Protein Powder – Bodybuilders Friend or Foe?

Author: Nicole Adler   Date Posted: 3 August 2016 

Many bodybuilders wonder if they could get the same results from their training without protein powder. However, protein powder will deliver an amount of protein that cannot be obtained by eating an incredible amount of protein-based foods over the course of the day. Below, we will describe some of the common benefits that protein powder can deliver, so you can decide whether protein powder is your friend or foe.

The Glucagon Effect

Something not many athletes know about protein powder supplements, is that it activates the release of glucagon. Glucagon is a hormone in the human body that enables the breakdown of fat, considering that this hormone will send signals for the removal of adipose fat tissue. For that reason, you will find that not only bodybuilders use protein powder as an aid, but that dieters tend to use protein supplements for improved weight loss as well.

protein powders

Less Time Consuming Than Protein-Rich Meals

As we mentioned briefly in the introduction, you would have to eat a tremendous amount of protein-rich food over the course of a day to obtain the same levels of protein and amino acids from your food. A good example of such a food is meat, which is often used by athletes to gain valuable protein for their training.

Given the fact that people live busy lives nowadays, there is no time to consume the amount of meat you would need to obtain the protein you want. Contrary to the protein supplement, meats tend to be high in calories and fat as well, which means you are more likely to gain fat instead of muscle. Some protein supplements also contain additional substances you may not be able to get from a hearty meal.

Supports Muscle Growth and Recovery

The ingredients in a protein supplement are especially chosen to promote muscle growth and recovery. In order to get the same effect from a meal, you would have to weigh up all the ingredients very carefully and look at their individual benefits. This can take a tremendous amount of time, which most athletes do not have.

One of the reasons why protein supplements are so effective in promoting muscle growth and muscle recovery can be found in one specific ingredient – branched chain amino acids. One branched chain amino acid in particular is quite effective where muscle growth is concerned, more specifically the branched chain amino acid leucine.

Some protein supplements will contain sulphur as well, which is a substance amino acids will use to perform tissue repair and muscle recovery. Once you look at the content of each protein supplement, you will notice that there is much more to it than just a selection of beneficial proteins.

Increases Your Size and Strength

Doing some resistance training can increase your size and strength over time, but researchers have discovered that the use of specific proteins, such as Whey Protein and Casein Protein, caused more muscle growth than relying on resistance training alone. Subjects who used Whey Protein had a lot more fat-free mass than the control group. Test subjects also experienced increased strength, especially when compared to the control group who used a placebo.

Reduces Hunger During a Diet

A controlled diet may be necessary for bodybuilders who are trying to get rid of a persistent fat deposit. Tackling a small amount of excessive fat can be extremely difficult and many bodybuilders experience hunger during their attempt. However, the use of protein supplements has proven to reduce the hunger feeling athletes may experience during a diet.

An Australian study of 28 obese men studied the effects of four different drinks. The group that consumed a drink with 50 grams of Whey Protein, showed a great reduction in ghrelin levels. Ghrelin is a hormone in the human body that gives hunger signals to the brain. The reduction of ghrelin levels was observed up to four hours of consuming the protein, which indicates that the use of a protein supplement could have very positive effects for bodybuilders trying to get rid of excess fat.

Cancer Prevention

There have been a variety of studies in regard to the effects of protein supplement on certain types of cancer. Even though you cannot see protein as a treatment to cancer, it can be an additional tool to prevent and help to fight off certain types of cancers.

Studies around the world have obtained promising results where protein supplements and cancer are concerned. Some forms of cancer, more specifically colon cancer and prostate cancer, showed a reduction when treatment was combined with certain protein supplements, in this case Whey Protein.

protein powders

Ability to Handle Stress and Anxiety

When you are an athlete who constantly has to perform, it is highly likely you will encounter a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety. Fortunately, researchers claim that protein supplements can have a positive effect on the way you deal with stress and anxiety.

A study in the Netherlands put 58 test subjects under observation. Test subjects who regularly consumed Whey Protein showed less symptoms of depression and anxiety, while the control group showed more symptoms. The test subjects using protein supplements also appeared to be in a better mood than the control group.

From the study executed in the Netherlands, scientists concluded that the use of protein supplements could have an effect on the amount of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a substance that regulates anxiety, depression and stress. When you have a shortage of this substance, you may find it difficult to deal with stressful and high anxiety situations.

Improves Your Immune System

Bodybuilders who get sick easily may consider using protein supplements as well, because research at the University of Alberta has shown that the use of a protein supplement can have a positive effect on your immune system. During the study, researchers also discovered that the use of protein supplements greatly reduce the cell damage after intense training, which means that protein supplements do have the ability to reduce muscle soreness and promote muscle recovery.

Data based on vanilla flavour ND Total Whey WPC ND Mass Muscle WPI Calcium Caseinate
Protein per serve (g) 22.2 23 26.2 26.7 28.1
Take For
Type of protein/s Whey Whey Whey & Casein Whey Casein
Carbs per serve (g) 3.4 4.2 26.5 1.9 0.8
Fat total per serve (g) 1.3 1.3 1.6 0.6 0.2
Sugars per serve (g) 3.2 3.2 10.4 1.4 0.3
Serving Size (g) 35 30 60 30 30
Serves per kilo 28 33 16 33 33
Additional Premium Ingredients Amino blend, colostrum, creatine, glutamine   Amino blend, carb blend,colostrum, creatine    
Notes Complete muscle-building formula The least processed budget powder Ultimate Post workout bulking powder Fast absorbing powder Slow release high density powder
Flavours Chocolate Vanilla Chocolate, Vanilla, Honeycomb, Strawberry, Banana, Natural Chocolate Vanilla Chocolate, Vanilla, Honeycomb, Strawberry, Banana, Natural Chocolate, Vanilla, Natural

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