Learn How You Can Benefit From Taking the Best Protein Supplements
Most Everyone Benefits from Taking Protein Supplements
Alongside carbohydrates and fats, proteins are one of the three primary macronutrients we consume in our daily diet. A macronutrient is a nutrient of which our bodies need a large quantity.
Protein supplements are simply different forms and blends of protein. The best protein supplements usually come in powder, liquid, or bar form.
You Can Use a Protein Supplement to Substitute for Dietary Protein from Other Sources
There is currently a huge debate about who should supplement their diet with protein and why. Whether or not the best protein supplement is for you depends on your fitness and body composition goals.
Contrary to popular belief, taking protein supplements, even in large quantities, will neither make men nor women muscle-bound. This is one of the many nutrition myths which have run rampant in the fitness industry.
Four Primary Reasons to Supplement Your Diet with Protein
1. Your Diet is Deficient in QUALITY Protein
If you are a vegetarian or vegan and do not consume animal proteins, you may be at risk for a protein deficiency. You may just make food choices in which you eat very little protein. If this is the case, you may find it necessary to add the best protein supplement your diet. The best protein supplement will contain the correct amounts of protein, fat and carbohydrates. This is also true if the protein in your diet is low-quality. The protein biological value scale shows you the quality of protein based on its amino acid profile.
2. For Your Post-Workout Recovery Solution
If you take part in intense cardio or weight training sessions, a post-workout protein-carbohydrate cocktail is an absolute must for proper recovery. Since liquids are easier and quicker to digest than solids, a post-workout drink is digested and absorbed rapidly. Rapid absorption means your body is able to begin the muscle recovery process as soon as possible after exercise. Extensive research has shown that a recovery solution of carbohydrate and protein in a 4:1 ratio is most effective for muscle recovery.
3. You Are Very Active
If you have a very active lifestyle, there is a chance your body will be breaking down more protein than the average person. If you perform long-duration cardiovascular activities, you actually break down more protein than you do during intense weight training.
If you have a job which requires you to be on your feet moving around a lot, your protein requirements are most likely greater than people with a sedentary job. Compound your active lifestyle with exercise sessions, and a whey protein supplement may be warranted to supplement your levels of dietary protein.
4. You Want to Build Muscle
Believe it or not, there is a huge debate on this. Extra protein in your diet may or may not help you build muscle. Since your muscle is built from protein, it would make sense that extra protein would help you build muscle, but some experts think otherwise.
It is more complex than it sounds, but whether or not you build muscle depends on numerous factors, including genetics, level of training, and overall caloric intake. Since protein contains 4 calories per gram, extra protein equals extra calories in your diet, which may keep you from losing weight.
The Best Method is to Experiment with Different Amounts of Protein in Your Diet to Find What Works Best for You
How Protein Supplements Work
Your muscles are made of protein. Protein is made up of 20+ amino acids which are the building blocks of protein.
When you ingest a protein supplement, your stomach acid breaks down the protein, separating it into individual amino acids. Once the amino acids are absorbed into your blood stream, they can either be brought to your skeletal muscles for repair repairs and muscle-building, stored as body fat, or excreted out of the body.
It is important to take into consideration the effect of carbohydrates on protein. Not only do ingested carbohydrates spare protein from being utilized as energy; carbohydrate is responsible for the raise in insulin which is needed to shuttle ingested protein into skeletal muscles.
Without Carbohydrate, Dietary Protein Most Likely WILL NOT Help You Build Muscle Mass
How Often Can You Take the Best Protein Supplement?
Protein Supplements Are Best Used to Maintain a Nutritional Balance in Your Diet
The recommended breakdown of dietary nutrients is 60% carbohydrates, 20% protein and 20% fat.
This means that in order for your diet to be balanced, which will keep your energy levels more stable and help you stay in great shape, each meal you consume should be broken down into the same percentages.
Say you only have a bagel and cream cheese for breakfast. Your optimal nutritional balance would be thrown off because the bagel & cream cheese is protein-deficient. This is the perfect time to supplement your diet with a protein drink, which will cause your meal to have the proper balance.
If your meals are often protein-deficient, you could use the best protein supplement at every meal if you needed to. The above dietary balance is a general recommendation and may differ from person to person.
Your optimal protein intake is most likely different than everybody else’s. In order to find the percentage of protein in your diet which is right for you, you can use a trial-and-error process, or seek the help of a dietician or nutritionist.
Only Take Your Protein Supplement When You Need It
Remember, excess calories from protein in your diet can be stored as body fat, as with excess fat and carbohydrate.
How Many Grams of Dietary Protein You Need in a Day Varies from Person-to-Person
If You Asked 10 Different People, You Would get 10 Different Answers
There are many nutrition myths associated with dietary protein. You may have been told to consume a gram of protein per pound of body weight. This is an incomplete view, because it doesn’t take into consideration your body composition and muscle mass.
A more realistic goal would be 1 gram of protein for every pound of lean body mass. Lean body mass is all body tissues other than fat. The best option is to experiment with different amounts of protein to see which yields the best results.
The goal of protein intake is to maintain a positive nitrogen balance. Nitrogen balance can be looked at as protein balance. If you are in positive nitrogen balance, your body theoretically gains muscle, while if your nitrogen balance is negative, you begin to break down muscle.
Accurate testing of nitrogen balance is a complicated process, so the best way to find out how much protein you should intake daily is to use trial and error. If you are able to visit a dietician or nutritionist, they will determine how much you need by analyzing surveys which reveal your dietary and behavioral habits.
Regardless of How Much Protein You Need, the Best Protein Supplement Can Make Obtaining Enough Protein Very Easy and Convenient
Protein Supplements Intake Timing
You Should Know When and When Not To Take Protein Supplements to Make Them Most Effective
The most important time to consume protein supplements is directly after your workouts in the aforementioned 4:1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio.
As mentioned before, any time you have a meal which is deficient in protein is also a good time to supplement your meal with protein via supplements.
Another important time to take a protein supplement is before bed, especially if you are trying to gain muscle mass. A slow-digesting protein (casein) can be obtained from low-fat cottage cheese or the best protein supplement.
Side Effects of the Best Protein Supplements
It is very uncommon to experience any side effects from protein supplements if they are consumed properly. High protein diets tend to cause dehydration, so it is important to drink plenty of water throughout the day if you consume extra protein.
Excess protein consumption and the associated dehydration has been known to cause gas, constipation, and/or diarrhea. There is very little evidence to support the idea that excess protein intake puts severe stress on the kidneys.
All the Very Mild Side Effects of Protein Supplementation Can be Avoided by Staying Hydrated
Which Type of Protein Supplement You Should Choose Depends on Your Goals
Which form of protein supplement is best for you is a matter of convenience and preference. Powders are the best option if you are looking for low calorie, all-protein products. If you are looking for a meal replacement complete with carbs, fats, vitamins, and minerals, protein bars are probably your best option. There are different forms of whey protein which have different properties you should know about.
- Whey Protein Isolate – Whey protein isolate is the best protein supplement for you if you are looking for the purest protein which is best for post workout recovery drinks. Isolate is clear and tasteless when mixed in water, and does not change the consistency of whatever liquid you mix it in. A disadvantage of whey protein isolate is it is digested very rapidly, which is not good if you are using it for a meal replacement. If your goal is to build muscle, whey protein isolate may be digested too rapidly for usage if it’s used as your primary protein supplement. It is recommended for use as a post-workout supplement only.
- Whey Protein Concentrate – Whey protein concentrate is the most common form of protein in supplements. It is very low in lactose and easily digestible.
- Casein – Casein is the primary protein in milk and cheese. The advantage with casein is the digestion process is slower than with other forms of protein. Since casein is slowly digested, it is best when used before periods of fasting such as before bedtime or with meals while you are on a low calorie fat-burning diet.
- Soy Protein Isolate – Soy protein has a lower biological value than whey and other forms of dietary protein, but it makes up for it with powerful antioxidants called isoflavones.
- Whey Protein Blends – Whey protein blends usually take all the above forms of protein and fortify them with specific vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to create the best protein supplement which is versatile for many uses. Since it has a blend of all proteins, some of it digests rapidly while some is slowly digested over time.
Whey Protein Blends Are the Best Protein Supplement for Most People
You should stick to the basics. Don’t pay attention to extraordinary claims of some protein products. There is not much of a difference in protein blends and protein is protein any way you look at it. All protein eventually will get broken down by your digestive system and if you train, eat and rest properly, hopefully the best protein supplement will lead to results for you. Your best bet is to buy a big bag of protein which will give you the lowest cost per serving.
Most of the Best Protein Supplements Are Very Similar
Best for the Price: Optimum Whey -or- BSN Syntha-6
Most Whey Protein Supplements Are Almost the Same!
Since all whey protein blends have around the same biological value (quality of protein which is based on egg whites) the price is usually the most important factor when choosing a protein supplement.
For example, if you buy the 10 pounds of optimum whey, you will be spending only $.49 cents per 24 gram serving. If you took 3 servings per day, your 10 pound bag would last you 51 days.
Compare this to chicken, which would cost you well over $3 a serving for the same amount of lower-quality protein. That price is 6 times higher than a quality whey protein blend.
Most Popular Best Protein Supplements Blends
Shopping Online is Great for Saving Money When Buying Supplements
When you buy supplements online, you will get the same product that is in your local health food store minus the 20-40% markup. You are far better off purchasing your supplements after you do your research online from a reputable source. The best online supplement vendors sell their products at wholesale prices. You will have the products delivered straight to your door.
*If you don’t like the whole online shopping thing, the best deal on protein can usually be found at Costco, where you can get a 6-pound bag of EAS premium protein blend for around $35.
If you are interested in building muscle, you should read about the best muscle building supplements to learn what you should be taking besides just protein.