Saturday, April 4, 2009

Protein Supplements – The what and how!

Taking it up from last week, protein supplements are the most commonly found and used supplements these days thanks to the ever popular desire of people to have a “toned” body.

Protein supplements come in two to three types – the egg protein, milk protein or soy protein.
Protein sources of animal origin like eggs and milk, have a high biological value, that is they are better ingested and absorbed by the body as compared to those of plant origin like soy.
Egg protein (albumin) has the highest concentration of protein per unit and hence is generally
highly concentrated. Milk protein (whey, casein) come in close in reference to the quality of protein.
Soy protein has a relatively lesser concentration of protein, but is ideal for those who are lactose intolerant or intolerant to egg proteins and vegetarians!

Proteins are basically a structure formed by amino acid molecules which in turn have nitrogen molecules in combination with oxygen and hydrogen. These nitrogen molecules have a tendency to form gas in the process of digestion, and hence too much of protein- whether natural or supplements cause gas problems (flatulence) and digestive discomfort. The only one way to avoid this is to drink lots of water, throughout the day. This is a very important practice to be done by all those who are on protein supplements, else you can expect liver, kidney and other problems down the line.

Depending on the goal, proteins are usually taken before or after the workout, and usually after a strength training workout. It is highly recommended to consult a nutritionist to determine your dosage and the number of times you need to consume it. Usually, the human body requires 0.8 to 1 gm of protein per kg body weight, which can vary depending on the goal.
It is also usually better to fix up a routine and time for the protein intake and follow it so as to reap maximum benefits.
Remember to consult an expert and not go by the popular opinion, or self-proclaimed masters who believe “one size fits all”, when it comes to supplements. They have the power to make or break your life!

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