Health Benefits of Protein Powders
Is there anyone that hasn’t heard of incorporating protein powders into your food or drink intake each day? It would be hard to believe at this point. The promotion and marketing for additional protein in the form of shakes, mixes, bars and several other forms is really hard to miss.
Originally only found in body building and weight training circles, protein products then moved into other athletic circles and sports and now are being discussed by weekend warriors, harried car pooling parents as well as overworked employees and tired students. In other words – everyone. In fact, it’s now an over 28 billion (yes, that’s with a “B”) dollar industry when you look at all the different types of protein powders being promoted in the marketplace these days. That’s a MASSIVE market that companies are tapping into.
There are several types of products being developed in the protein market. In addition to protein powders and drinks, there are also protein bars and meat replacements that are available with new ones arriving all the time. The most popular and best known are the protein powder mixes that you can use in a variety of different ways. In addition to protein powders, you can find some of the more popular uses include:
- Mixed into water or milk beverage
- Add into any type of shake that you can think of
- Sprinkled onto cereal or vegetables
- Mixed into dressings and sauces
Basically, you can get as creative as you choose in incorporating protein powders into your daily consumption. To make it even easier, you can find dozens of recipes and links online to assist in incorporating the protein into your daily dishes.
There are four forms of protein powders that are best known and most popular by protein powder users:
- Whey – This is the most commonly known form of protein powders. In fact, it’s probably the earliest one that started off this trend within gyms world wide. It has the most studies and research as well as a wide range of available products to choose from. If you have milk allergies, you might want to be careful when testing this type.
- Soy – If milk allergies, common-allergens/milk are an issue, soy is an option. Some soy protein products might be less expensive than whey protein products. There have been some studies showing that soy protein is better for women than whey.
- Casein – Casein protein is slower to digest which means it feeds your cells over a longer period of time. In addition, some studies have shown that there’s increased muscle growth faster over some other options.
- Hemp – A newer addition to the protein circles, hemp protein is a plant based product from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Easily digestible and recent studies are showing it to have several benefits in addition to muscle mass increases. If you haven’t heard of this lesser known form of protein before, you can find out more on it reading this article: Hemp Protein Benefits: 15 Amazing Benefits of Hemp Protein Powder.
Each form of protein powder has their own fans as well as those that swear they don’t work. So, the bottom line is, you’re going to have to try them out for yourself and see which one works best for you and which ones aren’t worth the time or the expense.
In addition to improved muscle mass from lifting weights or other exercise and energy, there have been additional discussions of protein powder benefits. Some medical studies have had mixed reviews on the additional health benefits from protein powders. Some of the areas that have been studied include protein powders for weight loss, lowering of cholesterol, anti-cancer benefits, antibacterial and immune benefits to name just a few of the areas that protein powder benefits are being or have been studied. As mentioned, results have been mixed.
Before you run out to the store to purchase any one or all of these protein powders, first determine if you even need one. For those that are athletic, on the run, vegetarian or teenagers, additional protein sources might be helpful. If you generally choose to snack on candy bars and cookies, a protein shake is certainly going to be a better and healthier alternative. However, if you eat a well balanced diet and don’t fit into any of the categories mentioned above, then adding protein powders into your daily plans may not be necessary. Of course, if you enjoy a shake instead of a meal occasionally, adding protein powder into the mix for those meals would get you a protein boost that you might benefit from!
Getting enough protein is critical for a healthy diet. Finding ways to do that if you exercise heavily, play sports, are growing or simply don’t eat a lot of meats can make any of these protein powders an excellent option for you to consider. Determine which one meets your needs and requirements and try it first. There are several specific products within each category for you to test out.