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Protein Supplements - Yes or No?

Written by
Dr. Vishnu K R
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Apr 02, 2018 and last reviewed on Sep 07, 2018   -  2 min read


Often, we see bodybuilding enthusiasts taking huge amounts of protein powders and getting buff. Even the cover graphics of the powders are those of highly ripped bodybuilders showing off their shiny biceps. After reading this article, you should be able to understand the usual components and their significance in those protein powders.

Protein Supplements - Yes or No?

What Is Protein?

You already know that it is a nutrient. And, like all nutrients, proteins are vital for maintaining your health. Proteins are the building blocks of every visible structure in your body. Even the hair. It is protein. A good proportional combination of melanin and keratin. That means - if you starve, you will lose hair.

According to WHO, 24 % of your diet should contain protein. In simple terms, you require your weight x 1 gram of protein per day. So, for example, if you are 50 kg, you require 50 g of protein a day. Do you take that much?

Do I Require Supplementation?

Many of the components in our diet are full of carbs and oils. Nobody looks into proteins as much as they look at carbohydrates. A grain of polished rice contains negligible protein content. Any cereal without an aleurone layer (that brown coat) lacks protein. So, our sources of protein are limited to pulses, fish, meat, milk, and egg. Bad news yet? Remember the last time you had any of them in your daily diet?

Pulses and fish are 100 % good. The rest have fats and cholesterol as well. So, we tend to reduce its consumption due to fear of diabetes and cholesterol.

I Will Need to Modify My Diet. But, I Am a Vegetarian. Now What?

Nothing to worry. Try soya beans. Soya beans are so good for the body that the ancient meat industries wanted it shut down by spreading myths like it is feminizing. Your soya bean does not have estrogen in it. A plant never makes estrogen. It is a plant. Not a female.

Is It "Essential"?

All proteins are made of 21 amino acids. And only eight of them are made by the body. All others are obtained through the diet. Just keep that fact in mind. If you unanimously eat a single food for a month, you will experience certain illness. Not all amino acids are present in all proteins. Some just contain a polymer of two to 10 amino acids. So, if an essential amino acid does not get into the chain of a body protein, it will not be synthesized, resulting in malnutrition. A special type. You will look fat. But will be malnourished.

Whey Protein vs. Pulse Protein?

Whey protein is animal protein. So, higher essential amino acids are present. It is preferred by bodybuilders as it helps in their gains.

Pulse proteins are either soy or pea protein. It is prescribed for malnourished or geriatric patients. Obviously, they do not need muscle gains. They need healthy tissues, bones, and skin.

Can I Eat 200 g of Proteins If I Go to the Gym?

Are you more than 100 kg? Even if you are, more than 100 g of proteins cannot be absorbed from the gut. All of the proteolytic enzymes get saturated and the villi are pretty slow in absorbing higher concentrations of protein. So why try? A healthy 20 grams per meal thrice daily is well and good. Provided you get the rest from pulses.

So, yes or no to supplements?

It is a no if you choose the untested, unreviewed, and unprescribed protein supplements. It is a yes if you are just supplementing your otherwise healthy diet with a trusted body-friendly protein powder.

Choose wisely after a detailed consultation with an expert. Do not go after the colorful wrappers.

For more information consult a fitness expert online -->


Last reviewed at:
07 Sep 2018  -  2 min read




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