Are protein supplements really worth taking? In theory, yes, but, in practice, all protein supplements are not alike. There are many available in the marketplace, making it difficult to know which ones are best.
Which Proteins are Used in Supplements?
The proteins in supplements can be divided into two categories: proteins from animals and proteins from plants. Animal-sourced proteins generally deliver all of the necessary amino acids users need. While user’s bodies produce many of the essential amino acids, a few must be obtained from food.
- Whey. This is a milk product, essentially the liquid that is left after making cheese. Many consider whey to be the best protein for supplements as it is a complete protein, low in lactose content, and containing all nine of the essential amino acids.
- Caseine. This is also a milk protein, often listed on the label as “milk protein” or calcium caseinate and is very similar to whey. The primary difference between whey and caseine is that whey is absorbed very quickly by the digestive system while caseine is processed slowly and steadily by the body.
- Egg White Protein. Milk proteins are less costly and essentially tasteless. However, egg white protein is an excellent choice for anyone who must avoid milk products.
- Plant proteins. Soy, rice, and pea are the most popular plant proteins. Soy protein has a strong taste that can be somewhat covered up, but not eliminated. Plant proteins tend to be lacking in at least one of the essential amino acids.
The Benefits of Protein Supplements
- Whey protein helps body builders and athletes lose fat while increasing muscle strength.
- Lose weight and reduce hunger pangs by drinking a protein shake before dinner.
- Some studies show that whey protein may protect people against cancer.
- Glutathione helps the body to protect itself from various diseases and supports the immune system. Research has found that strenuous exercise reduces glutathione levels, but that whey protein helps maintain glutathione levels.
- A study in the Netherlands concluded that whey helps to fight depression and stress.
There is really no reason not to take a good protein supplement and excellent reasons for doing so. Whey, in particular, is beneficial in helping people to achieve improved health and fitness. An excellent whey protein formula for women is available from Achieva, an Australian company that has been in the health and fitness industry for 25 years.