Proteins come in different forms, from the natural nutrients found in lean meat, eggs or beans to the powders or bars as protein supplement that we see in nutrition stores and gyms.
While bodybuilders, gymnastics, and athletes regularly use Protein supplement in the form of powders or bars as pre-or post-workout supplements and choose protein bars and shake as snacks for recovery, average people often label these products as rubbish and think of them as “steroids.”
Protein supplements are NOT steroids, so let’s see what these products really do and whether they are better than natural proteins.
Why do we need proteins in the form of protein supplement or natural protein?
Whether you’re a gym rat or a health-conscious person, you’re probably aware that proteins are the muscle building blocks.
Still, this isn’t the only role these nutrients have inside the human body. Proteins:
- assist chemical reactions,
- transport other substances throughout the body,
- help the body fight against pathogens,
- are involved in sending signals for coordinating biological processes,
- provide structure and support for tissues.
Therefore, proteins are necessary for all body functions, for the structure and regulation of all tissues within the human body, as well as for recovery. A protein-deficient diet is likely to cause short-term nutritional deficiencies and trigger health problems.
Natural sources of proteins – Advantages and Disadvantages
Natural Protein has the benefit of being all-natural and also provides healthy amounts of fats, carbs, vitamins, and minerals most of the time. Also, they contain no preservatives or artificial sweeteners, so from this point of view, foods are better than protein powders/bars. Some people, however, don’t get enough protein from their diet, and supplements might be a good option for these people. For Non-vegetarian person meat is the best source of protein for Vegetarian people refer to this blog.
To sum it up: natural protein is healthier than protein supplement, no doubt here, but only if they’re less processed if they come from healthy foods (not fast food and junk products) and eaten in the proper amounts so as to avoid nutritional deficiencies and protein toxicity.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Protein Supplement
Unlike natural protein-rich foods that take longer to prepare, it only takes a few seconds for protein supplement to become ready to drink as a shake or eat as a tasty protein bar. Proteins are absorbed more quickly and easily digested in liquid form, and supplements of high quality offer complete proteins, so this is a positive aspect of powders and bars.
Then, in terms of preparation and storage, protein shakes and bars are more convenient and can easily be incorporated into your bottle as a shake or as a small protein-rich bar If you use supplements, it’s much easier to track your daily protein intake.
Keep in mind that protein powders are not steroids, they are just like vitamin supplements or fish oil supplements, a refined, processed form of protein. They are extracted from food and processed in a more convenient way, and supplements may be more efficient than real foods for people who want to build muscles quickly.
A major drawback of protein powders is that lots of them contain artificial colors and ingredients like aspartame, saccharin or fructose. None of these is good for the human body in the long run, if taken in high amounts and with regularity, so this could be a good enough argument for avoiding protein powders or bars.
But then again, for the proper functioning of the human body, it’s recommended to refuel it with a serving of protein every 3 hours. These proteins can come from a healthy snack, such as a hard-boiled egg, or a scoop of protein powder. However, eating every 3 hours may not sound like a good idea for all of us, so this is one of the reasons some people prefer protein powders over real food proteins. It’s easier to mix the powder with water and drink it or eat it protein bars, even if you’re at the office.
So yes, protein powders can be as good as protein-rich whole foods when it comes to boosting performance and sculpting a ripped physique. And since bodybuilders often have trouble eating the huge amounts of food they’re supposed to eat during one day, protein shakes can be of incredible help. Whey protein wins hands down regarding convenience factor. Whey protein does not need as much processing and has rapid supply of amino acids. Taking post-workout whey protein is also a good way to kick-start protein synthesis and speed up recovery process. It takes much longer, in terms of time, to sit down and eat natural sources of protein. It takes only a few seconds to consume the whey protein.
However, this doesn’t mean you need to fill your kitchen cabinet with protein powder and bars packets or to completely replace natural proteins with supplements.
On the contrary, I advise you to get as much protein from real food as possible, without exceeding your daily needs, and then simply add protein supplements to your diet if there are still gaps to be filled.