Protein drinks

Protein is an important component of the human body. It is an organic compound and is the key element in the construction and repairing body tissues. Our body needs protein to make hormones, enzymes, and other chemical compounds. Protein is also necessary to maintain healthy hair and nails, and is a building block for bones, cartilage, skin, blood, and most importantly, lean muscle tissue. Protein also boosts energy for the body, and the body needs more protein than it needs other vitamins and minerals. It is a ‘macronutrient’, and it is of great importance to maintain a healthy body.

Protein can be found in a variety of food – in fish, beef and chicken, and also in diary products, eggs, fruits and vegetables. There are different types of protein, such as whey, egg, casein, soy etc. It is best if all the protein the body needs can come from natural food sources, but it may not always be possible to get all the protein that is required from food. And this is where the virtues of protein drinks, as dietary supplements, come into action.

Protein drinks are basically food supplements that provide the body with all the protein that it may need and some extra amount as well. Protein drinks (or shakes, as they call it) are becoming increasingly popular amongst body-builders and athletes as it increases lean muscle mass; Protein shakes are also popular amongst weight-watchers who use such drinks as meal replacements.

Although there are many types of protein drinks available today, two of the types are more popular than others – whey protein drinks and casein protein drinks. Whey protein is considered the superior kind of protein, and is naturally found in milk. It is a fast absorbing protein, and is a great supplement for during or after-workout fatigue. Casein protein, also found in milk, is a slow absorbing protein, and is good for the body when taken before bedtime as it provides the body with a steady supply of protein all throughout the night.

Protein drinks can be taken both as meal replacements, and with regular meals. Protein as a dietary supplement typically comes in the form of protein powder. The powder is generally dissolved in milk, but can also be mixed in plain water as well. When preparing the drink, an addition of fruits or yogurt can be blended with the drink. It only enhances the flavor, but also provides essential vitamins and minerals to the body.

People who exercise more, or are involved more with training or other physically-strenuous work, are in more need of supplementary protein drinks along with there food, than a normal, healthy adult. However, protein drinks can be a great substitute to meals as well, if someone is looking to lose weight by restricting carbohydrate-intake. The Biological Value (BV) of protein, expressed in percentage, is an indicator of the quality of protein. Protein powders with a high BV and more natural than synthetic content are generally more desirable than others.

Protein, although very important for health, may be detrimental to the body and its organs if consumed in excessive amounts. Excess protein produces ketones which are toxins for the body. The creation of ketones puts a lot of strain on the kidneys as they try to get rid of the ketones. Therefore consumption of protein should be limited to the requirement of the body. Care should also be taken when buying protein powder in order to make protein drinks, as many of such products may not be made of natural ingredients, and thus may not be beneficial to the body.

Last updated on Feb 21st, 2012 and filed under Nutritional Information. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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