In case you have been living under a rock you have probably heard that protein is important to your body at least once. It is very rare that a diet or nutrition expert condones eating a healthy amount of protein as part of a balanced diet. From a technical standpoint it is a rather critical nutritional element because your body needs the amino acids from the protein to maintain a wide range of functions within the body. As you need to be eating a ton of it to meet the needs of an active body many people have turned to protein supplements to bridge the gap.
So how do protein supplements factor into a healthy diet? Are they useful or just a crutch? Let’s review and make a logical decision.
The Benefits of Supplements
What are supplements? In essence they are any manufactured compound that is used in addition to a well balanced diet. Obviously the name supplement covers that meaning, but it is important to re-state that point. That means you should be using them to help fill in the gaps or aid an otherwise already solid foundation.
The nicest thing about things like protein supplements is that they are specifically engineered to work with our bodies. Basically scientists are able to pick the best aspects of what we need and combine them into an easily digestible format. That means they will get into our bloodstream quicker and provide more of an immediate impact.
There are a lot of arguments that take place regarding how much protein you need. While we will not cover that topic here, it is important to note that you need a decent amount depending on your size. After a while it can be difficult to prepare and consume so much of the stuff.
That is where protein supplements come into play.
Along with the most common method, shakes, there are also protein bars or you can mix powder into recipes and such. This provides a simple method to include a very high value protein into your diet. While some people might think you should use protein supplements exclusively, by doing so you miss out on additional nutrients from protein rich foods such as vitamins and minerals.
An example of a good use of protein would be a morning shake with breakfast and then another shake before bed. Then during the day you are just ingesting protein for lunch and dinner along with one to two snacks. As many lunch and dinner options include a meat dish this allows for an easy method to increase your protein totals over the entire day without having to feel like you are eating every 5 minutes.
The Bottom Line
No matter what type of lifestyle you are looking to live, whether it is a bodybuilder, an athlete, or just trying to stay in shape, you need regular amounts of protein in your diet. Protein supplements are a convenient way to do this and they provide a high quality of protein that is full of exactly what your body needs to maintain and grow.