Extra dietary protein such as protein powders, drinks and bars are now in the mainstream and offering us the choice to consume protein more efficiently and conveniently. Until recently, protein powders were associated with bodybuilding and ‘big muscles’ and for the rest of us, especially for women, who exercise regularly the fear of ‘bulking up’ stopped us reaching for a protein shake.
But the perception is changing and it’s now widely known that protein is essential to repair muscle tissue after exercise and improve recovery.
There is a wide variety of products available now offering protein for muscle recovery, weight loss and general wellbeing. Protein is for everyone, so here are 5 facts you didn’t know about protein.
- Protein alone doesn’t build muscle
Good quality protein powders will provide the Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) required by the body to build new tissue and help with cellular repair. It’s not only high-impact sports that damage connective tissue, your 2K Sunday park run will still apply enough pressure to tear muscle tissue. Protein intake before and after a workout will help build lean muscle mass and aid recovery. Extra protein will give your muscles sufficient fuel to recover and grow back stronger – not bigger.
- Women can use protein to achieve fitness goals
Increasingly women are using protein to strengthen lean muscle mass and to help with toning.
Women who exercise with weights and have a diet that is high in protein with moderate carb and fat will achieve more tone by turning fat into lean muscle mass.
Protein is essential for all active women, with the term ‘active’ covering busy mums looking after the kids and those that hit the gym a few times a week. Proto-col’s CEO James Greenwell adds, “Many women worry that taking protein powders will make them bulk up but that is not the case unless they follow an intense weight lifting programme”.
- Protein is essential for older people
As we age, our body composition changes typically showing a decrease in muscle tissue and an increase in fat tissue. As a result, older people tend to have less muscle mass and more fat.
In one recent study, it was shown that 20g of whey protein is sufficient to maximise muscle protein synthesis in younger individuals. This amount doubled to 40g of whey protein required by active 70-year-olds. This group needed to consume 40g of whey protein after resistance exercise to produce a 32% increase in muscle protein synthesis. This also indicates that the quality of the protein consumed is as important as the amount.
- Protein shakes are more convenient and efficient
Nothing can replace a healthy diet but when we’re busy with life we tend to neglect our wellbeing. Most protein powders contain whey protein because of its high nutritional value and absorption rate. Premium protein powders could also include other pure protein types such as collagen or casein. If you’re lacking protein in your diet or want to avoid fats and carbs that come with animal-based protein, a shake is the efficient and convenient way to intake protein in its purest form.
- You need protein for your immune system
When you are ill, your body produces antibodies which destroy viruses and bacteria. These antibodies are actually made of protein so you need protein in your diet to build and maintain your immune system. Amino acids, found in dietary proteins such as meat and seafoods, help build proteins such as antibodies to defend your body from illness.
Find out how proto-col’s whey & collagen protein powder can benefit your overall wellbeing and sport performance