Wondering what’s the deal with those huge, dark coloured containers with pictures of brawny men which are selling everywhere from retail stores to pharmacies.

These are nothing but nutritional supplements which they’retrying to lure you into buying because of their very many benefits. The most common of these are Protein supplements. You’ll often find protein supplement going hand in hand with fitness, the reason being a protein which is a macronutrient has a direct effect in enhancing muscle growth and also helps in fat loss.

Types of Protein Powders:

As the number of people consuming protein powders is increasing, the types are also increasing: 

  • Whey    
  • Pea    
  • Soy       
  • Hemp       
  • Rice     
  • Artichoke 

The types keep increasing because of the varied sources of foods that protein can be extracted from. Usually, manufacturers up their game by adding essentials nutrients like BCAA, vitamins and minerals, herbal supplements like Withania Somnifera, seed/vegetable powders or fibre. 

Why use them?

Out of the three macronutrients, protein is one nutrient that is typically found to be deficient in our diets. These protein powders area convenient way to fill in your daily requirement of protein and also make the best post-workout snack because of their quick absorption. They have shown to aid in hitting the right body composition by helping in healthy weight loss and even weight gain.

Which one to choose?

For those who’ve picked a supplement to know how confusing it can be to choose that one right one. There are many factors involved in choosing a supplement: 

Protein Percentage:

‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ falls perfectly here; the supplement may look like it is the most impeccable thing you could ever consume but once you turn it around on the side of the nutritional label you’ll know what the real picture is. An ideal pure protein supplement should provide >60%of protein per scoop. For instance, if a supplement provides 22g protein in a 30g scoop the protein percentage is 73%.

Processing Methods:

When a protein is extracted from whole food, there are various processes involved which improve the protein content. You may have come across words like Concentrate, Isolate and Hydrolysate. The further the process, the higher is the higher is the protein percentage. Concentrate protein having a percentage of 60-70% and Isolate being 90-95 %. Hydrolysate is in a predigested form which allows your body to absorb faster.

Fortified nutrients:

The supplements are usually fortified by added nutrients to give an extra edge of benefit. Look for added nutrients’ protein powders that give you an added advantage. Last but not least, see to it that supplement has been approved by a recognized monitoring body.  

Are there any side effects involved?

Protein powders have found to be safe for children and adults if taken in the recommended dosage and method by your registered dietitian or physician. High dosage though has been found to give some side effects which are majorly related to GI difficulties like constipation or diarrhoea. A high protein diet (>3 scoops) causes pressure on the kidney and individuals with kidney disorders must consult their concerned health professional before consuming. Individuals with lactose intolerance may face certain issues on consumption of whey.

Bottom Line:

Make sure to keep the above points in mind before picking a supplement. Sticking to the suggested dosage according to your personal requirements and not going overboard will help you attain maximum benefits.