Protein powders

Proteins are commonly called building blocks and may be found in your hair, nails, skin, muscles, bones, and pretty much every other bodily tissue. It is a necessary nutrient for the development and repair of tissues, cells, and organs. It also transports vitamins, minerals, and oxygen throughout your body, delivering them to cells and tissues that require them. Protein powders are concentrated protein sources that originate from a range of sources and come in a variety of forms. They are used to assist people to gain muscle mass, enhancing their overall body composition, and satisfying their protein requirements. Proteins are vital for a healthy immune system as well as the normal functioning of organs like the heart, brain, and skin. Vitamins are also praised for their ability to suppress hunger and promote muscular building. The amount of protein you require is usually determined by your activity habit, age, and overall health. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), which is established at 0.8 g per kg, is regarded to be sufficient for most healthy adults. Protein powders are generally employed in gyms for muscle building. 

Different forms of protein powders

Protein concentrates

They are made by extracting protein from entire foods with the use of heat, acid, and enzymes. These generally include 60–80% protein, with the remaining 20–40% made up of fat and carbohydrates.

Protein isolates

A second filtering step after concentrating the protein usually eliminates even more fat and carbohydrates, concentrating the protein even further. Protein isolate powders have a protein content of 90–95%.

Protein hydrolysates

Hydrolysates are absorbed more quickly by your body and muscles because they are produced by additional heating with acid or enzymes, which dissolve the links between amino acids. Hydrolysates appear to elevate insulin levels more than other forms.

How are protein supplements prepared?

Protein may be obtained from a variety of animal or plant-based sources, including cow milk and eggs, as well as peas, rice, and soy. Natural carbohydrates, lipids, minerals, and fibers are typically eliminated during processing, while supplementary nutrients, herbs, and even sweeteners may be added.

Classification of protein supplements:

Protein supplements are classified according to their source, some of the commonly used protein powders are 

  1. Whey protein

Milk is the source of whey protein. During the cheesemaking process, the liquid separates from the curds that are rich in proteins. It is heavy in protein, but it also contains lactose, a sugar found in milk that many people have trouble digesting. While whey protein concentrate usually contains some amount of lactose, isolate has relatively less amount of it due to the loss of the majority of this milk sugar during processing in the subsequent steps. Whey is highly rich in leucine, which is important for muscle development and recovery following resistance and endurance training.

  1. Egg protein

Eggs are a fantastic way to have a lot of high-quality protein. The protein in egg whites is of excellent grade and is readily absorbed. Egg protein powders are usually prepared from white part of the egg rather than entire eggs containing yolk. Although the protein quality remains great, the high-fat yolks have been eliminated, so you may feel less full. Eggs, like other animal products, are a complete source of protein. They contain all nine essential amino acids making it a complete protein, which your body cannot produce on its own. For persons who have dairy allergies (persons that are allergic to milk) who prefer an animal protein supplement, egg white protein might be a useful option. 

  1. Casein protein 

Casein, like whey, is also isolated and present in milk. Casein, on the other hand, is absorbed from the stomach even more slowly. Casein is a slow digesting milk protein that may assist with calorie restriction by lowering muscle protein breakdown and boosting muscle mass growth and fat loss. When casein interacts with gastric acid, it forms a gel, slowing stomach emptying and postponing amino acid absorption in the bloodstream. As a consequence, your muscles are exposed to amino acids in a more progressive and consistent manner, lowering the rate of muscle protein degradation.

  1. Pea protein

Pea protein powder is particularly prevalent among vegetarians, vegans, and those who have dairy or egg allergies or sensitivities. Pea protein has the potential to induce satiety and muscular building in the same way that animal-based proteins do. It is prepared from yellow split peas, a high-fiber legume that has all essential amino acids except one. Pea protein absorbs more slowly than whey protein but more quickly than casein.

  1. Hemp protein 

Another plant based vegan supplement that is gaining popularity is hemp protein powder. Hemp is linked to marijuana, an illegal drug. It only contains trace levels of the hallucinogenic substance (THC). Hemp has a high amount of omega 3 fatty acids as well as some essential amino acids making it a slightly complete protein with a good fat profile. Although it looks to be a well-digested plant protein, it is deficient in the important amino acids lysine and leucine.

  1. Brown rice proteins

Brown rice protein powders have been popular for a while, but they are typically thought to be weaker than whey protein when it comes to muscle growth. Rice protein includes all of the necessary amino acids except lysine. 

Soy protein is one of those plant-based proteins that contain all nine essential amino acids. As a result, it is a high quality protein source for vegans and others who can’t take milk proteins. It has been proven to influence appetite. Though whey protein was linked to the biggest reduction in appetite, soy was shown to be more efficient than egg white protein at curbing hunger and lowering calorie intake.

The above list is the commonly used source for protein supplements, however, there are other sources like quinoa, flax seeds, chia seeds, etc., which can be used as a source. The commercially available powders can also be a mixture of two or more powders to get full nutrients.

Which protein powder suits you? 

Not everyone needs a protein supplement. Based on what you need you should choose your protein powder. Protein powder should be chosen depending on your dietary choices, food tolerances, and health and fitness objectives. 

NOTE FOR VEGETARIANS AND ALLERGIC PEOPLE: before having supplements check their components, because the protein powders may be a mixture. 

Do kidney patients need protein supplements?

YES and NO, depending on the treatment in which the kidney patient is going on. When he/she is following a dialysis routine he can take protein supplements to have a high protein diet. Dialysis can remove some of the proteins in your blood. It also depends on the type of dialysis procedure the patient is going on. Peritoneal dialysis removes more proteins compared to hemodialysis. 

When the patient is not in dialysis, and the stage 1 or 2 of CKD without dialysis the patient should start to restrict himself/herself for proteins. Because proteins damage the kidney even more and worsen the kidney damage. A low protein diet is always recommended for a non dialysis kidney patient. However, in a low protein diet, the patient must get all the essential amino acids in it. Hence, the diet for non dialysis kidney patients will be a high quality and low quantity protein diet. 

Which protein powders are good for kidney patients? 

Kidney patients are recommended to take complete proteins rather than incomplete proteins to get all the essential nutrients.

Whey protein, egg proteins, soy proteins, etc., maybe a good choice.

Does protein powder increase albumin?

Albumin is a protein present in the blood that is necessary for tissue development and repair. For those with renal disease, a healthy albumin level is 4.0 g/dL in blood or greater. Knowing how much protein to eat and including protein rich, kidney friendly foods in your daily diet can help you maintain or enhance albumin levels. If you are not on dialysis and are following a low-protein kidney diet, you should get at least half of your daily protein from high-quality sources.

Some of the cheap and high quality protein sources are: 

  1. Pulses
  2. Peanut butter 
  3. Eggs 
  4. Milk
  5. Chicken
  6. Almonds
  7. Soya beans 
  8. Oats

Popular brands of protein powders available in India

  • Optimum Nutrition 100%
  • BSN Syntha
  • Isopure Low Carb
  • Dymatize Elite Whey
  • MyoFusion Probiotic Protein Powder
  • SAN 100% Pure Platinum Whey
  • MuscleTech NitroTech Performance Series
  • Gaspari Nutrition Isofusion
  • Cellucor COR-Performance 
  • Muscle blaze
  • Ultimate Nutrition
  • MyProtein
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