Protein powders are an increasingly popular nutritional supplement. Once the preserve of bodybuilders and other weight trainers, they’ve spread to other athletic disciplines and to people who want to look their best and stay healthy.
Protein powders have definitely become more mainstream and like anything that goes mainstream, it gets subject to the usual doubters and nay-sayers. Understandably, people often have questions about the health benefits of protein powders and wonder if they’re safe to use or if there are any associated risks. The good news is that used correctly and as part of a balanced diet and active lifestyle, protein powders present little in the way of health risks.
It’s important to remember, however, that they are designed for people who are active, do strength training or are involved in endurance sports. They might also be used by people who have a strictly plant-based diet who are looking to supplement their protein intake.
So, what kind of health benefits can they really provide?
The health benefits of protein powders
Protein is essential for the healthy functioning of your body. It’s one of the building blocks of bone, muscle and skin. Your body needs protein in order to produce hormones, enzymes and a range of other chemicals required to maintain health.
Making sure you get enough protein is key to keeping healthy and having enough energy to tackle the day. If you’re physically very active, then your protein requirements are significantly higher than the average person and it can be difficult to get the amounts you need through diet alone.
This is where protein powders come in. They provide you with the protein you need for your body to perform very specific tasks, such as recovering from exercise or to build extra muscle tissue.
Having enough protein in your diet has also been associated with healthy weight management. Protein can help people feel fuller for longer which results in smaller portion sizes and less frequent snacking, both of which can help someone lose or maintain weight.
A 2017 study found that protein supplements might help reduce total fat mass in people who are obese or overweight. They may also reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and have a positive effect on a range of risk factors associated with cardiovascular diseases.
Many people who use protein powders are looking to support muscle growth. An analysis of 49 different studies in 2018 found that protein supplements significantly improve muscle size and strength in healthy adults who perform resistance exercise training, and it was equally effective in both men and women.
Other studies have shown that using protein supplements after exercise can significantly improve recovery time.
Sustainable and natural protein products
The evidence shows that protein powders can be beneficial for different people, including athletes, older people and those with vegetarian and vegan diets. They offer a reliable and convenient source of complete protein.
At Protein Rebel, we believe it’s critical to know what you are eating so you know how it’s affecting you. It does pay to do your research. There are some protein powders on the market that are packed out with artificial ingredients, added sugars and sweeteners and gums/fillers. These are best avoided.
We create sustainable, natural products that offer a range of health benefits without costing the earth. Crucially, we use high quality proteins that are science-based and data-led. We work closely with academics and nutritionists to ensure the integrity of everything we produce.