Women today are exploring a number of options to add protein or protein supplements to their diet. Women Fitness brings you a complete resource to know what protein options for available for women.
Millions of people take sports supplements hoping for a range of health benefits, from weight loss to muscle building. But some supplements are being sold illegally and can be very harmful. Sports supplements have become increasingly popular among gym-goers. People who are interested in fitness and improving their physique may opt for supplements that can enhance their muscle growth when combined with exercise, such as weightlifting. They may also look for ways to control their appetite when they’re trying to lose weight, as part of a bodybuilding diet.
Female specific supplements promote women health and hormone support to ensure a fit and healthy lifestyle. Women’s health products are designed with the female in mind and the supplements cater more appropriately for women fitness. There are a range of products available ideal for a range of fitness goals including, building muscle, burning fat, or maintaining overall general health.
Milk does more than make your bones strong. Whey protein, which derives from cows’ milk, is highly absorb-able and linked with a variety of health benefits. Learning more about these advantages could help you decide whether investing in whey products is worth your buck. Although whey protein is generally considered safe for adults who tolerate dairy products, says the Mayo Clinic, studies are ongoing. For best results, seek pre-approval from your doctor or dietitian regarding supplements.
There is a growing industry in sports nutrition supplements available on the high street and online. Illegal supplements, including some claiming to be “fat burning” or “slimming”, have been linked to a small number of deaths. Despite being illegal to sell, there is evidence that these are still available to buy online, mainly from suppliers based outside the UK.
It’s important to be aware that products sold from a website or supplier based outside the UK or Europe may not pass the same safety standards as those within Europe.
Building muscle through protein
Protein is an important part of our diet and is key to building and maintaining all types of body tissue, including muscle. It contains amino acids, the building blocks used for muscle growth. Protein powders, available as shakes, bars and capsules, are one of the most popular muscle-building supplements. They are legally available to buy over-the-counter as well as online. They are marketed as helping to promote your body’s muscle growth, aid metabolism (helping with weight loss), help you reach peak physical performance, boost energy and fight the ageing process.
“Users may choose to take them before, during and after training to enhance performance and improve recovery, add them to meals to boost their protein or drink them between meals as a high-protein snack,” says Azmina Govindji from the British Dietetic Association (BDA). “But they could get the same benefits from introducing high-protein foods to their diet as snacks or adding them to their normal meals to enhance the protein content. Although protein shakes are convenient, not all of them are suitable to be used as a meal replacement, because they don’t have all the vitamins and nutrients that a balanced meal would contain.”
This means that bodybuilders who turn to protein supplements, instead of simply eating protein-rich foods, could be wasting their money. There is also evidence that, in the long term, consuming too much protein can lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis and can also worsen existing kidney problems. The Department of Health advises adults to avoid consuming more than twice the recommended daily intake of protein (55.5g for men and 45g for women).
Protein-rich foods include:
- red meat, such as beef, lamb and pork
- poultry, such as chicken, duck and turkey
- dairy, such as milk, yogurt and cheese
Types of protein options
Whey concentrate is one of the most basic forms of protein that is found in many protein tubs on the shelves of supplement stores. People who are looking for an inexpensive protein source will find tubs of strictly whey protein concentrate with a lower price tag.
This is a great starting point for beginners and those looking to add protein to their diet without making your wallet lighter. Some people will find though that they have a hard time digesting the concentrates and will end up feeling a little gassy and bloated.
Whey concentrate can be used both pre and post workout and can also be used as a snack in between meals. This is not a preferred source of protein to be used at night.
If you are looking for a protein that will slowly breakdown over the course of several hours that you can use as a meal, or better yet right before you go to bed then casein protein is definitely the way to go. Before bed if you take in casein protein you will stay anabolic throughout the night and will be able to utilize the protein in your body.
Casein takes anywhere from 5-7 hours to fully breakdown which keeps your body absorbing and utilizing the nutrients even while you sleep. People also use casein during the day to help stay full and to keep a constant supply of protein in your body to supply the muscles with proper nutrition for hours after drinking the shake.
Another positive to this source of protein is its high glutamine content. Glutamine helps boost the immune system and speed up recovery. This is the preferred source of protein to use at night before bed.
Isolates are one of the quickest absorbing proteins (but not the quickest-we will get to that soon enough). People will find this source of protein to be a bit on the expensive side (more-so than whey concentrates), but not near as expensive as the protein we will be touching on next.
These proteins are perfect for those with low carb diets. Many of the protein tubs on the market these days that are strictly whey isolates have very low if any carbs/sugars.
Isolates are great pre and post workout as they are absorbed quickly and can supply the muscle the nutrients needed to help recover and grow.
Hydrolysate protein is the most expensive source of protein you will find on the markets these days and is the highest quality of protein available. They provide highly absorbable peptides that can have a great anabolic effect (highest absorption rate of the proteins available).
Hydrolysate protein is also much better on the digestive system compared to whey concentrates. This protein can be used both pre and post workout.
Soy protein (even though not a huge seller for bodybuilders) is a good source of protein for those looking for a vegetarian source of protein. This is a useful source of protein and comes with many benefits to its user. It is loaded with glutamine (to help with recovery), arginine (help dilate blood vessels to allow nutrition to get into the muscles quicker), and BCAA’s (help with recovery).
Soy supports a healthy cholesterol profile due to the isoflavones found in the product. It has also been found to boost thyroid hormone output. By doing so, it speeds up the metabolism which aids in fat loss. This type of protein can be used both pre and post workout or anytime throughout the day if needed to get in a meal/snack containing protein.
This source is not preferred to use at night.