What is Protein?
After water, protein is the most abundant element in our cells. This essential macronutrient is present in our bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, hair, nails, and almost every body part. Proteins consist of chains of amino acids, which perform various functions, including building muscle, supporting immune function, and helping to produce hormones and enzymes.
Gone are the days when protein was considered crucial only for bodybuilders. Protein is involved in major biochemical processes of the body, thus, vital at every life stage. The requirement varies depending on the physical activity level. The higher the intensity of the workout, the higher the protein requirement. We all need sufficient protein to maintain health, and protein deficiency can lead to multiple health problems.
Protein is a product of amino acids of two types: essential and non-essential amino acids.
- Essential Amino Acids: Leucine, isoleucine, valine, histidine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, and threonine fall under Essential Amino Acids. They are necessary because our body can not produce them, and they must be delivered through high-protein foods or supplements.
- Non-Essential Amino Acids: Our body can produce them, but that does not mean they are not necessary for our diet.
During exercise, the requirement of some Non-Essential Amino Acids like glutamine and arginine increases. Since the pre-existing level can not meet the required amount of nutrients, it becomes essential to supply these amino acids externally. On this basis, we refer to them as Conditionally Essential Amino Acids.
What Are Protein Powders?
Protein is naturally present in foods like eggs, meat, chicken, fish, pulses, legumes, nuts, beans, and dairy. But protein deficiency has become a common concern due to dietary inadequacy, lack of awareness, and hectic schedules. So, if it is challenging to meet daily needs only through dietary protein sources, go for a protein supplement.
Protein powders are nutritional supplements that are convenient, quick, and healthy to consume. With such a wide variety in composition and flavours, one can always enjoy them. Protein supplements are also formulated specifically for bodybuilders, children, women, and the elderly based on their requirements and body needs. They are a delicious way to fill any nutritional gap and stay fit. Protein powders come in different forms, such as whey, casein, and plant-based protein, and can be added to liquids such as water or milk to make a protein shake.
Protein: Benefits & Uses
Protein does not play only a role in building muscles; it is the in-charge of several other critical processes. Below mentioned are some of the research-backed reasons to consume protein daily.
- Muscle Gain: Protein is essential for the growth and maintenance of our tissues. Not meeting daily protein requirements can lead to severe muscle loss. Protein powders are perfect for meeting protein needs. They help in muscle growth and strength and increase muscle size. Fitness enthusiasts prefer taking protein shakes because they are healthy, nutritious, and convenient to fulfil the increased demand. Protein powders are also rich in BCAAs that support faster recovery and prevent fatigue.
- Weight Management: If the fitness goal is to lose or maintain a healthy weight, one should always pay attention to protein. A protein-rich diet keeps us full for longer, as protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates and fat. It prevents untimely food cravings and helps check overall calorie intake. One can include a protein shake in the diet as a breakfast beverage, post-workout shake, or a healthy snack to ensure fat loss, not muscle.
- Immune Health: Have protein to keep diseases at bay. We need protein to synthesize antibodies that are skilled to fight infections and pathogens. Protein is also engaged in the synthesis of immune cells like lymphocytes and macrophages.
- Healthy Metabolism: All the hormones and digestive enzymes involved in the smooth functioning of biochemical processes require proteins. Lack of protein can significantly affect metabolism, energy levels, and other systems.
Protein powders are easy to use and can be a quick and convenient source of protein, especially for people who are short on time or have busy schedules.
Types of Protein Powders:
Manufacturers extract protein powder for supplements from foods like milk, pea, soybean, egg, and legume. They may also contain additional health-boosting nutrients like herb extracts, seed powders, vitamins, minerals, and digestive enzymes.
Let us discuss some of the types of protein powders popularly consumed.
- Whey Protein Powders: Whey protein powders are animal-derived and obtained from milk. Whey protein is deemed an excellent protein source due to its complete amino acid profile. It can quickly release amino acids into our body, due to which whey protein is easy to digest and preferably consumed post-workout for fast muscle recovery. Due to their rich leucine content, whey protein powders are superb for muscle growth. One can find three types of whey protein supplements in the market with a different protein, fat, and carbohydrate content.
- Casein Protein Powders: Casein is a slow-digesting, complete protein that delivers amino acids longer than whey. Fitness enthusiasts usually prefer consuming casein protein supplements at bedtime for overnight muscle recovery and maintenance.
- Plant Protein Powders: If one experiences frequent indigestion issues or is lactose intolerant, plant protein powders are the best. They are a perfect protein source for vegans and people who prefer dairy-free proteins. Plant protein powders derive protein from food sources like soy, pea, seeds, hemp, brown rice, spirulina, and legumes.
- Egg Protein Powders: Egg protein powders are derived from egg whites and offer high-quality protein. They are fat-free, dairy-free and abundantly rich in all essential amino acids.
- Protein Blends: Blend protein powders combine two or more different types of protein. The advantage of using blended protein powders is that they provide a balanced mix of amino acids. Protein blends may contain a whey blend or a mix of whey with other protein sources like micellar casein, soy or pea protein.
How to choose the right protein for you?
Protein supplements are beneficial for everyone. Therefore before buying any sequel, it is essential to determine health goals.
- With an increase in the intensity of exercise, protein requirement also increases. Active people like bodybuilders and athletes can choose protein supplements with high protein content to satisfy their daily needs in addition to dietary protein sources.
- Different protein powders are derived from sources such as whey, casein, soy, pea, rice, or egg. Choose a protein powder based on your dietary preferences and any allergies or intolerances you may have.
- Check the label for the macronutrient content, especially protein and carb content, and any added vitamins and minerals.
- Athletes usually prefer Whey Isolate and hydrolyzed to build lean muscle mass and a ripped physique, while whey concentrate supports weight gain.
- People with no physical activity schedule can choose protein shakes designed for general well-being to ensure that the diet is not protein-deficit.
- Due to their lower lactose content, whey protein isolate and hydrolysate are also safe for lactose-intolerant people. However, it is better to choose plant-derived protein in case of severe intolerance.
- People with weak digestion health can choose protein supplements enriched with digestive enzymes for better nutrient utilization.
- It is advisable to read the ingredient list and allergen information carefully, especially for those with lactose, soy, and gluten allergy.
- Protein should be certified and purchased from an authorized seller like Nutrabay. In addition, it should be free from any added harmful ingredients or prohibited substances. Opting for protein powders that are third-party tested for purity and potency is advisable.
- Protein powders can vary widely in price, so consider your budget and how much you are keen to spend on a protein supplement.
How to Use Protein Powder?
- Protein shakes are very versatile to consume. One can take them with water, milk, or a beverage of choice. However, taking protein powder with water post-workout is more beneficial to augment the absorption and recovery processes.
- Protein powders are perfect for delicious healthy diet shakes, pancakes, cookies, protein bars, or smoothies. In addition, one may add nuts, seeds, and berries to enhance the nutritional value.
- To increase the protein content, one can stir protein powder into sauces and dips, such as yoghurt dips or pasta sauces.
Where to buy Protein Powders?
Nutrabay is India’s most trusted online health supplement store to buy genuine and certified products because supplements are procured directly from the brands or official importers. Nutrabay brand offers a vast range of protein powders offering high-quality protein with better bioavailability. Choose Nutrabay Gold Series to treat taste buds with top-quality protein in lip-smacking flavours. Nutrabay Pure Series is for fitness lovers who prefer protein powders without additives and love experimenting with their favourite shakes and smoothies. Nutrabay offers the best protein powders concerning both quality and quantity.
Which is the best protein powder?
Here are some of the best protein supplements recommended by professional athletes and bodybuilders because of the quality, manufacturing standards, and results.
- Nutrabay Pure 100% Whey Protein Isolate: Want a ripped and chiselled body? Choose pure whey isolate that offers 26.5g per 30g to provide a rich protein source for faster muscle recovery and growth. It is ideal for fitness lovers who prefer taking protein in its original form that is unsweetened and unflavoured.
- Nutrabay Pure 100% Whey Protein Concentrate: It provides 23.4g pure whey concentrate per 30g serving, free from added sugar and other additives. It offers high-quality proteins, prevents catabolism, and yields excellent results. Being unflavoured comes with the flexibility to consume any form or dish for complete recovery after an intense workout session.
- Nutrabay Gold 100% Whey Protein Concentrate: It is one of the best whey proteins in India. It provides superior-quality protein designed to add more power to your strenuous workouts. This protein supplement can also be taken by beginners, which aims to provide good-quality protein to fuel muscle growth and maintenance. The presence of digestive enzymes makes it easy to digest to supply amino acids without any abdominal discomfort.
- Nutrabay Gold 100% Whey Protein Isolate: Fan of flavoured whey isolates? This low-carb, low-fat, and high-protein formulation provides 25g of pure whey isolate that is easily digestible and quickly absorbing. It is copious in all essential amino acids needed for fast muscle recovery, muscle protein synthesis, and lean muscle gain. It is one of the best protein powders for weight loss.
- Nutrabay Gold Tri-Blend Whey Protein: This protein blend provides the triple benefits of whey protein concentrate, isolate, and hydrolyzed whey protein for a sustained protein supply. Each serving provides 25 grams of protein, aids in preventing muscle soreness, boosts muscle development, and maximizes athletic performance.
- Nutrabay Gold Vital Whey Protein: It is one of the best whey proteins for beginners. Nutrabay Gold Vital Whey Protein provides high-quality protein with carbs to boost lean muscle growth and replenish glycogen stores. It gives an ideal push with added digestive enzymes, vitamins, and minerals for your bodybuilding and fitness goals.
- Nutrabay Wellness Vegan Plant Protein Powder: Packed with the goodness of pea protein, brown rice protein, spirulina, moringa, flaxseeds, vitamins, and minerals, this plant protein powder is perfect for people that prefer dairy and soy-free proteins. The protein sources present in vegan protein powder are excellent protein-rich food sources for vegans and vegetarians, and it is also one of the best protein powders for women.
- Nutrabay Wellness All-Natural Plant Protein Powder - This protein powder shares a similar nutrition composition with Vegan Protein Powder, except that it contains plant-based sweetener (stevia). The presence of natural ingredients with superfoods, vitamins, minerals and digestive enzymes effectively helps you lose weight and build lean muscles.
Are Protein Powders safe to use?
Good-quality protein powders do not have side effects and are safe to consume.
- It is important to remember that protein contains calories, and excess consumption might increase the calorie load.
- People with poor gut health may experience bloating, flatulence, nausea, and gastric issues; therefore, it is better to choose protein powders with added digestive enzymes.
- Under medical conditions like renal and liver disorders, it is not advisable to consume any protein supplement without consulting a doctor.
- Some protein powders may contain heavy metals or unwanted additives, so choosing a high-quality brand that uses third-party tested and verified ingredients is essential.
One can choose Nutrabay brand Gold Series, Pure Series, and Wellness proteins, which are entirely safe to consume. They are free from prohibited substances and undergo strict lab testing before reaching the doorstep.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Can women take protein powders?
Protein powders are safe to consume by women. In addition, studies have shown that they are beneficial in improving body composition, losing fat, and managing weight.
2. How much protein should I consume every day?
Protein requirement varies from person to person depending on age, gender, and physical activity level.
- For sedentary people, the daily protein requirement varies between 0.8-1 gram per kg body weight.
- It may range between 1.2-1.4 grams per kg body weight per day for endurance athletes.
- For strength athletes, 1.7-1.8 grams per kg body weight per day, depending upon the intensity of training.
3. Is protein powder harmful to my kidneys?
Protein powders do not harm kidneys when consumed as per the requirement. Any effect on kidney function may occur during pre-existing renal conditions.
Make sure to read the product packaging for recommended dosage or consult an expert to understand body needs.
4. Is protein powder safe for people with lactose intolerance?
Lactose intolerants can choose plant-based protein powders as they are dairy-free and easy to digest.
5. What kind of protein powder can lactose intolerant people take?
People with lactose intolerance can choose whey protein isolates that usually contain negligible amounts of lactose. However, it is best to take counsel from a healthcare professional in case of any confusion.
6. Is it mandatory to consume protein supplements?
Despite being a vital macronutrient, the majority of us consume protein-deficit diets. Recent studies observed 71% of Indians have poor muscle health due to protein deficiency. Along with protein-rich food sources, protein powders are ideal for filling any nutrition gap healthily. They are a convenient, healthy, and effective way to prevent protein-deficiency-related health issues.
7. Can protein shakes be included in keto-friendly meals?
Protein powders can be a part of keto diet plans as they are usually high in protein and have less carb content.
8. Can I use protein shakes to gain weight?
It is crucial to create a calorie surplus if the aim is to gain weight, and protein powders may help when included in a calorie-rich diet. Nutrabay brand offers some of the best protein powders to gain weight.
9. Can I consume a protein supplement when I am not exercising?
Protein shakes are perfect for a person with a sedentary lifestyle to satisfy everyday protein needs.
10. What is the best time to consume protein powders?
- People who are fans of protein shakes for general health, and well-being can consume them anytime during the day.
- A person can enjoy a protein shake during breakfast as a healthy mid-meal snack or at bedtime. Active athletes should prefer protein shake post-workout to build muscles, recover and prevent catabolism.
11. What is the recommended dosage of protein powder?
The dosage of protein powders depends upon the daily protein requirement. Beginners or people with light activity schedules can begin with one scoop of protein supplement per day. The number of scoops can be increased gradually with an increase in intensity levels. One can take one scoop of protein with water or skimmed milk daily for daily well-being. However, it is better to refer to the recommended dosage mentioned on the pack of products.