People often don’t realize that if they’d like to supplement with protein, there are a couple of ways they can do so. The primary ways to supplement are with protein pills and powder.
Below, we explore what you should know about protein supplementing in general and how pills and powder compare to one another.
The Importance of Protein
Protein plays a number of essential roles in your body, and it’s critical for good health. Proteins are made from amino acids that come together to form chains. There are 20 amino acids. These amino acids form thousands of proteins in your body.
Some of the key functions protein performs in your body include:
- Getting adequate protein is important for the maintenance and growth of your tissues. When you’re recovering from something like illness or surgery, you might need large amounts of protein. During normal times, your body breaks down the same amount of protein that it’s using to build and repair tissues. It can break down more times than what it’s creating, so your needs go up.
- Enzymes are a type of protein that allow reactions to happen inside your body like digestion, blood clotting, the production of energy, and muscle contractions.
- Some proteins are hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers that help your cells, organs, and tissues communicate with one another. Proteins that are hormones include insulin and human growth hormone (hGH).
- Certain types of protein provide your body with structure, strength, and elasticity.
- Protein helps your body maintain the right pH values for your blood and other fluids.
- Having enough protein helps your body to maintain fluid balance. If you don’t have enough protein in your diet, it will decrease your albumin and globulin levels, and then fluid will be forced into spaces between your cells. As the fluid keeps building up, you can experience edema or swelling.
- Protein helps form antibodies, also known as immunoglobulins, which fight infection. Antibodies protect you from invaders, including viruses and bacteria.
- Some proteins are responsible for transporting substances through your bloodstream, including vitamins and minerals, and oxygen.
- Protein supplies your body with energy.
Do You Need a Protein Supplement?
The majority of people in developed countries and that follow western diets get adequate protein from their diet. Some people, however, like to have more for different reasons.
If you’re someone who struggles with a chronic condition like celiac or Crohn’s that affects absorption, you might want to supplement with protein.
People working on building muscle also tend to want to have more protein.
Very active people may need more protein intake than less active people.
Vegetarians and vegans may not get enough protein from their diet, so they could benefit from using a supplement.
Supplementing with Protein Powder
Taking a protein powder is the most popular way to supplement. Three more common protein powders are soy, whey, and casein.
Whey is often used because it’s a water-soluble milk protein and easy to mix. It’s a complete protein, so that means it has all of the nine amino acids.
Protein powders can help you feel satisfied and fuller for longer, and they’re easy to mix in a shake or drink of your choice. They’re also very high in protein.
What About Protein Pills?
Protein pills are available in different options, and they’re different from using a protein powder.
For example, many pills and capsules contain bone broth powder or collagen. These are animal-based protein sources, and they can help meet your nutritional needs, but they might also help with the health of your skin, nails, hair, and joints.
The benefits of protein pills compared to powders include:
- Fewer calories
- More convenient
- No taste or smell to deal with
- Less of a risk of filler ingredients
If your goal is primarily weight loss, when you’re taking protein, pills might be the better option. Pills again have fewer calories, but you still get the benefits of adding more protein to your diet.
Compared to powders, the biggest downside of pills is that you’re getting less protein overall. Pills, on average, have just around two grams of protein.
On the other hand, powders have around 20 grams of protein per serving.
When you’re comparing protein pills vs. powder, you want to think about your goals and the reasons you’re supplementing in the first place. That’s ultimately going to help you decide which is right for you because both options have pros and cons. Click Here