What is protein and why is it so important? Well, like fat and carbohydrates, it is a macronutrient. This means that an adequate supply of it is required for the body to remain healthy. There are many good reasons why we should get enough it too! First of all, it is part of every cell of the body. As a matter of fact, it makes up most of our hair and nails. It is needed to build and repair tissues, plus, it aids in losing weight by curbing the appetite. It also functions as a building block of muscles, bones, cartilage, skin and blood. Moreover, it is used to generate hormones and enzymes, among other chemicals in the body.
People can get this fabulous polypeptide, as it is scientifically known, from a wide range of sources including meat, fish, eggs, milk, soy, beans and legumes. When digested, it leaves amino acids needed to break down food. However, unlike fat and carbohydrates (the two other macronutrients), protein is not stored by the body. For this reason, it has to be taken from other sources like supplements and mixes of the sort you see on the grocery or health food store shelves.
A majority of sport athletes and gym-goers take nutritional supplements in order to achieve their fitness goals. Shakes made from protein powders are the most popular among these supplements. There are different types of them, but whey protein is the one that’s commonly used because it easily dissolves in water. It has all the advantages with all of the 9 amino acids needed in a nutritious diet. Soy is preferred by vegans though it does not easily dissolve in water and may not taste good at all, and you may find yourself drinking up some shakes that would better be left on the shelf if you’re going to have to add sweeteners or additives just to make the stuff palatable.
As you might imagine, protein powder blends are available in a variety of price tags. Some can be far more expensive than others but the cost is immaterial for regular athletes who do not have a particular need for it during their training. Though people can get all the nutrition they need from the foods they eat, there are some who choose to drink smoothies and shakes because they are not only complete with nutrients but also easy to consume. Still, others want to add more scoops of the granulated stuff to their daily meals.
Significance of Supplements in Granulated Forms
• During the growth years – Teens typically need more protein to give them a boost during workouts, especially while their body continues to grow. If they aren’t eating well, a supplement may help.
• When starting a fitness program – Individuals who have just started working out need some help in building muscles. This requires them to take in more nutrient-dense foods (with less “empty” calories).
• When moving to a higher level of fitness – When an athlete plans to train for a marathon instead of the usual short distance runs, he needs to add more protein to his diet.
• While recovering from an injury – Athletes that are recovering from sports injuries need more to allow their body to heal.
• When planning to go vegan – Vegans remove all sources of meat from their diet such as beef, pork, chicken, eggs and dairy products.
Whatever your reason for taking in more amounts of protein, whether it is to build more muscle, recover from an injury, or just stay fit, there certainly are times when adding a liquid meal replacement or supplement can help in achieving this goal. If it is a complete, high quality protein meal, it can certainly earn its place in your pantry as a convenient drink mix.