How do protein supplements work?


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Indy Lifestyle Online

It is no secret that professional athletes and bodybuilders regularly use protein as a dietary supplement in their day-to-day training schedules. Protein supplements are designed to promote increased muscle mass when combined with regular exercise. Supplements are usually taken in the form of pills or a powdered formula which can be mixed with milk, water or fruit juices to make a tasty shake. But just how do supplements speed up the muscle growth process?

Put simply, they work together to provide your body with the necessary foundation to create the amino acids that are needed to build muscle tissue, quicker and more efficiently. The reason athletes and bodybuilders benefit so much from the intake of protein supplements is that intensive physical activity requires higher than usual levels of protein. By increasing your protein intake you are also giving your muscles more time to recover but they also grow faster as a result.

Throughout the digestion process protein is broken down by dietary enzymes known as proteases. The quicker these a broken down, the faster they can be converted into amino acids which can repair muscle tissue faster and promote quicker but natural growth. It is also known to improve the overall immune health of an athlete, helping them to stay healthier, fitter and stronger for longer through intense training campaigns. Research also suggests that consuming extra protein before you work out is a great way of optimising muscle development. This protein is quickly digested into amino acids in readiness to be used by the muscles requiring repair following a strength work-out.

It must be said that a muscle-building protein supplement is by no means a substitute for a fat loss supplement. The latter works in a much different manner in that it is designed to increase a person's metabolic rate or minimise food cravings. Protein supplements also help you stay fuller for longer and increase the ability of your muscle to repair and build new fibres quickly to increase body mass.

Experts indicate that whey-based protein supplements offer superior results for muscle gain, although those that are lactose intolerant or suffer from bloating may wish to consider alternative methods. Retailers such as Maxishop provide a wealth of supplements to choose from, allowing you to trial methods to find one which suits your day-to-day lifestyle. Protein supplements should not however be used to replaces whole-food sources of protein altogether, as supplements do not contain the natural vitamins and minerals provided elsewhere.

There is still concern that the consumption of protein supplements is bad for our bodies. This is true if taken in unnaturally high doses, which can potentially overload your liver and cause lasting damage. The onus is therefore on the user to follow instructions from the supplement provider to make sure you consume the right amount. With whey protein for example, athletes and bodybuilders are advised never to consume more than 30 grams at one sitting. Not everyone responds to proteins the same and there is no right or wrong combination that promotes muscle growth, it is down to the individual. In the event of any confusion you should always consult with a nutritionist who can help you select the right diet for your needs.