Selecting a Protein Powder

Protein powders are a great supplement to a healthy diet for athletes and fitness enthusiasts who need higher levels of protein in their diet. Knowing what type of protein your body needs can help you select the one that is best for you.

Protein is the building block of muscular growth and repair. Not having enough protein in the diet can leave you feeling sluggish, hungry all the time, and sore for many days after a workout, in addition to poor muscle tone. The average athlete needs approximately one gram of protein for every pound of body weight. For example, if a female athlete weighs 130 pounds, she needs to consume approximately 130 grams of protein each day for maximum performance and recovery. Of course other factors can affect this number too. A dietician or sports nutritionist can help you calculate your macros so that you know exactly what your body needs for your lifestyle needs and personal preference of sports.

Protein powders come in two varieties, dairy or veggie. The dairy protein powders consist of casein and whey protein. The veggie protein powders can come from a variety of sources including, soy, rice, pea, and hemp. Both types can be beneficial. You may need to experiment to see which one works best for you. Protein powders can also be added to baking mixes and other foods to increase the amount of protein.

Whey proteins are really great for muscle recovery. They are a complete protein that aids in the repair of muscular damage and stress. The whey protein variety has a very fine texture and mixes or blends well and easily. Anyone who has sensitivity to lactose or other dairy foods may not be able to consume whey proteins since these are dairy based. The veggie protein varieties are great for pre workouts or during workouts since they are very gentle on the stomach. The powder itself is more course and granular than the whey varieties and does not mix as easily or as smoothly. People who consume veggie protein powders often use a blender to mix it to a smooth consistency.

Protein powders are used as a supplement to the diet to increase the amount of protein consumed. They were not created to be the sole source of calories. Some of the protein powders can be used as meal replacements, but not all of them can. This has to do with the amount of calories per servings and the vitamin panel of the product. A more complete protein with a large range of vitamins, minerals and calories can often be used as a meal replacement for a quick and healthy meal on the go. It is always best to consult a doctor or nutritionist before adding any supplements or replacing meals to make sure you are not creating a deficiency in other areas.

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