Health

The Importance of Protein Supplements for Athletes

Research shows that protein supplements are one of the most commonly consumed supplements by athletes and amateurs. Protein is an essential nutrient that provides energy to fuel the body. Formed by amino acids, protein acts as the building block for muscles, and lack of it in your diet can hinder the performance and lengthen the recovery time of the body. However, some athletes neglect the significance of proteins in their diet.

What is Protein Powder?

The best protein whey brand originates from a source that is high in protein like cow’s milk that gives whey protein. Protein powders can also come from non-dairy protein sources like soy protein, egg protein and rice protein. It is then dehydrated and processed into powder form and then mixed with liquid to form protein shake.

Terms Used in the Sports Supplements

Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC)

This is whey protein that has gone through the ultra filtration. This process filters out most of the unwanted ingredients from cow’s milk so that the product only contains about 80% protein from the cow’s milk.

Whey Protein Isolate (WPI)

Whey Protein Isolate is considered one of the purest forms of whey protein. This is because it goes through another filtration process so that you are left with protein exclusive powder. Due to its purity, this whey protein is more expensive than the WPC.

Casein

Casein is a slow-release protein that is found in cow’s milk. This protein makes up for almost 80% of the total protein. It takes the body longer to digest this protein since the casein forms a gel-like substance when in contact with the stomach acid. Due to its ability to slowly release protein, it is best to take the supplement in between snacks or before bed.

How Much Protein Do We Need?

Athletes, especially those seeking a more defined physique usually consume high protein diets. But how much protein is really needed? Here are some things that should be considered when determining protein requirements for athletes.

Overall Diet

The athletes’ overall diet will help determine how much they really need. For instance, athletes that consume a higher protein diet usually use and need more protein for energy compared to those that consume diets high in carbohydrates and fat. The protein needed can also change depending on the calorie intake. Athletes with calorie need to consume more protein for energy.

Activity

Athletes need more proteins in order to build and repair the muscles and connective tissues. They require 2 to 3 times that of normal individuals. Duration and intensity also matter. Hence, high power athletes need a high level of protein than endurance athletes.

Recommendations

Recent research has recommended athletes to take 1 gram or more of protein for every body weight pound. For instance, if you weigh 120 pounds, you can get 120 grams of protein in your daily diet. This will ensure optimal muscle growth and repair. Also, be sure to consult with your nutritionist.

Importance of Protein for Athletes

Muscle Growth

Whey protein is important for muscle growth and repair. After intense exercise, your body needs to repair itself and refill amino acids which are the building blocks for muscles.

Helps in Weight Loss

Various studies have shown that protein helps in weight loss. By taking more protein shake, you will be increasing your protein intake while lowering your calorie intake.

It is Convenient

There is no doubt that protein shake is a great way to consume a low calorie and high protein meal. Therefore, if you don’t have time to prepare a proper meal, a protein shake will do.

Whether you are running, lifting weights, training or even swimming long distances, protein is very vital for you. Due to the intensity of these activities, athletes need more nutrients and energy to help in the muscle building recovery process. Protein plays a key role in every athlete’s diet and should always be incorporated.

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