Protein supplements are among the most popular dietary supplements used by recreationally active adults, athletes, and soldiers striving to improve performance, increase muscle mass, and enhance exercise recovery. There are different forms of protein powders. The three common ones are protein made from whey, soy, and casein. Whey is the most commonly used because it is a water-soluble milk protein. It is also a complete protein, so it has all those muscle-building and performance-enhancing advantages. (Complete protein contains all nine of the amino acids needed for human dietary needs.) Vegan people may prefer soy over whey protein, although it does not dissolve in water as well, and its taste is sometimes considered more unpleasant.
Protein powders can be useful in particular circumstances. They are a simple and convenient source of complete, high-quality protein. Yet remember: Eating lean protein sources like beef, fish, eggs, and dairy products can also help most people, including athletes, get everything they give.
Why should you use them?
So when would you use them? According to Barbara Lewin, a sports nutritionist and dietitian who has worked with NHL, NBA, and NHFL athletes and trained Ironman competitors, there are a few reasons why average athletes may want more protein in their diet. Here are some of the common reasons why one should include a protein supplement in his/her diet.
These are all excellent reasons to get more protein into your diet, and protein supplements are one of the most reliable and easiest ways to do that.
But there is a big caveat. It doesn't take that much protein in supplemental form to accomplish those goals. Many Americans already have around 15 percent of their daily protein calories. The body needs between 10 and 14 extra grams of protein per day to build a pound of muscle.
That is not so much, really. Some of these powders have a protein content of 80 grams per serving. Your body doesn't need it. All that your body will do is break it down for energy. And too much protein in any form can be hard on your kidneys and liver.