Adding Protein Powder To Your Diet Must-Have Or No Great Shakes?
Protein is one of the components that help us build muscle if we’re exercising right – where we are doing a good amount of resistance or weight training. Most of us that have access to a healthy, balanced diet, and aren’t competitive athletes, actually get enough protein from our regular diet without having to resort to protein powders. Here’s a chart of daily protein requirements to give you an idea.
Daily Protein Requirements
Recreational athletes/regular gym goers 0.2 – 0.33 gm per kilo of body weight. Competitive athletes (training for competition) 0.27 – 0.40 gm per kilo of body weight. Teenage athletes (growing teenagers who also gym) 0.3 – 0.4 gm per kilo of body weight. Athletes focused on increasing muscle mass 0.3 – 0.4 gm per kilo of body weight.
Consuming more than this doesn’t benefit the body in any way. In fact, it actually stresses the kidney and liver functions and in some cases, over- consumption of protein has been known to lead to kidney stone formation. Just something to be aware of, as you map out your protein intake.
Animal-Derived Protein Vs Plant-Based Protein
The debate between animal-derived protein powders (whey, egg and casein) and plant-based ones (soy, hemp, rice, pea, etc.) has gone on for a long time and while whey tends to deliver more protein per gram of powder than plant- based proteins, it has the disadvantage of being unsuitable for those with lactose intolerance. Moreover, whey proteins tend to be harder to digest for the body, and can cause bloating, gas, or abdominal pain.
The high concentration of sulphur based amino acids in whey protein make it acid-forming, which can lead to calcium loss and bone weakening.
In contrast, plant-based proteins, especially when derIved from multiple sources, are not only easier to digest, but also provide the full spectrum of nine amino acids along with phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre. To top it off, plant proteins are alkaline-forming in the body, which help give you an extra boost of energy. These are the reasons why many sportspersons prefer plant proteins to animal ones.
It’s clear that mixed-source plant-based protein powders come oft on top, though they are a little harder to source than the ubiquitous whey. That said, the additional benefits of plant-based protein should make it worth the extra effort.
All in all, before you consider adding protein powder to your diet, take a look at the chart once again to see if your body really needs it, or it you’re getting enough from your regular diet. Remember, more isn’t always better!