Fitness Protein in Health and Medicine

Fitness Protein in Health and Medicine

When it comes to getting fit, many of us look to the bodybuilders we see in magazines or on TV for inspiration. But Brittney Bearden, sports dietitian at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth Fitness Center, cautions that it’s not enough to just workout like an athlete; you also need to eat like one. Especially when it comes to proteins.

Proteins are a building block of all tissues and are important for muscle repair and recovery after exercise. It’s no wonder that studies have shown that the protein intake of athletes and active individuals is higher than that of sedentary adults. Protein supplements are a convenient way to boost your protein intake and help meet the needs of a high-protein diet.

But before you go out and buy a shaker full of powder you should be aware that not all protein powders are created equal. Some contain added sugars, flavouring and vitamins that could negatively impact your health and fitness goals. Sugars can contribute to an increase in blood glucose and lead to weight gain and vitamin deficiencies can reduce your energy levels. Some protein powders also contain cadmium, which is toxic to the kidneys and liver. Cadmium can take up to 20 years for your body to eliminate, so consuming any form of it, even in small amounts, is not something you want to do on a regular basis.

The best time to ingest protein to maximize MPS is within one hour post resistance exercise. This is when muscles are most responsive to the protein stimulus and when a higher proportion of essential amino acids is absorbed. However, it’s not necessary to consume protein immediately after training if you have already consumed a meal that contains sufficient protein and is well-timed.

Research indicates that higher protein intakes can promote fat loss by reducing appetite and increasing feelings of satiety, so they may be helpful for those who are trying to lose weight. However, the relationship between protein and weight loss is complex because it depends on other factors such as the type and amount of exercise, dietary composition and energy intake.

There are also claims that whey protein can help prevent heart disease by improving cholesterol. However, the results of a number of trials are mixed and further investigation is needed to verify these claims.

Overall, a well-balanced diet with protein-rich foods is the best approach for meeting your protein needs. In addition, supplementing with a protein powder is not likely to harm your health, but remember that it’s best to avoid highly processed protein powders. Instead, choose one of the better-quality products that are available. These include whey, casein and soy, all of which are low in saturated fat and trans-fat. These are often mixed with milk or a milk alternative for a creamier, more delicious shake.

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