HealthBeat

Are Protein Supplements Necessary?

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - For many regular gym goers, protein may be a staple in their diet.

But what is it about the supplement that is drawing so many consumers? 

Protein shakes, protein bars and protein supplements. Protein is everywhere these days, but what exactly is it?

"Protein is important for muscles, bone, hair, skin. And it actually turns over so there's lots of enzymes that it's needed, it's needed for hormones. So there's lots of good functions, or important functions that you need protein for," Registered dietitian Tiffany Krogstad said. 

Most gym goers are probably familiar with some form of protein supplement, but are supplements necessary to achieve results?

"I wasn't gaining any weight, I wasn't gaining any muscle mass. So, I think that's why I shed away from it because I didn't see what the big deal was," Allen King said. 

After cutting protein supplements out and relying on food based protein, King says he found success in the weight room.

"I'm getting bigger. I want to kind of slim down the older I get, I actually feel stronger," King said.

Dietitians say you don't have to reach for a supplement, but instead most of your protein can be found right inside your kitchen. 

Foods like eggs, meat, fish and even broccoli are good sources of protein. But Krogstad says it shouldn't all come from the same meal. 

"Let's say you went and had a 10 oz. steak. Your body is actually not able to absorb all that protein, and then the excess is just excreted through the urine," Krogstad said. 

She says aim for about 20 to 30 grams of protein per meal.  A 10 oz. steak can have almost triple that mount, and the excess protein can become excess calories. 

"You really need to space your protein intake throughout the day because your body physically can't absorb all the protein that it needs at one time," Krogstad said. 

So instead of drinking your dinner in a shake, or consuming a small bar consider a meal that offers your body the nutrients it needs. 

For more foods with protein, click here.


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