Protein Powder Side Effects – What are they? (updated July 2019)

protein powders

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.

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protein powder

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.

protein powders

 

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

 

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The Healthiest Protein Powder (updated July 2019)

Healthiest Protein Powder

What is Protein Powder?

Let’s start with the basics. Protein powder is powdered protein concentrate, which can be mixed with water or milk (for an extra dose of protein). It can also be added into baked goods, such as pancakes, waffles, and cakes, to give your favorite sweet treats a significant boost in pure protein.

Protein itself is composed of amino acids, which are essential for building muscle because amino acids are the building blocks of the body’s muscle fibers. When exercising at a high intensity — i.e weight training or strength training — your muscle fibers are physically tearing under the pressure of exercise. The formation of larger muscles, then, comes from the body’s repairing of these muscle fibers. The muscle fibers will interlace over one another to mend the tear, and what are those muscle fibers made out of? Proteins. So without a constant supply of protein shuttled toward the muscles throughout the day, the muscles cannot repair or grow.

image @ www.legionathletics.com

Protein powder is the quickest and easiest way to get protein directly to the muscles

 

after training. While it’s not wholly necessary and whole food sources such as lean meats, poultry, white fishes, and egg whites can be a great alternative to protein powders, these other foods also need to be broken down into the three macronutrients by the body. This breakdown slows the delivery of protein to the muscles. Alternative protein sources may also not be complete protein sources, or contain the full amount of amino acids the body needs to repair and grow muscle tissue. So while they will provide some benefit, they may not provide all of it. This can hinder muscle growth, even when you’re technically eating a good amount of protein per day.

Are There Better Protein Powders?

While there are no inherently bad protein powders, there are some that are better than others. Whey protein powders are milk-based proteins and have the quickest absorption rate of any type of protein, period. (This includes whole food sources and other forms of protein powders, such as pea and soy proteins.) The body absorbs 100% of whey proteins because it is a whole protein source or, again, it contains all the essential amino acids needed to repair and grow muscles.

When choosing a whey protein, always go for the isolate or concentrate. Whey

image @ www.legionathletics.com

Protein Isolates and Concentrates are specifically isolated whey proteins that are fast digesting and can be quickly broken down by the body.

Alternatively, whey protein blends, such as casein, are slow-digesting proteins that can take the body up to eight hours to completely break down. Casein proteins are better for bedtime, so that your body does not go into a catabolic state while you’re resting, but are awful directly after a workout. However, because casein proteins are still whey-based, they have the same high absorption rate by the body but at a much slower rate.

Other Components of Protein Powder

So what makes protein powder “healthy”?

Simply, it’s a clean protein source. Whey protein powders contain roughly 24g of protein per serving, which is more than a decent piece of chicken. It also has less than four grams of carbs per serving — although the typical serving has about 1-2g — and less than or equal to two grams of fat. This is also why whey proteins have such a great absorption rate: not only is it pure protein, but the body has no other components to break down. Instead, it can quickly be sent to the muscles that are in desperate need of growth and repair.

However, you shouldn’t ingest straight protein powder. The consistency ranges from grainy to pillowy soft powder, depending on the variety you purchase. (Imagine trying to swallow a mouthful of cinnamon.) Instead, protein powders can be mixed with water — the healthiest option! — or with milk for a quick, easy, and efficient post-workout shake. It’s claimed that protein should be consumed within thirty minutes to an hour of training, because that’s when the muscles are in highest need of a protein source for tissue repair.

image @ www.dailyburn.com

Alternatively, protein powders can be baked into goods by mixing into wet batters, such as pancakes, waffles, and cakes. However, this move is a bit riskier. Even though whey protein does have a high absorption rate, mixing the protein powder with other whole food sources, sugars, and liquids can delay when the body breaks the protein down. Remember, the body breaks down foods in the order of: fats, proteins, fiber, and then carbohydrates. If you’re mixing your proteins with your fats, the proteins will have to wait their turn.

The Absolute Healthiest Option

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For the most efficient and healthiest dose of protein, buy a tub of Whey Protein Isolate

or Concentrate from your local supplement store or online. Take one to two scoops — the maximum amount of protein the body can absorb at one time is still unknown, but men typically need more per day than women — and mix with water. Consume within an hour after training for maximum efficiency. And for taste? Your safest bet is always chocolate flavored whey.