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Is Taking Protein Supplement always Good?

Protein powders and other dietary supplements have become very popular these days and many people take them as a substitute of proper diet or as an add-on on their regular diet for more benefits. There are various types of protein powders among which whey protein and soy protein are the most common types along with other flavoured protein shakes available in super markets and online stores. But, for whom these powders are meant for? Are they suitable only for the bodybuilders or a regular athlete and a person with normal physical activity can also take it? This blog talks about conditions in which taking a protein supplement can really help and what could be the possible side effects.

According to dieticians, it is possible to meet the daily requirement of protein through food items, so it is not always necessary to take a supplement. A person with normal physical activities and a regular athlete can meet the daily requirement of protein by eating meat, fish, chicken, and dairy products. However, under certain specific circumstances, these protein supplements prove to be an easy and convenient source of complete and high-quality protein. That is why, it is also called body building supplement. So, body-builders and athletes at certain point of their training may consider taking protein shakes for optimum nutrition, but under professional supervision. 

Other conditions that require taking a protein supplement are listed below:
  • During the growing age: Growing kids need protein and calcium both to feed their muscles and bones. Especially, teenagers need more of protein as their activities are more strenuous and they need to fuel their body appropriately. 
  • During sports or new physical training programs: If you are starting any sport activity, joining any body building program, or simply starting a regular exercise regimen, you may need to have a little extra protein. A dietician or a professional trainer can guide you as which and how much protein is needed for you.
  • During recovery from injuries: Injuries hit the muscles and cause wear and tear of muscles. So, if you are recovering from an injury, taking protein shakes can help you.    
  • If you are lactose intolerant or vegan: People who don’t take any dairy product may get deficient in protein. So, they should go for a protein supplement as suggested by the nutritionist. 
Many of the people, especially youth, fascinated by the enticing ads of muscle building powders, go with over-the-counter protein supplements without any expert’s recommendation. They believe buying a pack of protein will give them the same shape and body as that of on-screen muscular models flaunting their bodies. But, these supplements, if taken in large amounts or under certain medical conditions can have adverse effects as well. 

The side effects of various protein powders can be:
  • Digestive discomfort: People with lactose intolerance can develop digestive discomfort experiencing stomach pain, constipation or diarrhoea.
  • Hormonal imbalance: Soy used to prepare soy protein is mostly genetically modified and contains high level of phytoestrogen which mimics oestrogen and disturbs the hormonal balance. It can lead to miscarriage, birth defects, erectile dysfunction, and other similar hormone related problems.
  • Drug Interaction: Protein supplements can interact adversely with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, hypertension medicines, anti-coagulants and many other medicines jeopardizing your health.  
So, prefer taking a recommended dose of protein supplement under the supervision of a dietician or a nutritionist to stay fit and healthy.