Protein powders go mainstream

Protein powders go mainstream

Once reserved for body builders and those looking to build muscles fast, protein powders have gone mainstream with entire sections of grocery stores filled with many varieties. As they gain popularity, many now wonder if a protein shake should become a part of a healthy diet.

“Protein powders are not needed for the average person who eats meat, fish and eggs on a daily basis,” says Dr. Jeffrey Kazaglis, sports medicine physician and orthopedic surgeon at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin, Ill. “For a vegetarian, obtaining adequate protein is more involved.”

For intense athletes, protein powders should be consumed before or after a workout, with the most important dose being the one after the workout. Weight lifters and those seeking faster absorption can mix protein with water, as this speeds up the absorption compared to mixing the powder with milk.

Getting a necessary amount of protein does not have to be challenging when consuming a healthy, balanced diet. The protein content for a few high protein foods according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • 1 cup of milk has 8 grams of protein
  • 3-ounce of meat has about 21 grams of protein
  • 1 cup of dry beans has about 16 grams of protein
  • 8-ounces of yogurt has about 11 grams of protein

Dr. Kazaglis recommends that the average person consume .8 grams of protein for their body weight in kilograms each day. To find out how much protein you need, take your weight in pounds multiplied by .45 and take this number and multiply it by .8. The average man needs about 55 grams, while the average woman should eat about 45 grams. For more active individuals, adding an additional 15 to 20 grams could be necessary.

“Don’t forget that our bodies covert everything extra to fat,” Dr. Kazaglis says. “If you eat tons of meat to get extra protein, you may just gain weight.”

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  1. I am 73 years old and recently started using protein powder, which I sprinkle on my cold cereal in the morning. I do this because (1) I read that seniors may not get as much protein as they need, and (2) I tend to eat all carbohydrate for breakfast, which causes me to have a low-blood-sugar reaction a couple hours later. Taking the protein definitely helps with this. I bought whey protein but don’t like the fact that this particular product contains vitamins. I take a multivitamin supplement and prefer to control the vitamins I take in (which ones and the quantity) because with vitamins it is definitely possible to have too much of a good thing.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.