Who Needs Extra Protein Supplements?
We’ve heard this one before – All boys, men, or boys to men, are advised to take extra protein supplements by their gym instructors. Outside gyms’ walls, information tends to be sponsored, and so it’s difficult to trust any comments or opinions that favour or oppose extra protein supplement consumption. Payal Banka, Lead Nutritionist at LifeMojo helps us out with what is the recommended protein supplement quantity and what it even means.
Why the human body needs protein: ? The human body not only needs protein to gain maximum mileage from exercise and workouts, but it also requires protein to stay energised. Therefore the more calories we consume through protein intake, the better it is.
The best protein sources: The best sources of protein are the Class 1 proteins. These are proteins that don’t leave enough waste (urea) as a residue, after being metabolised. All non-vegetarian foods like eggs and meats belong to this Class 1 protein group. Milk and other dairy products are also excellent sources of protein. These sources aren’t feasible for vegetarians or vegans, and so people belonging to these categories are generally advised to take protein supplements. Pulses and legumes are Class 2 protein sources, and are not as functionally profitable as Class 1 sources.
Some other protein sources for vegetarians are: cheese, paneer, nuts (almonds, walnuts, groundnut). These are also part of the Class 1 proteins. Other than these, there are the class 2 proteins, mentioned above, like: dals, legumes, and pulses, like Rajma or Kidney Beans, Channa, Chole or Chickpeas, etc.
Daily protein consumption: The recommended protein intake is 1-1.5 gm protein per kg of the person’s weight. Of course this may vary with age, sex and weight. For instance, body builders may require 2-2.5 gm protein per kg of personal body weight. On the other hand, an overweight or obese person does not need much supplementation, but exercise is crucial. Likewise, an underweight or right weight person who wants to build muscle mass or tone up needs to have the adequate amount of protein per his or her body weight.
So if someone's overweight and eats eggs, yogurt, and white meat (all cooked healthily), then extra protein supplements aren't needed: If an overweight person wants to reduce his/her weight or build muscles and tone up, he/she should prioritise exercise. Such a person can take any extra protein supplements only once he/she loses weight and comes within the right weight bracket or if there is a change in body composition, where weight change is not much but there is more muscle than fat.
Protein intake through natural and wholesome sources is better than store-bought whey protein supplements: Therefore a right weight person, or even an underweight person should still attempt to get all of his/her protein from natural sources. Any nutrient is better when consumed normally in a natural form. Protein supplementation is recommended only if the person’s requirement is very high, or if he or she has any metabolic problem or problems with nutrient absorption.
So there you have it – the dope on protein supplements. As with everything to do with health and living well, an informed choice is always a better choice. The debate about protein supplements is as old as the first gym in town. Do yourself a favour – avoid sponsored websites that throw muscle-bound men your way, usually showcasing a gigantic, repulsive tub of whey, and re-invent your home cooking instead. You heard the expert: Natural protein is the best protein.
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