protein supplement can be used in several ways. Some people want to lose weight, while others want to build more muscle. Proteins are one of the most important building blocks of our body. That is precisely why it comes in handy in some cases to use protein supplements.
In this article, we look at how a protein supplement works and when it comes in handy.

How does a protein supplement work?

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A protein supplement in the form of a protein shake

Proteins are both nutrients and building materials for your body. It gives your body energy in the form of calories and is high in amino acids. The amino acids are important for building and repairing your muscles and tissue. Proteins are also necessary for your health because there are many different parts that consist mainly or completely of proteins, such as your antibodies, enzymes, and your hormones.
Protein is in almost everything we eat. You can also distinguish between vegetable proteins and animal proteins. However, when you opt for a protein supplement, you often get a large amount of protein in one sitting. There are different types of supplements that you can take, but the basic effect remains the same.
Whey (whey powder) and Casein proteins are best known, especially in the sports world. The difference between these two proteins is that whey is absorbed quickly by your body, while casein is absorbed slowly. That is why whey is often more convenient to take during exercise.

When is the best time to take a protein supplement?

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The relationship between muscle building and protein

There are several reasons why you might want or need to use a protein supplement. It may be that you want to build more muscle, but you can also use it if you want to lose weight or gain weight.
Some people also need extra protein due to illness, in which case a protein supplement comes in handy. Below is a list of reasons for taking a protein supplement.

1. Build Muscle

When you want to build your muscles, you often do a lot of strength training. During this workout, your muscles slowly break down due to oxidative damage. By consuming enough protein, your body makes extra muscle tissue so that your muscles not only recover but also become stronger.

2. Protein supplement as a weight loss aid

By eating a lot of protein and reducing your carbohydrates, you are less hungry during the day. This can come in very handy when you want to lose weight. You can take a protein supplement for this, but you can also choose to eat meals with a high protein content during the day.

3. Prevent muscle loss

If you are temporarily less able to move due to illness or an injury, you can suffer from muscle breakdown. This occurs when you strain and move your muscles less. While this can't hurt in small amounts, it can make you more prone to injury in the long run. To counteract this, you can use a protein supplement, such as a good protein shake.

4. Protein supplement to aid in weight gain

If you want to gain weight in a healthy way, protein supplements can help to give your body more mass. You take in extra proteins during the day, so you get more calories and therefore gain weight slowly. However, because proteins do not contain any “bad” nutrients, your body will remain healthy as long as you also eat enough fruits and vegetables.

5. Muscle Recovery

Besides the fact that you can use proteins to build muscle, it is also good food for repairing your muscles after being broken down by sports or injuries. From research has shown that taking protein helped during training to increase endurance and reduce muscle soreness after exercise.

6. Protein supplement for extra protein

If you normally get little protein from your diet, a protein supplement can help you get enough protein per day. Especially vegetarians and vegans who do not eat meat substitutes benefit from this. By taking the supplement, you ensure that your body gets enough protein to stay healthy.

When is the best time to take protein?

The times at which you take protein supplements can influence the functioning and effects of these proteins. For example, if you want to build muscle, it helps to take a protein supplement about 2 hours after exercise. This is more effective than during exercise or before.
If you want extra protein to repair and maintain muscles, you can also take a supplement before going to sleep. Your body then has a lot of time and space to let the proteins do their job properly.
If you want to gain or lose weight, the timing is not very important. As long as you spread your protein intake a little bit over the day, you can take some extra protein at any time.
The content of this article is based on scientific publications and was written in collaboration with medical specialists/nutritionists.

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