Protein supplements have actually been around for decades, but until recently they were mostly thought of as added fuel for bodybuilders and top level athletes. Today, they are viewed by many as an excellent supplement to help build up muscle while being slow to digest which makes it excellent for dieting purposes.
There are many companies who have jumped on the protein supplement bandwagon and offer a wide variety of protein powders that taste far better today than in earlier times when the industry was mostly unregulated. Whey protein is the current rage in terms of supplements and they come in powder, isolates and concentrates.
However, is the popular view of protein supplements the correct one? Actually, there are a lot of myths out there about how much protein to take and what form is the most effective.
The Pros of Protein Supplements
There are numerous benefits to adding protein to your diet as it provides the proper muscle building materials.
Easy to Use:
All your protein is in one bag in powder form. This means that you can mix it with milk or water for fast consumption or sprinkle the powder over your meals. Basically, you can use the powder how you see fit which makes it very convenient.
When it comes to most protein supplements that can be consumed in powder or liquid form, the body will quickly absorb it through the digestive system. In fact, this is the perfect way to get in much needed protein after a workout.
You can view this as a positive or negative, but essentially if you are interested in gaining muscle mass than the extra calories providing by the powder supplement will not be all that harmful. However, if you are actually try to lose weight and trim up then you’ll need to be careful when it comes to including the excess calories in your overall diet.
The Cons of Protein Supplements
Although it does seem like whey protein powder is particular offers very few disadvantages, there are a couple that you will need to consider starting with the extra calories that may not work for those who are strictly trying to lose weight.
Many protein supplements may say “100% whey protein” for example, but you will want to read the ingredients to be sure. You may be surprised to find added artificial ingredients from flavoring to sweeteners and who knows what else.
Most protein supplements are rather expensive for what they accomplish. It’s common for many to cost upwards of $30 per pound which can really add up over time.
For those who are on the Paleo diet, the powders can be considered “processed” since they use artificial sweeteners and other additives.
Whether you choose to supplement your diet with protein powder will depend in large part on whether you want to spend the extra money and just how much you need the added protein. Remember that the body can only absorb so much protein at any given time so for those who only need a moderate boost, eating more lean meats, legumes or beans or even trail mix can provide you with more protein in your diet.