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Protein supplements

Today’s fast-paced lifestyles make it impossible for us to eat daily meals that are healthy and nutritious. In fact, we rarely get an opportunity to sit down for a meal and usually end up with “grab and go” choices that are high in sugar content and fat. The diet regimes we follow do not fulfill the daily requirements of our body. Under such circumstances, it becomes important to augment our diet with adequate amount of supplements.   

What are protein supplements? Protein supplements have, in the recent years, become considerably popular. The health sections of most shopping malls stock loads of powders and bars packed with protein.

The pictures of action-figure bodies that are seen in these shelves are there to motivate you to pick a bar. So the question to be asked is as follows: “Do protein supplements really work?”

Proteins, carbohydrates and fats are the three main components of our diet. The purpose behind adding a supplement to your diet is to help you achieve a nutritional goal. Protein supplements help construct muscles and repair them. These supplements are available in the form of powder, fluid and solid forms. Whey protein supplements, soy protein supplements and egg white protein supplements, creatine supplements are some of the different types of supplements available in the market. In addition to protein, these supplements are a source of a number of multivitamins such as Vitamin B, Vitamin A and more. Minerals such as zinc, selenium, phosphorous, calcium and magnesium are also present. Depending on the product, you will also get some herbal extracts such as ginseng and spices such as vanilla and cinnamon. Most supplements contain preservatives, stabilizers and antioxidants.

Do you need protein supplements? Protein should be used by those who feel that their daily protein requirements are not taken care of by their everyday diet. If you are a body builder, athlete, or eat poorly, then supplements are for you. Pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding also require extra protein in their diet. However, if you have an allergy to dairy, soy or whey protein it is best you stay away from these supplements. Also, those with a weak kidney or liver should avoid protein supplements. Having a protein bar sometimes is not harmful, but make sure you do not overdo it. An overload of protein can cause gout, stomach trouble, dehydration and, in some cases, may even damage your kidneys and liver.

Proteins generally breakdown into amino acids; however, the structure of different proteins is different and their effect on people will also be different. Whey protein supplements have a better effect on those who have an AB positive and B positive blood group. A soy protein supplement may work better for a B positive and A positive blood group.  An egg protein supplement, on the other hand, generally works more effectively for an O positive person.

How to consume a protein supplement? Consuming a protein supplement is very simple. All you need to do is have it as a milk shake or mix it in some juice. Liquid protein supplements and protein shakes are also available. You can drink this once or twice daily preferably before your meals.

Word of caution. It is very important to constantly monitor your body’s response to any supplements. If the response is positive, then you can go ahead and continue taking the supplements. On the other hand, if your body’s response to the supplements is negative and you have problems such as cramps, gas, heaviness, bloating and water retention you should discontinue taking them. All said and done, even though it is better to consume fresh fruits and vegetables, supplements will do you good as long as they are not taken in excess.




Submitted on January 16, 2014