Protein Supplements: Are They for You?

In this video, you will learn what protein is, why people take protein supplements, the various protein requirements, the pros and cons of taking protein, and the sources of protein found in protein supplements.
Protein Supplements: Are They for You? - Videos


What’s the buzz about Protein Supplements? Learn about protein and why some people take protein supplements to increase their protein intake. Learn about the pros and cons of taking a protein supplement and the different sources of protein commonly found in protein supplements.


Nutrition/Family and Consumer Sciences

More by Nancy Routch, RD, LDN 

Erica Hill

View Transcript

- [Instructor] Protein supplements, are they for you?

In this video, we will be going over several topics regarding protein supplementation.

First, we will discuss what protein is and why people take it.

Then, we will go over the various protein requirements for various people.

Following that, we will cover the pros and cons to taking a protein supplement.

Then, we will discuss the different sources of protein commonly found in protein supplements.

And to conclude, we will end with a summary.

Protein is a macronutrient, which means that it is essential to all human beings.

Proteins are made up of 20 amino acids, nine of which our body cannot produce.

These are called essential amino acids, and we need to consume them in our diet.

The different proteins in our body have very important structural roles, such as, making up our bones, muscles and cartilage, as well, as our skin, hair and nails.

However, one of the main functions that protein has is to build and repair damaged muscles.

This is the key aspect of protein that we will be focusing on throughout this video.

The main reason why protein supplements have become so popular is because the people who supplement want to build up muscle mass, improve strength, and or increase athletic performance.

Everyone needs protein, however, not everyone has the same requirements.

These daily requirements vary greatly depending on, an individuals age, gender, weight, or activity level.

Here's information from the World Health Organization, with the protein requirements for individuals based on their activity level and their weight.

Average individuals have a protein requirement of .8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

While athletes have a higher requirement.

These athletes may struggle to consume enough protein in their diet to meet their individual needs.

Thus, the use of a protein supplement could be very beneficial to them.

If you are thinking that you might want to start taking a protein supplement, it would be a good idea to consult with your doctor or a registered dietitian first.

Also, keep in mind that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommend consuming food first before supplementing.

There are many sources of dietary protein to help meet your needs such as, meat, dairy products, nuts, beans or legumes.

It's important to weigh the pros and cons before purchasing a protein supplement.

Some of the benefits and reasons why people take protein supplements is to improve muscle mass and strength.

These supplements are also a much more convenient way to help individuals meet their daily protein requirements.

Some of the drawbacks, however, would be that these products can be very expensive.

Also, there are a lot of different products, which can make it confusing when it comes time to decide which product to purchase.

If taken improperly, this could potentially cause kidney problems or increase fat stores.

Lastly, the FDA has more lenient rules and regulations for supplements compared to food products.

The biggest concern is that a supplement does not have to prove to be safe and effective before hitting the market.

Only after a supplement has been proven to be unsafe, can the FDA remove the product from the shelves.

Now that you know the pros and cons, if you think that protein supplements might be right for you it will be helpful to know the different types of protein products on the market.

There are three main sources of protein in supplements, that are most commonly consumed.

They are, whey protein, casein protein, and plant based proteins.

Whey protein is derived from milk and one way that it is produced is through the cheese making processes.

Milk is separated into curds and whey, and the whey byproduct is what is used to make this type of protein powder.

Whey protein contains all the essential amino acids and is digested very quickly.

For this reason, it is usually taken shortly after a workout to best promote muscle development.

Casein protein is also derived from milk, and is actually the other byproduct of the cheese making process.

It makes up the curds byproduct.

Like whey, casein contains all the essential amino acids, however, it is digested much slower in our body.

For this reason, casein is usually taken before bed, in order to prevent muscle breakdown during a state of rest.

There are many different types of plant based supplements on the market, the three most common plant protein sources are soy, brown rice, and pea protein.

Unlike the whey and casein protein sources, plant based protein sources do not contain all of the essential amino acids that the body needs.

However, this type of supplement would be a good option for consumers who are vegan, or those with a lactose intolerance or allergy.

In summary, protein is essential for all human beings.

It has many structural roles, but it is particularly important for muscle development and repair.

We all have different protein requirements, but it is important to consult with your doctor or a registered dietician before taking any type of supplement.

Remember, food first.

If you do decide to purchase a protein supplement, the three main sources of protein you would likely encounter are whey, casein, and plant based protein.

It is also important to weigh the pros and cons before purchasing a supplement.

On one hand, extra protein could help improve muscle mass, meet your individual protein requirements, and it's convenient.

On the other hand, these supplements are expensive, not closely regulated by the FDA, and there may be some misinformation regarding certain supplements, so it would be important to do your homework to avoid potential health problems.

I hope this presentation helped educate you a little bit more about this topic.

Thanks for listening.


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