Protein supplements (protein powders, whey protein, protein bars) are some of the most popular dietary supplements among athletes and body builders, yet there is no rule of thumb that says you will only benefit from them if you spend your days sweating at the gym or running marathons. While a balanced diet is the first step to healthy living, there is often a time in your busy day when you are looking for a more convenient protein diet solution to get the health benefits of a good protein intake, and that is where a quality protein powder can help.

Why Protein Supplements are Good for You Too

Keep you strong

Protein supplements are typically known for their benefit in the repair and building of muscle. Regularly active folk, new exercisers and older adults can benefit from the addition of high quality protein throughout the day to keep their muscles strong. When life gets busy and your diet falls short, consider a protein supplement rich in whey protein that has the ideal proportion of amino acids to assist with muscle growth and recovery. High in the amino acid leucine, whey protein is often recommended following a regular gym session to repair muscle damage.

Muscle tip:
Strive for a minimum of 20g of protein at each meal with an extra serving of protein post strength training routine for muscle benefit.

Maintain a Healthy Body Weight

While the number on the scale is important to many as they lose weight, equally as important is how you get to that number. The key to healthy weight loss is to maintain good nutrition as you cut back calories to preserve your muscle as you reduce unwanted body fat. Protein powders can be a convenient way to get the benefits of protein without adding significant calories to your weight loss plan.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when subjects were placed on a significantly low calorie, high protein diet using a whey protein powder, they were able to maintain their lean muscle and lose body fat. While these participants were put through a short-term eating and exercise pattern that was more intense than most, it highlights the potential benefit of adding additional milk based protein alongside exercise for a high quality weight loss plan.

Weight Tip:
Combine the muscle preserving whey protein with the satiating power of casein for high quality long-term weight loss.

 

Fight illness

Having a strong immune system requires a well-balanced diet containing proper amounts of all essential nutrients – including protein. Whether you are battling the flu or fighting a chronic condition, researchers have found that as you age, you’re less likely to consume adequate food and more likely to fall behind on your protein intake putting your body at risk.

Illness Tip:
Strive for 1.2-1.5 g/kg of protein per day when your immunity is compromised.

 

Successful Aging

As you age, your body starts to breakdown muscle tissue faster than you build it.  Often referred to as sarcopenia, this age related muscle loss begins in your 40’s and increases exponentially as you age having a significant impact on your strength, vitality and independence. To stop this loss researchers have discovered that a good protein intake, particularly milk proteins at each meal, is one of the keys to maintaining muscle. Milk proteins, casein and whey, are considered to be high quality proteins due to their essential amino acid composition, rate of digestion and absorption and positive impact on muscle strength.

Healthy Aging Tip:
Bump up the typical North American breakfast of 8-15 g protein to 25-30 grams of protein at each meal.

Protein Supplements Why They Aren't Just for Bodybuilders and Athletes

 

 

Further Reading

  • Devries, S. Philips. (2015).  Supplemental Protein in Support of Muscle Mass and Health: Advantage Whey. Journal of Food Science. 80(suppl 1): A8-15.
  • Bauer et al. (2013).  Evidence-based recommendations for optimal dietary protein intake in older people: a position paper from the PROT-AGE Study Group.  J Am Med Dir Assoc. 14: 542-549.
  • Norton et al. (2016). Protein Supplementation at Breakfast and Lunch for 24 Weeks beyond Habitual Intakes Increases Whole-Body Lean Tissue Mass in Healthy Older Adults. Journal of Nutrition. 146:65–9
  • Longland et al. (2016). Higher compared with lower dietary protein during an energy deficit combined with intense exercise promotes greater lean mass gain and fat mass loss: a randomized trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Published online January 27, 2016.