Here are 6 important reasons to specify why there is a need for you to supplement your protein intake.
Jan 10, 2020
Ideally, you would be able to consume enough high-quality protein from whole food sources every day. Reality often doesn't conform to the ideal, however, which means you might need to consider a protein supplement. Here are six reasons why they can provide the best protein for your body.
1. Precise Measurements & Dosing
Measuring portion sizes and figuring the exact amount of protein you are ingesting from food sources can be tricky. There is also no truly standardized way to determine protein from animal sources because their diets can impact the quality and quantity present.
Using a protein supplement can help ensure that you get exactly how much protein you need every time you need. There is no guesswork with premeasured portions; one scoop contains 15 grams, then 2 scoops will provide 30 grams.
2. High Bioavailability
All proteins are not created equally. Your body is able to process and use some easier than others. The percentage of nutrients that can be extracted and used by your body from a particular food is known as its bioavailability. A higher rating means that more of the food can be used by your body.
For example, while eggs are considered complete food, proteins in them are not as readily available for use in metabolic functions as whey protein. When further broken into whey protein isolate, the smaller particles are once again easier for your body to turn into usable amino acids.
3. Reduce Digestive Issues
Nutrient extraction isn't the only determining factor in the quality of a protein. It should also be easy to digest, and not cause stomach upset or discomfort.
For vegetarians who might get protein from beans, legumes, and vegetables, protein supplements may reduce the amount of vegetable peptase consumed, which may result in better health and reduced inflammation.
Increased digestibility can be especially important for people with food sensitivities or allergies. If lactose causes you to experience intestinal distress, then a complete protein source without it will be more digestible and likely a better option than one made from whey.
It can be easier to avoid interactions when you stick to supplements as well. You will know exactly what is in the product by reading the label.
4. Meet Dietary Requirements
Protein supplements can help you meet your dietary requirements of the macronutrient in a fairly simple and straightforward manner. In general and assuming a relatively sedentary lifestyle, your body needs about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of their body weight per day.
Using an online calculator can help you find out what your body needs without any complicated math. Keep in mind that, if you are athletic or very active, your protein needs will increase proportionally to the amount of exercise you do.
5. Support Healthy Weight
Unlike whole food sources protein, powders can be mixed with water or other liquids to provide a filling drink that serves as a meal. That means you can get enough protein to help support energy and lean muscle development without worrying about loading up on calories and high-fat foods.
On the flip side, protein supplements can be an excellent way to avoid muscle loss if you are not getting enough macronutrients through whole foods. Look for products that offer a good vitamin profile to ensure you are getting other important nutrients besides the protein.
You can't overlook the convenience factor that protein supplements offer. You can carry dried powder with you all day in a gym bag or purse and not worry about it going bad.
When you are ready for a quick meal or post-workout protein boost, simply mix it with water and drink. That is a whole easier and more convenient than stopping by the drive-through, and you are likely getting much higher quality fuel for your body.
While you may strive to get all of your needed nutrition through whole food sources, there are times when supplements can be a big help.
In some cases, such as with food allergies or sensitivities, if you have an underlying medical condition, or if you are looking to manage your weight, protein supplementation may offer the best way to achieve your wellness goals.