What Is the Function of Protein Powder?

Protein powder repairs muscles after a tough exercise session.

Protein powder repairs muscles after a tough exercise session.

If you like sleek, toned muscles and an immune system that fights off bacteria and viruses with ease, you'll need to ensure you are getting enough protein in your daily diet. Protein performs these functions and more for your body. If you have trouble eating enough protein, add protein powder to your foods or mix a protein shake for a snack.

Protein Powder Varieties

Protein powders can be derived from a variety of sources. The four chief types are whey, soy, egg and rice protein. Whey protein comes from milk proteins and is the most common protein powder, according to Truestar Health. Each protein powder variety contains different components. For example, whey proteins have essential, nonessential and branched-chain amino acids. Egg protein contains all the previously mentioned amino acids plus glutamic acid, which makes the protein powder easier for your body to absorb. Rice and soy protein powders have essential and nonessential amino acids. Egg protein powder is considered the highest standard for protein powders.

Boost Protein Intake

Women need between 46 and 56 grams of protein per day, according to MayoClinic.com. If you are a vegetarian or do not eat a wide variety of foods, you may find you have difficulty meeting these daily needs. Protein powders can help because you can add them to foods you already eat to increase your protein intake. For example, you can sprinkle protein powder over your morning cold cereal, oatmeal or yogurt. This allows you to eat more protein without changing your daily diet.

Reduce Daily Calories

If used as an occasional meal replacement, protein powders may help you lose weight because you are reducing your calorie intake. However, they do not typically contain as many vitamins and minerals as whole food protein sources, such as legumes and fish. Using them as an occasional resource when you're on the go can help you meet your protein needs without sacrificing the nutrients you need.

Aid in Muscle Recovery

If you are an active woman who regularly resistance trains, chances are you may need more protein than the average woman. That's because resistance training can increase your body's protein needs. Your muscles can become damaged during your workout and may need extra protein for repair. Blending a protein shake or adding protein powder to a snack immediately after exercise can help your muscles recover faster.

 

About the Author

Rachel Nall began writing in 2003. She is a former managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and "Jezebel," "Charleston," "Chatter" and "Reach" magazines. Nall is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Tennessee.

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