Bodybuilding is a popular sport in the United States as well as globally. If you are into bodybuilding, you are surely aware of the importance of protein in your diet. In order to build muscle cells, the body requires the amino acids we obtain from protein in our diet. If a bodybuilder does not get sufficient amounts, their body will start to break down muscle to get it, which is the last thing you want when you are trying to build muscle.
Bodybuilders have a few options when it comes to getting the right intake. They can choose between natural protein from foods such as meat, dairy, nuts, eggs (particularly egg whites, as seen in the photo above), poultry, beans and lentils, or supplements that come in the form of powders, bars and shakes. The most common of these supplements is whey, which is what is left behind after the manufacture of cheese, and therefore essentially a dairy product. So it comes down to natural vs whey – are you better off sticking to natural options, or should you choose a whey powder, shake, or bar to help get your muscles what they need to grow larger?
Many nutritionists claim that bodybuilders are best off getting their intake from natural sources such as meat, eggs, dairy, beans and nuts, or from products that are made entirely of all-natural materials. There is certainly something to be said for eating natural sources, provided that the animals it was derived from have not been fed with genetically modified grains, etc.
When you eat straight from the source, you can better control the amount you consume. Eating an excess amount can do damage to your health. It has been linked to kidney disease and osteoporosis, for example. On the downside, you are sure to have a problem with getting your protein from meat if you happen to be a vegetarian. Also, many natural foods that are high this nutrient have unhealthy levels of saturated fat.
Many of the products you can buy in health food stores or online contain whey, which is created while making cheese and derived from cow’s milk. That makes it suitable for vegetarian bodybuilders, but not for vegans. When a bodybuilder relies on whey mixes, they may find that they consume too much. It is very easy to consume too much if you’re using one of these powders. You only need one gram for each pound of your body weight each day. Unfortunately, many whey products have additives and flavorings to enhance their taste and make them more palatable. Part of the reason for the additives is that it tastes vaguely of weak milk, so the added “stuff” is to make it taste better. But these flavorings are unnecessary and don’t do your health any good either. Moreover, some of the mixes lose some of their nutritional value because of the manner in which they are processed into powders and other products.
Ultimately, it is up to you how you get the protein you need to build your muscles. You need to consider the pros and cons of getting it from a natural diet as opposed to using a whey product and then decide which option suits you best.