Firstly, this write-up is not just for the body builders or the gym goers but is also for the public to be aware of what actually protein powders are and the pros and cons of consuming them.
The human body needs a good amount of protein for healthy bones, muscles, hair, and skin. Along with being the most essential macronutrient, proteins also repair the worn out tissues and help in increasing the muscle strength. While we were always taught about including eggs, milk, almonds, and greens in our daily diet for the body to achieve the required nutrients, the recent rage is all about protein shakes and supplements.
What are protein shakes?
Protein shakes are consumed by people who feel their daily diets aren’t providing enough nutrients for the body to build stronger muscles. One may choose supplements that contain milk proteins such as whey and casein or go non-dairy with pea protein, hemp, and brown rice. These powders digest easily and reduce the calorie intake to a great extent by making you feel full because of the presence of amino acids that induce easy digestion and absorption. This is one main reason why protein shakes are consumed by people who are on the road to weight loss.
Things to remember before consuming protein drinks
1. Make sure your protein powders don’t contain artificial colors or flavors (vanilla, chocolate, watermelon, lemon, etc) which turns out to be unhealthy when consumed for longer periods of time.
2. Similarly, certain protein drinks contain added sweeteners which could be avoided as the sugars simply add calories which reverse your efforts to lose weight.
3. People with frequent digestion problems and issues like lactose intolerance should be careful while choosing the type of protein drink they consume. Dairy-based supplements could be replaced with plant-based shakes that contain pea protein or hemp. This is also something vegans can take a note of.
4. Read the label! This is something that most of us forget to do. Don’t blindly shop the ones suggested by your physical trainer or a friend. Give the label a read and understand the components that have gone into the making before consuming.
5. There is no proven evidence that protein shakes affect the kidneys and liver. But, patients who have been diagnosed with kidney diseases are supposed to consult a doctor before taking anything other than regular food.
Natural sources of protein
For those who wish to go the natural way, there are still options to gain good amounts of protein your body needs from the daily diet. Nuts, seeds, almonds, milk, soy, eggs, lean meat, fish, and chicken are great sources of protein in the most natural forms. One cup of yoghurt for breakfast or lunch is an easy way to help your body gain good protein.
As of now, protein supplements are considered safe as there are no proven side effects to be worried about. But, it is always wise to understand your body and act accordingly before opting for these shakes.