The best way of course to build muscle is with exercise and eating protein foods like lean poultry, wild fish, eggs, beans, and legumes. There are times however when you may need help supplementing your diet to get extra protein for building muscle, balancing fluids, supporting enzyme functions, aid with nerve and muscle contraction, and for healthy hair and skin. As we age, muscle tissue breaks down faster than we can synthesize protein to build it back up. To keep muscle strong and keep us moving as we get older means making sure we get the extra protein we need. One way to add extra high quality protein into the diet is with a protein powder. There are various kinds of protein powders available including whey, soy, pea and brown rice. Recent studies however indicate that whey protein benefits far surpass soy protein.
Whey Protein Benefits
All of these types of protein powders have the amino acids we have to get from foods that qualify them as quality protein, but according to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition, whey protein also has even better components for building muscle. Whey protein has leucine which helps muscles recover quicker from stress, has antioxidant power for combating damage from free radicals, can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and allergies of the inherited type, and balance metabolism. Soy protein on the other hand, while having the amino acids to be a quality protein, is being found to have health risks especially to the thyroid and from the phytoestrogens it contains. Additionally, most of the soy crop produced today is GMO with toxins introduced into its DNA. Soy protein studies have shown that it can interfere with thyroid functions and according to a study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, soy can lower testosterone levels while whey blocks cortisol which can damage muscle. One newer study of soy and whey proteins used to promote muscle building with elderly people using weight lifting as exercise concluded that there was no benefit from the soy protein, while the whey protein combined with exercise significantly increased muscle fiber. This study also found an increase in muscle fiber without exercise with the whey protein. Whey protein is also absorbed by the body easier than soy which means more amino acids get to the muscles faster. Our favorite whey protein powder not only gives you 22 grams of pure organic whey protein from rBGH-free cattle, but also is GMO free, is sweetened with natural stevia, has the antioxidant power of sprouts, protein-digesting enzymes, and has some AFA bluegreen algae thrown in for extra nutrition. Just stir into your favorite juice or mix into a tasty smoothie and you’ve got a lot of nutrition as a snack or a meal replacement for when you are busy or on the go.
Use it or lose it definitely applies to keeping muscles strong. Protein alone won’t do it. You have to exercise and keep muscles active. As we get older the body looks for ways to save energy and when it finds muscles that are not being used, the body quits maintaining them. So to keep active and moving into your golden years, take care of your muscles by giving them the protein and exercise they need to stay strong.
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