Protein is a crucial macro-nutrient used for the growth and development of the human body. Protein is made up of amino acids, which promote the building of healthy skin, hair, bones, and muscles. Those individuals that live an active lifestyle often look for ways to increase their protein intake to help fuel muscle mass. If you use meal replacement shakes or bars, take protein powder from a company like ARD Nutrition, or frequent health food stores, you are probably already familiar with protein supplements. It is important to understand what protein supplements are and if they are helpful to the body before deciding to try them out.
Sources of Protein
On a daily basis, 10–35 percent of our caloric intake should be protein. Foods such as meat, poultry, seafood, beans, eggs, and nuts are part of the protein food group. Although consuming protein is a good thing for the body, it is healthiest to focus on eating lean protein and maintaining a healthy amount of protein. For those who are looking for alternative sources of protein, there are multiple options to try. Soy, whey, and hemp are three types of protein supplements that can allow you to consume the daily recommended amount of protein, without consuming animal products.
Protein’s Effect on Hormones
Studies show that when a person lowers their calorie intake and indulges in extensive exercise, levels of testosterone experiences a decrease. The opposite is also true: rigorous exercise combined with a high caloric intake causes a boost in testosterone levels. Protein supplements do not directly affect the production of testosterone, but too much protein in a diet can have an adverse effect on the kidneys. Overdoing it on protein causes the kidneys to work harder, which will eventually alter testosterone levels. So even though protein supplements do not conclusively affect hormone levels, they are indirectly affected by the consumption of too much protein.
The consumption of protein supplements can be of concern if you consume an excessive amount. Protein supplements are great if you are looking to increase your protein intake, but be sure to also increase your consumption of carbohydrates and fats as well. Although protein supplements help to maintain a healthy body weight and aid in muscle recovery and weight loss, it is important not to greatly exceed the daily recommended amount of protein. Protein supplements are great and are not concerning when taken responsibly and in moderation.