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Is Protein Powder Only Required for Bodybuilders?

When you think of protein, does your mind immediately jump to muscle building or bodybuilders? If so, you’re not alone!? But did you know that protein, especially from plant based supplements, is crucial for everyone, not just gym enthusiasts? Although individual protein needs may vary, incorporating this essential macronutrient into your diet is crucial for overall nutrition.

Let's explore how protein and its plant based supplements can benefit your daily health and wellness. 

Diverse Functions Of Protein

Proteins act as enzymes that speed up chemical reactions. They enable processes like digestion, metabolism, and cellular respiration, ensuring efficient breakdown and utilisation of nutrients that are of prime importance to the body. Amino acids made from protein, serve as the fundamental building blocks of tissues and organs, giving it the required strength, elasticity, and structural shape. For example, collagen, a vital protein in connective tissues such as skin, tendons, and bones, relies on amino acids to uphold the body's structural integrity and resilience. As we age, our natural collagen levels drop, so it's important to consume adequate protein to maintain structural integrity.

Harnessing Essential Amino Acids for Optimal Body Function

Essential amino acids are crucial nutrients that our bodies cannot produce, so we must obtain them from our diet or through supplementation. They are essential for repairing tissues and regulating hormones, ensuring our body functions optimally.

The Key Role of Transporters

Additionally, proteins act as carriers by attaching to specific molecules and transporting them to where they're needed. For example, haemoglobin carries oxygen from the lungs to tissues and transports proteins in cell membranes to move nutrients and other substances across cells, ensuring they reach the right places for vital functions.

Unlocking Protein Powder’s Power: Essential for Fitness and Weight Management

While protein is often emphasised for bodybuilders or muscle building, it is also crucial for moderately active individuals. Research shows it's needed after exercise to help repair muscles. Protein helps with weight loss by making you feel fuller and boosting your metabolism.  Using vegan protein supplements or plant based protein powder gives you the important amino acids needed to keep muscles healthy, which also supports weight loss and helps in muscle building.

Boosts Metabolism & Reduces Cravings

Increasing protein intake can boost metabolism and naturally reduce calorie intake and cravings, leading to quick weight loss. The body burns calories to digest and use nutrients, a process called the thermogenic effect of food (TEF). Protein has a much higher TEF than fats or carbs, using 20-35% of its calories for digestion compared to 5-15% for fats and carbs. In a year-long study with 130 overweight individuals on a calorie-restricted diet, those in the high-protein group lost 53% more body fat compared to those consuming normal levels of protein on the same calorie intake. Protein helps preserve muscle mass and promote fat loss through its thermogenic effect. It also enhances Resting Energy Expenditure (REE), supporting the energy your body uses to maintain basic functions while at rest.

Using Plant Protein Powder: Helps Reduce High Blood Pressure and Heart Health Risks

In 2024, high blood pressure is a major cause of more heart attacks worldwide. According to studies it is observed that higher protein intake has been shown to lower blood pressure. In a review of 40 studies, higher protein intake reduced systolic blood pressure by about 1.76 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by about 1.15 mm Hg on average. Additionally, a high-protein diet is also found to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Protein: The Everyday Need!

Nearly 80% of the Indian population falls short of meeting their daily protein needs, with 90% unaware of what those requirements are. Protein plays a vital role in our overall health beyond just building muscles but also helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, prevents energy crashes and mood swings, and supports a robust immune system by aiding in the production of antibodies. 

Additionally, protein helps regulate hormones that control appetite, stress, and sleep, ensuring better mental and emotional health. Incorporating protein into every meal with options like plant based protein powders, nuts, and legumes ensures you meet these essential daily needs. The standard recommendation for protein intake is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight for untrained, generally healthy adults, aimed primarily at preventing protein deficiency rather than optimizing health. However, according to research, protein needs based on individual activity levels can be categorized as: 

Activity Level

Daily Protein Requirement (grams per kilogram of body weight)

Sedentary

0.8 grams/kg

Moderate

1.0-1.2 grams/kg

Active

1.2-1.5 grams/kg

Understanding The Obstacles:

Several factors can make it challenging for people to get enough protein each day. These include following vegan or vegetarian diets that limit animal protein sources, not knowing enough about protein-rich foods, choosing convenient but low-protein foods due to a busy lifestyle, and health conditions that affect how the body absorbs or uses protein.

Filling the Gap With Plant-based Protein Powder

Not meeting daily protein requirements can lead to symptoms such as fatigue and weakened immune function. Women, in particular, may experience issues like hair thinning, skin deterioration, and hormonal imbalances. Supplementing plant based protein powders can help replenish stores, support tissue recovery, and improve overall health, especially when dietary intake can't be met. Protein supplements are versatile—they can be effortlessly blended into your daily meals or enjoyed as part of a refreshing smoothie.

End Note 

Whether you're a bodybuilder or a gen-z balancing a 9-to-5 job, incorporating protein into your diet offers both convenience and essential health benefits. Remember, protein is essential for everyone, no matter your fitness goals or lifestyle.

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