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BlogNutritionProtein Powder for Muscle Building: Does it Actually Work?

Protein Powder for Muscle Building: Does it Actually Work?

6 mins read
Taisiia Dobrozorova
Written by Taisiia Dobrozorova

Taisiia Dobrozorova is a nutrition and fitness writer at Unimeal and a healthy lifestyle devotee. She has accomplished several courses on health, nutrition, dietology.

on July 13, 2022
Ievgeniia Dobrynina
Fact checked by Ievgeniia Dobrynina
Ievgeniia Dobrynina

Fact checked by Ievgeniia Dobrynina

Ievgeniia Dobrynina is the Head of Nutrition and a fact checker at Unimeal.

The Unimeal team works to give you the most accurate and up-to-date information. All texts are reviewed by a panel of experts and editors and updated according to the latest research. Only evidenced-based and verified sources of leading medical publications and universities get into the article materials.

You've been through tons of protein powder information but still, have some blind spots to figure out? This article is the right place to clarify all controversial questions, whether you're a beginner or an experienced athlete!

Table of content

Protein powder explained

Protein powder is a dietary supplement made of a concentrated mixture of proteins. The powder's main ingredient is dried purified protein (from 60 to 95-98% per serving). This sports supplement can be animal-based or plant-based. For example, the most common animal-based protein powders are whey and casein. Both are usually derived from cow's milk. If you have a milk allergy, egg white protein may be a suitable choice. As for popular plant-based proteins, you can choose from pea, soy, hemp, or rice protein.

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There are multicomponent mixtures combining several types of protein compounds. In sports, protein powders contribute to a set of muscle mass, increased endurance, and strength. Such supplements are essential for anyone who wants to improve and maintain physical form. Also, athletes take protein powder while they are on a cut or on a bulk.

What does protein powder do?

In fact, there is no clear separation of how protein powders affect female and male bodies. There are only general protein powder benefits while the intake course. These are:

  •  cutting on, weight loss
  •  building muscle mass
  •  strengthening of immunity and its protective functions
  •  increase in body energy and strength

After a month of use, you can notice what protein powder is good for or it is harmful to health.

Dangers of protein powder

Is protein powder healthy? Let’s analyze all possible pitfalls.

Egg protein is considered the best type of protein. But if consumed in excess (200-300 grams per day), it can affect the functioning of the thyroid gland. Two or three weeks after the supplement is discontinued or the dosage is reduced, the body recovers independently.

Milk protein can only be harmful to people with lactose intolerance. Lactose may not be digested, making protein intake useless, or it may be partially absorbed, which may cause problems or cause an allergic reaction.

Soy protein can be an alternative to dairy but has a low anabolic effect because it negatively affects testosterone levels. But this makes it entirely safe for women.

Thus, the protein itself does not cause any harm. It can harm only with individual intolerance to the components and excessive and prolonged use.

5 facts about protein powder you should know

  •  These are not vitamins but just a protein of plant or animal origin in powder form.
  •  Protein supplements are not always just protein. The composition of the products may include vitamins, carbohydrates, and valuable amino acids.
  •  Protein powder doesn't prevent muscle loss when inactive.
  •  100% hydrolyzed whey protein is not possible.
  •  Powders of flash pasteurization have far fewer protein molecules, so that you will get less protein per serving.

FAQs

How to use protein powder?

Several factors can affect how to use protein supplements. For example, you need to consider caloric deficit, body type, and amount of exercise. The general dosage is 1.6 g to 2.4 g per body weight kilogram. The best way is to follow the proper dosage recommendations on the protein powder product packaging you've chosen.

How much protein powder per day?

The daily dose for men of the average build is 300-350 g. For full-bodied men - 250-300 g. Women of an average physique should take 250-300 g of powder daily, obese women - 180-200 g. When using a product for weight loss, women should reduce the dosage to 100-140 g per day, and for men - up to 130-160 g. Whey protein is ideal in the morning hours, before and after training. Whole milk and egg products are suitable for taking between meals. Before going to bed, use a casein shake.

Can I gain muscle faster by eating more protein powder?

Eating extra protein dosage will not help gain more muscle mass faster. But overeating protein can cause microscopic damage in the kidney filtration units, increasing the risk of kidney disease in the long run.

What protein powder is best for weight gain?

Your sports training level determines the best type of protein powder for you. We recommend powder isolates to beginner athletes. Such supplements have a high protein content and a relatively low price. Professional athletes usually use liquid protein when it is necessary to feed the muscles during long strength training. Bars are suitable for everyone and are used when it is impossible to eat a full meal.

Does protein powder impact blood sugar?

Consuming some kinds of protein powder at night increases the blood sugar level in the morning for healthy people. This happens because the body may convert protein to sugar instead of energy. It leads to health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Can too much protein powder lower libido?

The protein of animal origin is not dangerous. But plant protein powder, on the contrary, contains numerous phytoestrogens. When these structures enter the men's body, they inhibit testosterone production. It disrupts the hormonal background. As a result, problems with erection and gaining muscle mass begin. So choose the powder with the lowest hormone level, and don't worry. Failure in the male body can occur due to fatigue from heavy loads, lack of sleep, or poor nutrition, but not from using protein supplements.

Best high protein foods to gain muscles faster

According to WHO, most of the world's population is deficient in the consumption of foods with proteins of high biological value. If you want to build muscle mass, buying beautiful cans of protein is not obvious. You can get the protein rate from a regular diet. We offer a selection of products with the highest content of protein compounds. The calculation is given for 100 gr.

Animal-based food: veal - 20; pork - 14.5; chicken - 21; chicken egg - 13; beef - 22; turkey - 20; herring - 20; salmon - 22; red caviar - 32; tuna - 23; squid - 17; mussels - 24; octopus - 30; cheese - 26.

Plant-based food: soy - 35; beans - 22; cashew - 25; almond - 18.

An adult's minimum daily amount of protein is 40 g taken both from vegetable and animal food. The recommended norm for a healthy body is 90 g per day, a maximum of 110 g for women and 120 g for men. One-time protein consumption should not exceed 30-35 g, equivalent to 200 g of chicken breast or cheese.

The bottom line

Protein is an integral element for muscle building. We advise you to consult a specialist before taking the supplement. So that he selects the necessary dosage, considering your age, height, weight, training intensity, and diet. We hope this article was helpful, and your workout will become more efficient and pleasant! Check on more interesting topics on our health & weight-loss blog!

How do you feel about my article?

Unimeal does not diagnose or suggest treatments. Any description of the diet, training plan or supplement should be discussed with your current physician or nutritionist. This article does not address specific conditions and is simply meant to provide general information on healthcare topics. Following any advice is at your own initiative and does not impose any responsibility on the blog authors for your health and safety.

Sources:

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Daiki Murayama, Ying Zhu, Shinya Ikeda. (2021, April). Correlations between the solubility and surface characteristics of milk protein concentrate powder particles. Correlations between the solubility and surface characteristics of milk protein concentrate powder particles. DOI:10.3168/jds.2020-18311
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Adeline Maykish, et al. (2021, November 13). Comparison of Whey Versus Almond Protein Powder on Nitrogen Balance in Female College Students; The California Almond Protein Powder Project (CAlmond-P 3). Int J Environ Res Public Health. DOI:10.3390/ijerph182211939
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Sánchez-Oliver A, Contreras-Calderón J, Puya-Braza J, Guerra-Hernández E. (2018). Quality analysis of commercial protein powder supplements and relation to characteristics declared by manufacturer. LWT. DOI:10.1016/j.lwt.2018.06.047