A Beginner’s Guide to Protein Powder
When you walk into a gym nowadays, you’ll likely see a few things near someone’s workout station—a sweat towel, a notebook to track their progress, a water bottle, and a small shaker bottle. The first three are common among fitness enthusiasts. However, the last one may leave you wondering what’s inside.
Usually, it’s a protein shake consisting of protein powder and water. It’s not an essential requirement when working out. But if you’re looking for a way to support your body before and after a tough session, it may be a supplement to try out. You’ve likely heard many myths surrounding this substance, which creates some confusion. Well, it’s our job to debunk them, and after reading this guide, you can figure out if adding them to your diet will benefit you.
What Is Protein Powder?
Protein powder is a substance created from proteins and other animal products that most people take to supplement areas of their diet. Instead of having to cook a meal, most people add a scoop of it to water or milk and drink it. That’s why when you go to the gym, you’ll see people shaking a bottle vigorously; it’s to mix ingredients so they can ingest them quickly.
These supplements aren’t only made from animal products. So if you’re a vegan, you don’t need to worry; there are different powdered products, like peas, rice, and soy. Regardless of what you choose, they can support your lifestyle goals.
Is It Healthy?
Most people curious about trying protein powder often wonder if it’s healthy for their bodies. It is, but it depends on the brand type and specific use. Our body naturally needs proteins to build muscle and make enzymes to keep functions balanced.
On the other hand, choosing a product that has additives and GMOs could cause some discomfort. That’s reading labels is essential before buying a supplement. You don’t want to mess around with a product with a large amount of sugar per scoop—that wouldn’t be nice for your body!
Are There Different Types of Protein Powder?
As briefly mentioned, there are different types of powdered supplements available. Here’s a brief outline of the four main ones:
- Whey protein: The most common type that’s sold in most retailers; it originates from milk
- Plant protein: An excellent option for vegans; it can be made from soy, hemp, peas, or pumpkins
- Egg protein: No egg yolks were harmed in the making of this product; strictly made from egg whites and have high amounts of protein
- Casein protein: Known as the “time-releasing” protein because it’s slowly released into your system and supports the muscle recovery process; also a milk derivative
How Do You Use It?
When it comes to using protein powder, most people add a scoop of it to a liquid, shake and then drink it. That’s not the only way to ingest it; you can also add the supplement to different recipes. For example, if you’re a fan of pancakes, you can make a protein-filled batch. Start with the original recipe for pancakes, add a scoop of powder into the base, and make it as usual.
For those with a sweet tooth, you can also add the powder to a cookie or brownie mix. Try to be creative with your recipes as much as possible to see which foods you prefer to have protein in. Just be mindful of the flavors; if you have a supplement that’s chocolate flavored, it could overpower your food or conflict with other flavors, which wouldn’t be nice for your taste buds.
When Do You Take It?
Life gets in the way, so sometimes it can be challenging to eat three square meals. And when you don’t have the time, the last thing you want to do is cook something quickly. So that’s where a protein supplement can act as a meal replacement in the form of a smoothie. Add some fruits or vegetables to make them more beneficial to your body because they’re packed with essential vitamins and nutrients.
Ideally, you should take a protein supplement after you’re done working out because you can maximize your gains. You’ll also be hungry and have slight discomfort after your workout, so the extra proteins can aid muscle recovery and support muscle growth.
Consider If Protein Powder Is Right for You
As you can see, this supplement does have some benefits. Is it right for you? That’s something you’ll have to figure out through trial and error. Another component to consider is your workout goals. Are you trying to lose weight, build muscle, or maintain a particular lifestyle? Once you figure this out, it’ll be easier to decide if using protein substances is right for you.