Nutrition - Medical Dictionary

N U T R I T I O N

Protein Supplements




Body builders often take protein supplements in the form of whey protein to help them build muscles.  Whey protein is derived from milk during the process in which milk is turned into cheese.  Protein can be found naturally in regular dairy products, eggs, and soy, but the quality is not comparable to whey protein powder nor is it as easy to use.  A whey protein supplement can provide the highest amount of branched chair amino acids, also known as BCAA, leading to your body building and retaining muscle.

A whey protein supplement is not the only form of supplementation that body builders use, but it is normally considered the best.  Various studies show that is it the best concentration to provide optimal performance.  Some body builders also use egg protein and soy protein supplements as well.  Both of these forms of protein supplement are low in fat, cholesterol, and lactose.

The protein supplements work by providing your body with necessary building blocks used to create amino acids that is needed to build muscle tissue.  In addition, whey protein supplements may play a role as an antioxidant and immune system builder.  It also enhances hormonal and cellular responses.

Body builders as well as other athletes can benefit from the use of whey protein.  The reason athletes can benefit from the use of whey protein supplements is that intensive physical activity uses up your protein levels.  If you increase your amount of protein intake, your muscles not only recover, but also grow faster.  In addition, people trying to diet may want to take whey protein to help them maintain a good balance of their blood sugar levels.  It can also help a dieter maintain a good energy level and accelerate fat loss while helping reduce their desire to overeat.

Whey protein supplements come in powder form and can easily be added to your favorite drink, although it is preferable to add it to milk.  If you are an athlete in intense training, you can take up to 25 grams of whey protein supplement per day.  Body builders require more because they are usually looking to gain more muscle and tend to burn more calories.  They may consume up to 150 grams of whey protein a day.  There is a calculation you can use to see exactly how much you should be taking – your weight * 1 or 1.5.  So a 200-pound body builder would take between 200 and 300 grams of protein a day.  But, do not forget that you still get protein from food you eat during meals, so you may want to subtract that amount from the total.

Many people worry that the protein supplements they take are not safe, but if you follow directions, there should be no danger.  Extremely high doses of whey protein supplements could overload your liver and cause damage, so use the calculation to make sure you are taking the correct amount.  You should never consume more than 30 grams of whey protein at one setting.  You may also get better benefits of the whey if you consume the intake throughout the day, rather than all at one time.


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