Are Protein Supplements Good For You?

If you go into any health food store, you’ll find shelves dedicated to protein supplements. There are protein supplements for vegetarians, ones for bodybuilders and even supplements for seniors. Are they good for you? Do you really need them? Who should take them? The first thing to understand is how much protein you actually need. There are many factors surrounding the answer to that question. Older people don’t use the protein as efficiently as younger people do, they may need more. Your weight and activity level play a role in the amount of protein you need as well.

How much you need is based on many things, including physical activity.

If you’re really active, you need more protein that someone who is sedentary. The people living a sedentary lifestyle only require 1.2 grams per 1 kilogram of body weight. Since one kilogram equals 2.2 pounds just divide your weight by 2.2 to find kilograms. As you get more active, the amount increases to 1.3 grams per kilogram of body weight for moderate exercise and finally 1.6 grams if you’re doing a high intensity power lifting regularly. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you also need increased protein.

While it’s bad to have a deficiency in protein, it doesn’t happen very often in developed countries.

Signs of too little protein include the wasting of muscles, skin, hair, and nail problems, stunted growth in children and edema, to name a few. However, you can get too much of a good thing. If you eat more than the highest recommended amount of protein, such as consuming 2.2 grams per kilogram of weight over a long period of time. More than that amount for a long period can create health issues like exhaustion, dehydration, diarrhea, nausea, headache and irritability. If you continue beyond those symptoms, it can lead to blood vessel disorders, seizures, kidney disease, liver disease and potentially cardiovascular disease and death.

You don’t have to take protein supplements if you eat healthy.

While you can get too much protein, it’s hard to do if you’re eating regular healthy meals. However, if you’re adding protein supplements to everything, that’s where you need to be careful. Not everyone should consume protein supplements. In fact, with the exception of advice from medical doctors, consuming your protein from healthy meals is far better. We provide customized nutrition coaching and guidance toward menus to increase your intake of protein if you’re switching to a more active lifestyle.

  • While protein supplements can boost your protein intake, most don’t provide all the extra nutrients that healthy eating does.
  • All parts of the body use protein as building blocks. It’s important for bones, skin, muscle, blood and cartilage.
  • If you’re trying to lose weight, protein can be your friend, so don’t skimp on it either. It makes you feel fuller for longer, making weight loss easier.
  • One of the biggest deterrents of eating huge amounts of protein is bad breath that simply doesn’t disappear no matter how much you floss or brush.

For more information, contact us today at Skin Sport Fitness Center

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