Protein Supplements 101

You’ve probably heard it before – proteins are the building blocks of the body and essential for building muscle. Here is what you need to know to get started on protein supplements:

Why do I need protein supplements?

If you are looking to build muscle, protein supplements may be a good idea. They are also helpful for those who want to lose weight if you substitute protein and reduce intake of carbs. Protein can also help you reduce recovery time and give you greater workout.

What kind of protein supplements are available?

Whey protein, derived from milk is thought to be one of the most complete protein supplements, it is fast acting and available in different forms – powders, shakes and so on. It is recommended that whey protein be used after a workout for optimum results.


Casein, like whey is derived from milk; however this is a slow acting protein that takes time for absorption. The energy release is sustained over a longer period and so is recommended to be taken before a workout.

Egg proteins are medium acting and derived from eggs. This is also a complete protein and is available in a variety of forms.

Soy proteins are a great choice for vegans and vegetarians or those who are allergic to eggs or are lactose intolerant. Soy is also a complete and protein supplement recommended particularly for women.

What forms are protein supplements available in?

Protein supplements are available in many different forms – there are powders that can be mixed in water and consumed, protein shakes are also another option, and then there are protein bars that you can munch on as a healthy snack. There are many protein supplements that can be used as a meal replacement, which may be particularly helpful for weight loss.

What should you look for in a protein supplement?

Firstly you have to check the kind of protein you plan to consume to see that you aren’t allergic or intolerant to that kind of protein or any of the ingredients in the supplement.

Secondly look at what you hope to achieve – whether its weight loss, muscle or body building, improving athletic performance; choose the protein supplement that is designed to offer you the result you want. Fast acting or slow acting, ingredient composition and proportion, the quality of ingredients used and so on should be checked. Reading user reviews for a protein supplement, online and elsewhere is a great idea.

Effectiveness is not the only issue; also check for product safety, user reviews will give you a fair idea of any possible side effects as well.

One Response

  1. Maria May 10, 2012