The Best Way to Take Protein Supplements

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The Best Way to Take Protein Supplements
The Best Way to Take Protein Supplements

Protein supplements can be found in specialized health food stores as well as the grocery store. Most are available in the form of powders, bars and bottled drinks. People generally take protein supplements for the purpose of gaining muscle or as part of a high-protein diet to lose weight. The best method for taking these supplements depends primarily on the type and the purpose for taking it.

  1. Figuring Out the Best Supplement

    • The most popular protein supplements are soy protein, whey protein and casein protein powders. These can found at just about any grocery store. Whey protein, a by-product of the cheese-making, is generally is preferred by bodybuilders because it contains the highest levels of branched chain amino acids. Soy protein, extracted from the soybean plant, is also a high-quality source of protein, containing all of the essential amino acids needed to support muscle growth. Casein protein, the protein found in milk, is known for its slow-digesting release of amino acids into the blood stream.

    Best Time to Take Supplements

    • The recommended daily intake of protein for healthy adults is 0.75 g of protein per kilogram of body weight, or about 45 to 56 g of protein a day, according to WebMD. If you are simply looking to use a protein supplement as part of balanced, nutrient-rich diet, you can use any of the protein supplements as part of your daily meal routines.

      If you are adding protein supplements as part of a muscle building regimen, the most important time to take the supplement is immediately after a workout, according to Muscle and Fitness Magazine. Other good times to take your supplements are right after you wake up, right before you go to bed and a half hour before a work out. If you are taking a supplement before bed, casein-based protein supplements are likely your best choice due to their slow-digesting properties.

    Best Form for Supplements

    • The exact form of the supplement is not that important. Powders, bars and shakes will all be digested in your body the same way. But it is important to evaluate the other ingredients that are included in some bars and shakes, as they are not always the best ingredients for what you are trying to achieve with the supplements.

      Protein shakes are an excellent source of protein since you have greater control over the ingredients in the shake. There are many recipes for protein shakes. Just make sure to keep the calories low if you are trying to lose weight or add extra calories if you are only trying to build muscle. Pre-made shakes like Muscle Milk are also good for low-calorie meal replacements following a workout.

      Protein bars are much more varied in their composition. Many are high in sugars and saturated fats. Make sure you find one that contains a good amount of protein without unnecessary calories from sugars and fats. In its survey of protein bars, AskMen.com found the best bars that were low in fat and sugar, but high in protein, to be the Protein Plus by MET-Rx, Pure Protein by Worldwide Sport and Solid Protein by Nature's Best. A company called ConsumerLabs also did an independent test of all the bars to determine what is actually in them. They found many of the bars had high portions of fat and sugar. The ones that were lowest in fat were the bars made by Renew Life and Gnu. They bars with the highest amount of sugar were the South Beach Diet and MHP Probolic bars.

    Cautions

    • Before adding any protein supplement to your diet, it is advisable to consult your doctor or other medical professional.

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