Bodybuilding Through Protein Supplements

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Many of us would have read how sport celebrities, athletes go for a protein rich diet in order to complement their work out regime.  Of course in an ideal world we could all go for 5 to 6 balanced meals consisting of just the balanced amount of proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates while satisfying our taste buds.  But in the real world, it may not be as practical as it sounds.  Protein supplements could be the solution you are looking for. It is recommended by most of the trainers to include supplements in your diet so that you can get faster results.  Before you read on, I rated Adonis Golden Ratio which also suggests suitable supplements for bodybuilding.

Protein is one of the most important nutrients necessary for our body. It is necessary to provide energy to our muscles. While exercising, the muscles use the energy stored in them.  A protein rich diet after workout gives the necessary energy for the muscles to recover and build faster.

Now that we have established that protein is essential for body builders let us see how to go about choosing the best protein supplement.

Few forms of protein in the food are very easily broken down by our body and absorbed as proteins while some are difficult to break down.  To find out which protein supplement will be easily digested we can refer to the Biological Value (BV) which is given to all protein based foods.  Protein’s break down and subsequent absorption also depends on some factors like, the source from which protein was derived, current medications undertaken by the person taking the supplement, etc.

There are many forms of food which contain complete protein which means that they have all the essential amino acids in them.  These include milk and milk products, egg, meat and fish.

Whey protein is the most recommended supplement by many trainers for body building purposes.  It is one of the most easily absorbable forms of proteins and hence helps to repair muscle wear and tear after an intense workout.

Whey is a by product during cheese manufacture.   It is believed to help reduce the risk of heart diseases, and even cancer.   Studies are still on to investigate this.  Research studies which have so far been conducted on groups consuming whey supplements vs. those who didn’t take any supplements post work-out, have shown that there is a marked increase in protein synthesis in the muscles in the group which took whey proteins supplement.

Whey protein also helps to increase body’s immunity levels by increasing the level of an antioxidant called glutathione which is important antioxidant to our body. It also helps to reduce stress and control blood pressure.  It is very easy to digest; having the highest biological value thereby the body can easily absorb its available protein.

Soy protein is yet another popular protein supplement which is found to be easily absorbed by the body and hence preferred by vegans, as this is a pure vegetarian protein supplement.  Soy protein by itself may not be a great supplement as it is not a complete protein containing all essential amino acids.  However, it has high contents of branched chain amino acids (BCAA), so by mixing it with even small quantities of complete natural protein sources one can reap full benefits from this supplement.

Rice protein is processed from brown rice by adding enzymes.  This is a good option for vegetarians.  It is tastier compared to the somewhat bitter taste of whey protein.

Pea protein is processed from the yellow peas and is mostly used in combination with rice protein to balance their individual nutrients.

There are many brands available for each of the above supplements in market.  Depending on your calorie requirements and your diet plan you can opt for the desired brand.

Supplements are available in various forms like powders, protein shakes and protein bars.

Protein bars are easy to store and can be had instantly on the go.  Protein shakes are available in ready to drink form or can be easily made by mixing flavoured protein powders with water or milk and adding fresh fruits like banana and strawberry.

Side effects of protein supplements

Beware of side effects of supplements.  It is recommended that you take protein supplements only if your diet is not giving you the requisite amount of natural proteins.  Research has shown that excess protein supplement consumption causes some of these problems:

Calcium deficiency

Excess protein consumption has found to cause calcium to be excreted by kidneys through making the bones deficient in calcium.  This might result in other issues like osteoporosis which causes weakening of the bones making them brittle.

Fat gain

Unless you exercise enough to use up all the extra protein supplements, the protein will in most probability get converted into fat and stored in your muscles.  This results in weight gain thereby negating your efforts to reduce body fat.

Kidney damage

Kidneys need to break down the extra proteins consumed thereby getting overworked.  This can cause harm to your kidneys due to excess strain.

Loss of body water

Few toxins are produced as a result of digestion of the protein supplements.  Kidneys excrete these out via urine thereby causing water loss leading to dehydration.  This is particularly dangerous during heavy exercising.  It can affect the heart, cause nausea and make you feel very weak.

Increase in body metal levels

Few Protein supplements are found to contain more than acceptable levels of mercury, cadmium, lead and arsenic which is not good for the body.

It is always recommended to have protein supplements recommended by qualified doctors.  Protein supplements are not FDA regulated and hence a doctor’s approval is of significance.  There are lots of good natural sources of protein like milk, chicken breast, turkey breast, fish which ideally should be enough for your dietary requirements.

If you decide to use a supplement it is recommended that you use it during or immediately after a workout so that it gets used up instantly for muscle recovery.  If it again gets accumulated in the body as fat due to your sedentary lifestyle you will never be able to achieve that perfect body.

Category: Bodybuilding, Nutrition

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