Whey protein supplements can be a great asset for athletes, especially those who engage in endurance training. The essential amino acids in whey may help with muscle protein synthesis and muscle recovery. However, it is important to understand the risks associated with taking any supplement, as they are regulated after marketing by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Over the years, many professional athletes have tested positive for banned substances, such as anabolic steroids, which can be traced back to contaminated supplements.
Even if a supplement is tested by third parties and certified safe for sports, it cannot guarantee that it does not contain a substance that could have negative health effects.Whey protein is an excellent source of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) that help build muscles and contains an outstanding overall nutritional profile. Studies have demonstrated that protein consumed after exercise is essential for maximizing protein synthesis rates in skeletal muscle. Supplementing with whey protein during marathon preparation and recovery can help to reduce metabolic and muscle damage. Protein bars are a convenient way to eat on the go, but a protein shake can be much cheaper per serving. Experts suggest that proteins should preferably be ingested from whole foods, such as fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes and cereals, along with fibers and other components of foods that contribute to the well-being of the host and its intestinal microbiota.
A high fiber intake in a protein-rich diet may be recommended to reduce the protein impact of the colon's microbiota. Some athletes consume protein powder due to the lack of protein in their diet, others consume it in the hope of gaining more muscle mass, some use it as a substitute for a meal for convenience, and others drink it just because social networks say they should. If you're going to use a protein powder, choose a complete protein that contains the eight essential amino acids that your body can't produce (such as whey protein), one that doesn't have a lot of added sugar and that's certified by third parties. Athletes can get all their protein needs only from food, which is also considered to be the best source of protein. When analyzing the impact of protein on performance, it is important to consider its impact on glycogen replacement and subsequent exercise performance. Given some of the positive results observed with the ingestion of certain complete proteins, particularly proteins of dairy origin (and more specifically whey proteins), doubts have been raised about the possible application of other protein sources that could have a lower leucine content.
The message transmitted to ordinary consumers about the role of proteins and dietary supplements in getting in shape and controlling weight and body composition is somewhat complex and contradictory, and the safe and relevant use of protein and amino acid supplements may require a good understanding of many physiological variables.