What is Protein Powder?
Lots of people are health conscious nowadays and want to maximize their health via correct diet and exercise. One of the most used tools with the goal to become healthy are protein shakes, especially with bodybuilders and athletes. However many of these people do not know exactly what they are doing to their body by eating many grams of highly processed protein powder every day.
Fortunately, most people will not have any side effects when drinking a usual amount of protein powder on a daily basis. By usual I mean about 1 or 2 shakes. This will result in around 50 to 70 grams of protein consumed from protein powder which your body can quickly handle. However, there are athletes out there that ingest hundreds of grams of protein powder in protein shakes every day. Will these people see any side effects?
Well, to start we have to learn the potential side effects of protein powder. Most protein powder is from egg, milk or soy sources with milk being the primary source found in whey protein. It so happens that these three foods are some of the most allergenic. So you could probably have side effects from drinking protein powder on that basis alone.
Also for those that are drinking huge quantities of protein powder, there is a probable risk of kidney stones. Many people that have had kidney stones describe it as being one of the most painful things that they have ever been through so you definitely want to avoid forming them if possible. So if you drink large amounts of protein you will also want to ingest a lot of water as well. This will help flush out your kidneys to avoid the stones from creating.
Another potential side effect from eating too much protein is an increase of the acidity of your blood. This occurs because of the overconsumption of protein and your body will need to reduce the acidity of your blood by raising calcium levels. Where does this calcium come from? Why your bones of course. So this will increase your possibility of fracturing a bone and also forming kidney stones. Ouch.
So in summary protein powder is mostly safe but as with anything else consumed in excess it can have side effects. To prevent any side effects just drink the manufacturer’s recommended serving size and you will lower your probability. Your body can only break down 40 grams of protein at a meal anyway so you will avoid wasting your protein as well.
The Best Times And Reasons To Use
Protein powders have been growing in popularity alongside people’s rising interest in health and fitness. These shakes and drinks are a dietary supplement used by athletes and fitness enthusiasts to provide their bodies with high levels of protein which aids in building up their muscles. They can be made of soy, whey, eggs, and rice that have been processed into a powdered form. It can then be mixed with water or milk to make protein shakes. However, as with any dietary supplement, it is important to know how to use protein powder and that depends on your body weight and dietary requirements.
Reasons to Use Protein Powders
Here are a few reasons why a person might need additional protein in their diet:
- When Beginning a Workout Program– If you are new to working out, you require more protein than usual. Protein powders are a great source of high-quality protein.
- When Recovering from a Wound or Injury– Athletes that are trying to recover from sports-related injuries may decide to use protein powder, because protein helps the body’s healing process.
- When Intensifying Your Workout Program– If you are ready to take your regular workout routine to the next level, your body will require more protein as well.
- If You Are a Vegan– Vegans may choose to use protein powders to satisfy their body’s protein requirements, because they are unable to get protein from whole food sources such as meat, chicken, dairy products, and fish.
How Much Protein Powder Should I Use?
If you have decided to make a protein supplement a part of your diet, it is important to know how to use protein powder. This includes knowing how much to use. If you use too little, you might not get the effects you are looking for. On the other hand, if you use too much, it can cause harm to your liver and kidneys.
Here is the body’s recommended protein intake per day, based on the person’s weight and activity level.
- Inactive: 0.4 grams per pound (body weight)
- Occasional Exerciser: 0.5-0.75 grams per pound
- Adult Athlete: 0.6-0.9 grams per pound
- Teenage Athlete: 0.8-0.9 grams per pound
- Adults Building Muscle Mass: 0.7-0.9 grams per pound
Thomas Matthys a former world-class track & field athlete and the founder of Swol Headquarters. He graduated from the University of Fordham with a Master’s degree in Science. Matthys is a certified sports nutritionist and personal coach of several professional athletes. Matthys has been involved in various clinical studies within Track & Field including one on the factors associated with muscle recovery and HIIT.