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Protein Supplements

About Protein Supplements

Our bodies require protein for energy, growth, to build and repair muscles and bones.  Protein is also needed during prolonged stress or infection.  Because we cannot store protein, we need a new supply every day. Protein is the source of amino acids.  An amino acid source is necessary to build and maintain muscle, blood, skin, and other tissues and organs, as well as for the formation of protein antibodies that are part of the immune system. 

How much protein is enough?

The FDA has specified the Daily Reference Value for protein as 50 g/day (based upon a 2,000 kcal/day diet) and foods that provide at least 5 g protein per serving may be claimed as a "good source" of protein. According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), 10% to 35% of daily calorie intake should come from protein. Since athletes have higher protein requirements than sedentary individuals, the protein recommendations for athletes are approximately 1.5-2.0 times the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA).The average person requires 50 g to 65 g of protein daily.

Protein Choices,

  • Complete proteins from meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk or cheese contain all the essential amino acids our body requires each day.  While animal foods are the best source of complete protein with all the essential amino acids, some plant sources, such as soy, also contain the full spectrum of critical amino acids. 
  • Plant or vegetable proteins (beans, soy, whole grains, or nuts) are usually low in one or more essential amino acids but they have the additional benefit of being low in fat and source other health-promoting constituents such fiber.
  • Protein Supplements are convenient sources of high quality proteins in concentrated form [e.g., in form of protein powder or ready-to drink (RTD); or choose by protein type-- egg white, whey protein, soy protein, or protein blends].

Why consider protein supplements?

It is a convenient way to supplement daily dietary protein intake for individuals with busy lifestyle--easier to drink shake or fruit smoothie fortified with protein powder than it is to buy, prepare, cook and eat poultry, fish, egg, or beans. Consuming small, frequent meals is the optimal way to eat, regardless of whether your goal is fat loss or muscle gain. To keep your body constantly in positive nitrogen balance, it is recommended to eat a complete protein every three hours. For many people, eating this often is nearly impossible. A high quality protein supplement is recommended when you do not take enough protein through regular diet.

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