Best protein supplements for men and women
According to the Food and Drug Administration, a nutritional supplement is defined as a product consumed orally that contains an ingredient intended to supplement the diet. They include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, among others. They are, therefore, substances that do not pose any risk to health. They do not eliminate the appetite or replace the food intake, but complement the diet.
Supplements of protein and/or branched chain amino acids are consumed by athletes, the military and, in general, by people that practices physical exercise and/or sport recreationally. Taking protein supplements or other supplements without a guarantee of product quality can pose a health risk.
Nutritional supplements are indicated to help muscle recovery after training, improve performance, improve immune functions, treat and prevent disease and/or to compensate for a diet low in calories.
If you want to increase muscle mass you should consume enough proteins to nourish your muscles and prevent muscle catabolism. In addition, you must consume carbohydrates to have sufficient energy, and thus be able to face each training in the best way.
When the supply of carbohydrates is not enough, the organism finds it necessary to resort to other sources of energy in order to carry out all its metabolic processes. These secondary sources of energy are fatty tissue and muscle tissue, with muscle mass being the most impaired, because when the body uses muscle tissue as a source of energy, muscle degradation occurs.
To avoid muscle degradation, the protein intake should correspond to approximately 40% of our daily caloric intake.
What is the best protein supplement for women?
We must bear in mind that men and women differ in terms of body structure and dietary requirements. Women often use protein supplements as an adjuvant in weight loss, while men take protein to increase their muscle mass. Due to their body composition, women generally require less protein per serving than men. Protein supplements for women contain additional nutrients such as B vitamins, iron, and folic acid. The ideal protein supplement for women must meet the following requirements:
- Rich in protein (25-30 gr per serving) with a low proportion of carbohydrates and fat
- Low carbohydrates content
- Low-fat content
- No artificial ingredients
- Pleasant flavor
What is the best protein supplement for men?
The ideal supplement for men should contain a large proportion of proteins and branched chain amino acids, especially leucine, an essential amino acid for muscle protein synthesis and for the recovery of muscle fatigue after intense physical exercise.
The best protein supplements
Whey protein is the most recommended option for both men and women, provides a large number of essential amino acids per serving, has an incredible taste, and is also full of useful nutrients that induce the formation of muscle tissue. Whey protein contains branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) such as leucine and valine, which are crucial for protein synthesis. It also has a low proportion of fats and lactose.
Casein, a rich source of amino acids, contains bioactive milk peptides that promote muscle growth. It also stimulates the functioning of the immune system helping to fight diseases and stay healthy. Unlike whey protein, casein is digested slowly, resulting in a gradual and sustained release of amino acids into the bloodstream.
Casein is considered to be of the same quality as whey protein for the general needs of muscle supplementation and training. However, it can accelerate muscle recovery, by having 30 to 40 grams of slow degradation proteins.
The egg protein contains amino acids of high biological value with a high rate of absorption, which make it suitable for muscle building. This type of protein is digested slowly, even more than casein, so it is optimal for supplementation and can be consumed at night, just before going to bed. Egg protein contains very little fat and carbohydrates since it is made from the egg white.
Some studies show that soy protein-based supplements are an integral source of amino acids, however, there is a controversial fact regarding its use and effect in men.
Apparently, the regular consumption of soy foods has feminizing effects in men, because of molecules with estrogenic activity present in this legume.
Scientific research shows that the vegetable proteins of rice, hemp, and pea, contain complete proteins, that is, they contain the same amino acids as animal sources. Unfortunately, they have a lower bioavailability due to their lower absorption