The stereotypical image that people have of those who consume protein powders is “big and bulky.” And it’s high time to put these preconceived notions to rest about protein powders supplements.
It’s all about how and when you get your daily fats, carbohydrates and protein, that can have an impact on improving your physique. But when it’s about developing strength, shedding weight, improving muscle strength as the desired goals, proteins play a significant role in your diet as it helps build muscle, repair tissues and make enzymes and hormones. So why is taking protein supplement surrounded with so many myths?
It can be tough to get enough amount of protein on a daily basis, especially when you are working out with strict diet or you happen to be a busy person with no eating schedule. That’s where protein powder comes into the picture.
BENEFITS OF PROTEIN POWDERS
Proteins are an important and indispensable factor in our diet, have various benefits if consumed in a prescribed manner by your nutritionist or gym trainer to improve the body composition.
- Weight Management: They are lower in carbs and calories than many other protein sources which make you feel fuller.
- Muscle Growth: Women usually aspire to have a toned body. Bulking up in women is difficult, because it requires extensive strength training and the estrogen in their body would prevent visible muscle bulk; consuming proteins with amino acids will help build and repair muscle tissues.
- Nutrition: It’s tough to meet the daily nutritional needs of the body. If you are short on time to prepare healthy meals, protein shakes are an easy way to complete your daily dose of nutrition the healthy way. Daily protein intake for women aged 20 and above is 46 grams.
- Post Workout Recovery: You tend to damage your tissues post high intensity workouts and also from extensive exercise or weight lifting sessions. Proteins contribute in repairing damaged muscles and tissues, hence improving muscle performance and muscle protein synthesis.
- Strengthens immune system and cognitive function.
No matter which form of exercise we choose to stay fit and healthy, increasing protein intake can undoubtedly improve recovery post workout and positively affect general well being.
TYPES OF PROTEIN POWDERS
So far, we are clear about the benefits of protein powder, but there still is some confusion regarding different types of proteins, what they do and when to take them.
1. Whey Protein:
Researches have consistently proved the ability of whey protein, not only for muscle building, but also for weight loss. This type of protein is a derivative of milk. It is produced when liquid separates from curd in the process of making cheese and is considerably high in protein and low in lactose content.
Benefits of Whey Protein:
Helps with weight loss.
Improves immune response in asthma.
Reduces blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
Side-Effects of Whey Protein (on consuming high doses):
Loss of appetite
Skin problems like acne
Types of Whey Protein:
Whey Proteins are primarily classified under 3 categories – WPC, WPI and WPH, which differ majorly on the percentage of protein.
- Concentrated: WPC (Whey Protein concentrate) are low in fat and carbohydrates. Lower end concentrates have 30% protein whereas high end concentrates have 90% concentrates.
- Isolate: WPI (Whey Protein Isolate) are further processed to remove all the fat and lactose. They have at least 90% of protein in them.
- Hydrolysate: WPH (Whey Protein Hydrolysate) are pre-digested form of protein that undergoes a process called hydrolysis. It is commonly used supplement in medical and infant formulas as it improves digestion.
Recommended Dosage: 1-2 scoops (25-50 grams) per day post workout.
Note: Make sure to read the serving instructions on the packaging before consuming.
2. Casein Protein:
Milk is comprised of 80% casein and is classified as a slow- digesting protein which means it takes time to break down, metabolize compared to other protein sources.
Benefits of Casein:
Reduces blood pressure.
Lowers triglyceride levels.
Reduces harmful free radicals.
Helps with fat loss.
Types of Casein Protein:
Casein Proteins are majorly classified into 2 categories on the basis of their rate of digestion:
- Micellar: This casein protein gets digested slowly and therefore is a choice to use before going to bed to feed the muscles while you are asleep.
- Hydrolysate: It is considered to be faster casein protein that allows the protein to get absorbed by muscles quickly.
Recommended Dosage: 1 scoop ( 30-33 grams) per day before bed.
3. Soy Protein
For vegetarians and those who are allergic to lactose (dairy food), soy protein serves a complete spectrum of amino acids. But the bad news is that it contains more carbohydrates and fat compared to any other protein type.
Benefits of Soy Protein:
Positive effects on heart health
Reduces risk of breast cancer.
Reduces the risk of cancer.
4. Egg White Protein
Eggs are loaded with nutrients. Egg whites are low in calories but high in protein containing essential amino acids.
Benefits of Egg White Protein:
Helps in reducing weight
Free of cholesterol
Low in fat
Side-Effects of Egg White Protein:
Can cause allergies such as anaphylactic shock.
May cause food poisoning in some people.
May cause swelling in the throat and face
5. Pea Protein
It’s the most popular type of vegetarian protein for those who want to avoid dairy products. It is rich in legumes that contain essential amino acids. Pea protein is a supplement extracted from yellow peas.
Reduces blood pressure
High protein content
Great source of iron
Aids muscle growth and weight loss
Helps in heart related diseases
Side Effects of Pea Protein (High Dose):
High in sodium
Low in fiber
May cause bloating
May damage Liver
Dosage Recommendation: Consume 0.73grams of protein per pound of body weight per day
6. Brown Rice Protein
These proteins have been in the limelight for a long time. It offers complete protein nutrition in terms of changing muscle strength with time and muscle recovery.
Good source of protein for vegetarians
Natural starch and protein
Natural fibre content
Helps with muscle recovery.
Helps in fat burning
Dosage Recommended: Appropriate diet of brown rice protein depends on various factors like age, health etc. Always read the directions on product labels and consult the physician before consuming.
7. Hemp Protein
It is one of the popular types of plant-based protein and it is extremely potent with omega-3 fatty acids and other essential amino acids.
Benefits of Hemp Protein:
Helps with muscle recovery
Well-digested plant protein
High level of antioxidants, fatty acids, minerals and vitamins
Adds fibres to diet
Side-effects of Hemp Protein (Over dose):
Dosage Recommended: Take hemp protein powder with milk. It can also be blended into smoothies.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST PROTEIN POWDER
- Consider your dietary requirements and training goal.
- Do a lot of research on the brand and product
- Choose quality over quantity
- Avoid below ingredients:
- Artificial sweeteners
- Vegetable oil and fats
- Thickeners and gums
- Skim milk powder
- Artificial flavours
- Good Macronutrient profile i.e., high in protein and low in carbs .
- Soluble in water.
- Priced reasonably.
BEST PROTEIN POWDERS FOR WOMEN
With so many protein powders out there, it can be hard to choose the healthiest among the available options.
1. FITMISS DELIGHT
Helps in reducing weight
Maintains muscle growth
Low in carbohydrate
2. NAKED WHEY PROTEIN
Made of only one ingredient
Increases muscle growth
Helps in muscle recovery
Less sugar content
Low in carbohydrates
Post workout protein
4. VEGA PROTEIN POWDER
Vegan, plant-based protein.
Helps with muscle building.
Supports recovery of muscle
No extra sugar
5. GYM VIXEN SEXY WHEY
Purified form of whey protein
Low sugar content
High amount of Vitamin D
6. HER NATURAL WHEY
Sugar content is low
Complete blend of vitamins and minerals
7. ORGAIN ORGANIC PROTEIN
Plant-based protein powder
No artificial additives.
Quickly absorbs into the body
Contains essential amino acids
High in fiber
Low in carbohydrates
Helps with weight management
8. OPTIMUM NUTRITION GOLD STANDARD WHEY
Variety of flavours available.
Gives energy and endurance during workout
Protein powders have so far been under-rated and avoided because of various myths surrounding their effects, but in order to lead a healthy and fit life, consider investing in a good protein powder to ensure a steady supply of nutrients, vitamins and minerals essential to the body.
It’s important to listen to our body and fulfil its needs in order to keep it functional for a longer period and protein powders will help you exactly with that.
It’s also advisable and recommended to consult a dietician or a professional fitness trainer before consuming any kind of protein, as dosage or wrong intake might harm internal organs and make you ill for the rest of your life.
Let’s join hands in promoting the use of adequate amount of protein in our daily life as per our body type and our workout schedule.