Protein Supp / Healthy Snacks

Side effects of protein supplements

Have you started a new training program in an attempt to build stronger muscles? Are you wondering if you have to increase your protein intake by consuming protein supplements? Well here is all you need to know.

Many types of protein supplements are available in the market claiming that they can enhance muscle growth. They could be sold as protein powders, meal replacements, shakes, tablets or even bars. They usually contain a mixture of essential or branched chain amino acids; the building blocks of proteins.

Protein is definitely needed for muscle build up especially when engaging in muscle-strengthening exercises. However, it is important to keep in mind that carbohydrates are needed as well. Complex carbohydrates will be used as the main fuel for your muscles, sparing your protein intake to build new muscle fibers. Health organizations recommend a protein intake of 0.8 gram per kilogram of healthy adult’s body weight. So just by multiplying 0.8 by your weight, you will get the amount of protein needed per day. This amount is easily reached from everyday foods without getting to buy those expensive protein supplements. For instance, by just consuming dairy products twice per day, one chicken breast and 1 cup of beans you would have exceeded the required amount daily.

If you consume more than the recommend amount, either from protein rich foods or form protein supplements, you would be harming yourself. The major side effect would be kidney damage, since excess protein intake for a prolonged period of time would put a strain on the kidneys. Furthermore, studies have shown that consumption of high amounts of proteins would lead to bone loss and increased risk of fracture. Other side effects include cramps, allergies, headache, fatigue, and nausea. It is also important to know that protein may delay digestion and absorption, limiting the total energy available for your workout. Additionally, since more water is required for protein breakdown you would increase the risk of dehydration.

Therefore, nothing can help you build sustainable muscles or improve your fitness except your motivation to pursue hard training program along with a healthy balanced diet.

Best Snacks before a Workout

Are you wondering what could be a good snack that can help you boost and maximize your energy level before starting your workout program? The optimum selection is when you combine small amounts of proteins with higher amounts of carbohydrates.

Your body will rely on its carbohydrates for the primary source of energy. Without this nutrient, you will feel exhausted and will perform less efficiently. On the other hand, moderate amounts of proteins will help you feel full for a longer period of time.

Avoid having snacks high in proteins or fat, as they may delay digestion and absorption, and require higher energy for their metabolism, limiting total energy available for the activity.

Here are few mouthwatering snacks ideas, try to consume them two to three hours before your workout:

  • Fat free milk, oats, nuts and dried fruits
  • Cereal bars with low fat fruit yogurt
  • Banana, honey and fat free milk
  • Whole wheat bread, jam and unsalted spreadable white cheese