Protein powders are not only a huge market, but also a necessity for those that want to push themselves to make the best muscle and performance gains possible. Protein powders provide muscles with proteins, Amino Acids and essential nutrients to jump start muscle recovery after exercise.
Are Protein Powders Healthy is an great question, since there is no sense in trying to build your body stronger and healthier with harmful ingredients.
Whether your sport of choice is cycling, cross-fit, exercise classes, weight training or running, your muscles require certain nutrients to rebuild stronger for the next time. I personally have used protein powders (also called Post Workout Supplements) ever since I began my fitness journey.
So I’ll be answering the question on whether or not protein powders are healthy. Also clarifying some of the many categories of post workouts available, and I will provide some information on some Organic and All Natural choices for protein powders.
We will discuss protein powders benefits and some potential disadvantages, so that we can see both sides. It would also be a good idea to run through the key ingredients in protein powders and what they do for the body. You may be asking “What is a Post Workout Protein”? You will soon be the expert on that.
Since this website is primarily about Pre Workout Supplements, I will give you a brief idea of how Pre Workouts and Post Workouts (protein powders) come together to give your body the perfect combination from start to finish.
I’m going to research any current debates on protein powders being good or bad. By the end of the post, you should know if taking a protein powder supplement is right for you.
The Benefits of Protein Powder
Let’s go over the benefits of a good protein powder first. After exercising you body starts searching for the nutrients it needs to begin to build muscle, repair muscle tissue, as well as making enzymes and hormones. The bodies needs for these nutrients go for any strenuous physical activity.
Studies have shown that the body’s peak absorption time, that is when it starts to need post workout nutrients the most is about 45 minutes afterward exercising. This is called the “sweet spot”, because it is the prime time to take protein powder and when it is a necessity to rebuild.
The benefits to the protein powder are to fulfill these need quickly, and with the best ingredient without having to cook a big enough meal to accommodate the body’s needs at this important time. If you do have the time, the healthiest option is still eating a well balanced meal that includes protein and vegetables.
Since proteins, which are made of Amino Acids are the building blocks for muscle growth, these are an essential part of the after workout recovery process.
Protein powder is also know to help tone muscles and help with weight loss. One of the ways that protein powder can help with weight loss is that protein happens to be the most filling nutrient that you can eat. This will causes you to feel fuller longer, which cuts down the size of your meals and snacking.
Convenience is one of the biggest benefits. Most grocery stores and gas stations will have protein drinks to go, so you don’t need to mix the powder at home when you need that protein fill.
The most significant way that protein powders or post workout supplements are used and known for, is that gym enthusiasts and athletes consume protein supplements to increase their muscle size and strength. This is true for both men and women.
The “Cons” of Protein Powder
The “con” list is not very long because in reality, protein powder is meant to be a healthy supplement. However, protein powders are not FDA approved. This means that this product is somewhat unregulated. Because of this, it is a good idea not to read the Nutrition Facts, and stay away from ingredients that you have not heard of.
This fact does not seem to be a big deal, since most nutritional and dietary supplements on the market are not FDA approved. However, if you are concerned with this there are great alternatives. Any product labeled “Organic”, including Organic protein powders are regulated by the USDA. The USDA holds any product with the Organic seal to stringent production rules, so if this would give you peace of mind, it would be worth looking into.
Protein powders haven’t been found to have any long term negative effects. Although, many of them can have artificial flavors, colors and sugars. If you want to stay away from these products, the “All Natural”, “Organic” and “Vegan” categories are free of these artificial ingredients. These healthier alternatives are usually “plant based products“. One last thing is that no danger in taking too much protein powder, except maybe constipation.
Please let me know if you have any “cons” on protein powder that I haven’t come across. You can leave a comment in the box at the bottom of the post.
Are Protein Powders Healthy
Now for the big question. As you can see from what is written so far, there are many positive attributes and not as much in the negative column. This is because supplement companies are supposed to be made to help your performance, not hinder it.
Doctors recommend that you choose a well balanced meal over protein supplements, if you have that choice, and it is Not a good idea to live by protein powders alone. Because of this fast paced world that we live in, it is not often that we get the balanced meal. Especially after a long day at work that includes exercising afterwards.
I briefly mentioned a couple of heather protein powder options. An All Natural protein powder is free of artificial colors, flavors and sugars. An Organic protein powder is made and processed with all Organic ingredients. This category doesn’t contain any ingredients that wouldn’t be found in your body naturally. Lastly, Vegan is made with zero animal or dairy products and is generally an Organic product.
If you do decide to take protein powder for yourself, I’m going to leave you with an outside link for something tasty that I really like to make with my protein powders. Almond Butter and Banana Protein Smoothie
If you have any thing that you would like to add about protein powders being healthy, please leave a comment in the box at the bottom of the post.
Pre, Intra and Post Workout Supplements
I wanted to mention again that many athletes, those involved in physical competitions and the ones that push themselves harder, use the three part system I’m going to mention for a complete workout experience. Pre Workout Supplements give you the energy and Amino Acids to ramp you up for a strong workout.
The Intra Workout Supplement, which is packed with Amino Acids or BCAA’s (branch chain amino acids) and hydrating nutrients helps with stamina and recharges your body during your workout. And of course, the Post Workout Supplement (protein powder) aids with the recovery and muscle building afterwards.
This trifecta ensures that you have the proper energy source and nutrients before, during and after training!
The Healthy Protein Conclusion
I had already assumed that protein powders were fairly healthy, but I wanted to look in to this question an research it for myself to find any possible downsides to this supplement. I did find a couple of minor ones. But if anything, I found many more additional benefits that I didn’t know of.
I’m going to say that protein powders and post workout supplements are as healthy, if not healthier that most foods that people eat. There are no know side effects or long term health issues that are known. About the only problem that on would have is if you decided to eat only protein powder. I’m sure that someone has probably done this, resulting in some kind of kidney problems.
Protein powders are designed for your health, and healthy is what they are. Don’t forget to try the “All Natural”, “Organic” or “Vegan” protein powders for an even more natural experience.
Post workout and Pre Workout are the ying and yang for a complete workout. Pre workouts supply the energy and post workouts give the recovery. The Intra pre workouts keep up your energy and hydration during the workout. If you would like to know more on this please read my post on Pre Workout Vs Post Workout Supplements.
If you have any further questions or suggestions regarding your experience with protein powder, please leave a comment in the box below and I will respond.