is the danger of overdoing or making drastic changes to our intake that can be counterproductive to our body.

So, if you stay within limits, protein supplements (whether they are protein shakes, bars or powders) will help you in your drive for a healthier, stronger and fitness-oriented life but feel free to consult with your physician before doing so.

So, what are some of your favorite brands of protein powders, bars, or supplements?

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