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Is Protein Powder Healthy? Here's What Dietitians Say - Genetic Nutrition

Is Protein Powder Healthy? Here's What Dietitians Say

, by Genetic Nutrition, 7 min reading time

Overview

So you’ve just gone to the gym and are feeling the burn-- plus everyone is all abuzz about protein powder. But is it truly a keystone to muscle building? Apart from health enthusiasts and manufacturers, what’s the word on protein powder? This blog dives deep into what protein powder is all about, especially “Is protein powder good for health,” and everything else.

Why Take Protein Powder

Protein powder has long been a staple in gymnasiums, supermarkets and even online consumers' shopping lists. However, what is it? To put it in simpler terms, protein powder is a concentrated form of protein - an essential nutrient that our bodies need for many different things, such as building and repairing tissues, making enzymes and hormones, or keeping us full.

Among athletes and other exercise enthusiasts, protein powder has become increasingly popular, especially since it can help to build and maintain muscles. Nonetheless, it isn't just those who lift weights: people who find difficulty in obtaining enough of this vital nutrient through their diet alone may benefit too; something which vegetarians, vegans or those with a range of medical problems might also find is extremely useful.

Read Also: The Power of Multivitamins: Why They Are Essential For Overall Health And Well-Being

Pros and Cons: Weighing the Benefits of Protein Powder

Dietitians agree that protein powder can be a healthy addition to your diet, but it's important to understand both the good and the not-so-good before you scoop some into your protein shaker.

The Pros:

  • Protein powder offers a quick and easy way to increase your protein intake, especially if you're constantly on the go or find it challenging to prepare protein-rich meals every single time.
  • Protein powder comes in a variety of flavours – chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and even birthday cake! You can blend it into smoothies, yoghurt parfaits, oatmeal, or even baked goods like protein pancakes or muffins.
  • Some protein powders are fortified with additional vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients that can help fill any gaps in your diet.
  • Protein is the building block of muscle tissue. So, if you're following a strength training program and aiming to build muscle, protein powder can be a valuable addition to support your fitness goals. It can also help with muscle recovery after a tough workout, reducing soreness and getting you back to the gym feeling strong.

Things to Consider:

  • Protein powder can be calorie-dense, especially those with added sugars or complex carbohydrates, for better taste and texture. If you're watching your weight, be sure to factor in the protein powder's calorie count to your daily intake.
  • Some people experience digestive issues like bloating, gas, or diarrhoea with certain types of protein powder, particularly those containing lactose (milk protein). If you have a sensitive stomach, it's wise to choose a lactose-free option or a plant-based protein powder derived from pea protein, brown rice protein, or hemp protein.
  • Protein powder should never replace a balanced diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods. Think lean meats, fish, eggs, legumes (beans, lentils), nuts, seeds, and dairy products – these are all excellent sources of protein along with other essential nutrients.
  • Not all protein powders are created equal. Some may be loaded with artificial sweeteners, flavours, and thickeners. When choosing a protein powder, prioritise natural, minimally processed products with a clear ingredient list.

Dietitians Speak: Expert Advice on Protein Powder

Here are the key takeaways of dietitians:

  • Aim to get most of your protein from whole food sources. A registered dietitian can help you determine your individual protein needs based on your age, activity level, and fitness goals.
  • When it comes to protein powder, choose quality over convenience. Look for brands with minimal ingredients, grass-fed sources (for whey protein), and limited added sugar or artificial sweeteners.
  • Different protein powders cater to different needs. Consider your goals when choosing a protein powder.
  • Pay attention to how you feel after consuming protein powder. If you experience any digestive discomfort, try a different type or adjust the amount you consume.
  • If you're unsure about protein powder or have any underlying health conditions, consult a doctor or registered dietitian. They can guide you towards the best protein powder for your individual needs and ensure it aligns with your overall health goals.
  • Opt for a protein powder lower in calories and carbohydrates. Consider plant-based protein powders if you're following a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Ways to Use Protein Powder

Here are some of the creative ways to use protein powder:

  • Add a scoop of protein powder to your pancake batter for a protein-packed breakfast that keeps you feeling full for longer.
  • Sneak some protein powder into muffins, cookies, or bread for an extra protein punch. Just be mindful of adjusting the recipe's wet and dry ingredients for the best texture.
  • Make healthy energy bites by combining protein powder with rolled oats, nut butter, and dried fruits. These are perfect for a quick and satisfying snack between meals.
  • Stir protein powder into plain yoghurt for a protein-rich parfait. Top it with your favourite fruits, granola, or nuts for added flavour and texture.
  • Blend protein powder with fruits, vegetables, nut butter, yoghurt, or even milk for a delicious and nutritious smoothie.

Conclusion

An active lifestyle with proper diet and exercise as the mainstays is a sure approach to physical change that runs for a lifetime. Thus, devote yourself to the gym, pay attention to what you eat, and leverage protein powder as an add-on to your healthier and stronger you! Know that you can have a checkup with a dietitian to learn whether they recommend you to take a protein powder if you don't have enough protein in your body; consult him on which type of protein powder will be suitable for you.We hope your query, “Is protein powder good for health?” was aptly answered in this blog.

Are you ready to start your fitness journey? Visit the official website of Genetic Nutrition to explore top-quality protein powders. 

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