Protein Supplements. Do you really need to take it?

Protein Supplements. Do you really need to take it.

The consumption of this type of accessories has become popular. They are used to gaining muscle mass and improve performance. But do you really need to take it?

Protein supplements are supplements that are used when the person needs an "extra" of the macronutrient, because with the diet they do not meet the daily requirement. They are mixed with water, milk or yogurt, and you can add fruit or ice to prepare a smoothie or use it as an ingredient in a preparation (such as in a cake, for example). Unlike protein bars, the powder is easier to digest.

Among the benefits it provides, is the acceleration of metabolism, favors weight loss and promotes the development of muscle mass. In addition, it controls the appetite, strengthens the immune system, increases serotonin levels and reduces anxiety. And it is optimal to consume before (at least 30 minutes) and after workouts because it repairs and protects muscle tissue.

Keep in mind that protein supplements are not prohibited: they can be used to meet the energy needs of the human being, as well as regenerate the fibers that were broken during exercise. Each person has its requirement, although everyone should know that it is always better to eat a natural food instead of something synthetic.

However, the first thing to do before taking them is to assess whether they are necessary. It should be taken into account in each person:

Feeding. Its context. The bio types. The sport you practice. Your daily energy expenditure and per activity.

It is also necessary to study the objectives that the person intends to achieve with this supplementation (which is not possible with food) and, above all, that it does not alter their state of health. Hence, it is important to consult with a dietitian-nutritionist before taking a protein supplement, or of any other type, since he is the one who will best assess all these factors.

The risks of inappropriate consumption

In principle, they are not a health risk by themselves, as long as they do not contain polluting or harmful substances, nor that they can be considered doping. For this reason, specialists advise to always buy approved products, which have passed quality controls, in specialized establishments. And in case of acquiring them online, make sure that they are reliable websites of well-known brands.

But among the possible consequences of an excess intake, is the appearance of acne, abdominal inflammation and the excretion of calcium, causing bone weakness (osteoporosis). This happens because proteins have an acidic pH, and as the body needs to counteract it, it does so by removing calcium from the bones, since they contain alkaline pH. Both acidity and alkalinity in the body bring health problems, so the body is responsible for correcting the different pH, and with excess protein, it does it this way.

On the other hand, some protein supplements contain added oils, sugars, lactose, amino acids, creatine and others that can mean more calories and, consequently, lead to weight gain. In this regard, soy protein is not recommended for patients with hypothyroidism, the safest are those that say 100% whey protein.

Meanwhile, among the side effects, is fluid retention and digestion difficulty. And if you consume more, logically it affects the functioning of the liver and kidneys. The consumption of proteins does not affect the kidney, but if the kidney has any disease, a diet rich in proteins (mainly those of animal origin) can cause further functional deterioration. That is why patients with kidney failure are advised to reduce their consumption of meat.

In conclusion, consumption without the guidance of a professional can impair endurance and athletic performance through dehydration and loss of essential minerals. It can be consumed in some cases. Knowing well what is the appropriate dose for each one and where that protein comes from. It is important to meet the protein needs with natural foods.

What Amount of Proteins is Recommended to Take?

Although it is convenient as said before, that a dietitian-nutritionist carry out an individualized study of the person before taking these supplements, experts indicate what is the recommended daily protein consumption in each case:

Non-athletes: it is recommended to ensure 1 gram of protein per kilo of body weight, which varies with age towards a slightly higher intake to ensure muscle maintenance. Until recently, 0.8 g / kg was recommended. In some people who do not achieve this amount through diet, a supplement may be indicated.

Athletes: between 1.5 and 2 g / kg, depending on the sport and type of training. Or even more, being able to reach values ​​higher than 3 g / kg in strength sports, without this being a risk.

Although protein supplements can be a good solution in certain cases, you should know that if your thing is to go to the gym or practice a sport more or less regularly, but not at a competitive level, it may be enough to take care of your diet and increase the consumption of certain foods somewhat.

The results can be perfectly achieved with food, ensuring a protein intake based on the person's body weight, the training they do and their state of health.

Among the most interesting foods when it comes to ensuring a good protein intake, the expert highlights these:

Of vegetable origin: Legumes (soy is one of the most used in various formats), nuts; Some are even an option that may seem to contain little quantity, such as rice or the protein that is marketed extracted from it.

Of animal origin: such as eggs, with a high quality and bioavailability of their protein, meat, fish, milk and their derivatives, they can be minimally or unprocessed.

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