Why we need protein powders
Stroll into any gym these days, and you will see big-bodied men rattling their protein shaker bottles, leaving you bewildered and looking out for answers – what’s inside these protein powders? How to use them to get the best results? Let us solve your conundrum:
At the heart of all protein powders is just what one would assume (or hope) — protein. Every fitness enthusiast is well aware of the fact that “protein is the building block of muscles.” When you lift weights in the gym, you break muscle fibers. When these muscles are re-built, they become harder and slightly bigger in size. The most obvious reason to supplement your diet with protein powder is to attain your protein intake goal for the day.
Whey is basically an easy digestive protein which aids muscle growth and maintenance. It is useful for fulfilling the body’s protein requirements and for gaining lean muscle mass.
Who should consume whey protein?
Whey protein can be used as a substitute for protein from whole foods. If your meals aren’t rich in proteins, you can make up for it by whipping up a protein shake and drinking it after your workout. It helps in the recovery of muscles as whey provides you with essential amino acids that are necessary to build and repair muscles. In fact, whey protein is considered a “complete protein” as it contains all 9 essential amino acids.
Health benefits of whey protein
Here are the top six health benefits tucked away in a tub of whey –
- Lose fat and preserve muscle
- Increase size and strength
- Reduce hunger
- Fight cancer
- Manage stress
- Improve immunity
The thumb rule is that one needs a gram of protein per pound of body weight. One “scoop” of whey gives you 25 grams of protein. If you work-out every day you can consume 2 or even 3 scoops. As you might have guessed – “It’s convenient to drink a 50-75 gram protein shake than it is to gulp down a similar amount of protein-rich foods”.
Whey is similar to the protein that you get from chicken, beef, pork, etc. In essence, you don’t need whey if you eat enough protein-rich food. You need protein to build muscle, period. Whether it comes in the form of whey or whole foods, is entirely up to you.
In moderate doses, whey protein does not have any side-effects. Consuming high doses can cause:
- Stomach pains
- Reduced appetite
Creatine promotes energy production and reduces muscle fatigue during exercise. When ingested, creatine absorbs water and makes your muscles look fuller and bigger. You gain strength as the targeted muscle gets big and you are able to lift more.
Creatine increases adenosine tri phosphate (ATP) availability in the body, which is considered as muscle fuel. This is what our muscles use as energy. You won’t burn out as quickly and you will be able to get a few extra repetitions, which add up substantially if you are pushing yourself.
Basically, creatine helps your body better utilize what essential nutrients are available. So, if your diet is poor then creatine won’t do anything at all. Creatine will prove to be effective only if you are able to get nutrient-rich meals every day.
Who should consume creatine
If your workout consists of heavy lifts with fewer repetitions, you could consider taking a creatine supplement. Creatine is useful if you indulge in high-intensity training including weight training andsports that require short bursts of energy such as sprinting, football and baseball.
If you are a vegetarian, you will find it difficult to increase your creatine naturally, because creatine cannot be found in vegetarian food sources. For those who do not eat meat, a creatine supplement may be the most efficient way to boost levels.
Health benefits of creatine
Here are the top six reasons why creatine should be a part of your diet:
- Improves aerobic performance and memory
- Increases bone mineral density
- Improves glucose metabolism
- Improves brain performance
- Reduces oxidative stress
- Protects against traumatic brain injury
Creatine comes from the following three amino acids that are created naturally in the body:
To fulfill your creatine requirement naturally, consume foods which are higher in creatine such as:
- chicken or turkey breasts
- Lamb chops
Creatine results in more water retention in your muscles, so as soon as you leave it, you will lose rigidity. On the other hand, whey protein will help you in building lean muscle mass which will last longer.
One thing is certain – If you consume creatine, you will gain weight. One should consume creatine only if one is healthy and does not have any kidney problems. Also, kids under 18 years of age should avoid creatine.
Creatine vs Whey
After weighing the pros and cons of both, one should choose his poison carefully and then use it to maximize muscle gains and attain the body you have always desired.