Are Protein Pills Effective?

by Michael Brown on October 31, 2019

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You've probably seen shelves of protein pills, powders, and bars at your local grocery or supplement store. Maybe you received an advertisement online for the latest and greatest protein supplement. If the options overwhelm you and you're wondering which supplement you should buy or are just looking for information, we are here to help.

Supplemental protein can help you build muscle and recover after working out. Protein is essential to your workout. You should use a protein supplement if you are working out to build muscle, or need more protein than your diet offers you. One of the easiest ways to supplement your diet with protein is by taking supplements in the form of pills.

What Are Protein Pills?

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Protein pills are a supplement you can take to increase your protein in your diet. Protein comes from protein-rich meats such as beef, fish like tuna, or protein-rich plants like almonds and soybeans. Many people get adequate protein from their diet. If you aren't getting the protein from your food to build muscle in your workouts, pills can fill in the gap.

Pill supplements come in various dosages. They offer a convenient way to take small doses of protein when compared to powder. Which dose you choose will vary depending on your body weight. If you are training to build muscle, you will require much more protein than the average person. You should supplement your diet with a protein supplement.

Protein is critically important to muscle growth, bone health, and a healthy metabolism. Protein can also be significant to weight loss in combination with weight-reducing exercise routines and a healthy diet. Pills are great for weight loss, as they provide the necessary protein without calories. The body can take some time to break down protein in food. Pills provide accessible protein without extra digestion. An enzyme in your body called protease will break down the protein, and it enters the bloodstream quickly giving your muscles the protein they need on demand.

Best Practices to Use Protein Pills Effectively

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Consult a nutritionist or doctor about taking protein supplements. Research a quality product and read the labels for ingredients you want to avoid. Find out things like accreditations, country of manufacturing, and tests they've taken to ensure safety. Pills rarely include fillers or sugar like other protein supplements. Most of this information is available online or on the bottle label. Read and follow dosage suggestions and find a pill that suits your need.

Take protein supplements with water and a meal or snack. This will help your body absorb and optimize the protein being taken in and avoid digestive problems. Take protein supplements before a workout to provide the most benefits.

Who Needs Protein Pills?

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Protein supplements like protein pills are essential for intense workouts whether you are bulking or cutting. The most common use of supplements through pills is restoring and building muscle. If you want to build muscle, you need to have much greater amounts of protein than traditional diets can offer. Protein will also help recover muscles after a workout, so you can have fewer rest days. Pills are convenient and offer muscle-building advantages when taken before your workout.

Protein can help with lean muscle building and recovery. Someone looking to lose fat and maintain lean muscle should consider protein supplement pills to recover muscles and provide overall health. Pills are a great way to add protein to your weight-loss diet plan because you can take in a significant amount of protein without calories.

Who Should Not Take Protein Pills?

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You should always have a good understanding of your health and the implications of taking a supplement like protein pills. You should consult with a doctor or nutritionist when deciding whether protein supplements are good for you and determine a dosage your body will allow. Protein supplements may not be necessary if you are not working out.

You should not take protein supplements if you have an allergy to the protein source (such as whey) or experience side effects like headaches or digestive problems when taking protein supplements. Always research supplements you buy, as they are not under FDA regulation. Some can have undesirable ingredients.

How Do Protein Pills Compare to Other Protein Supplements?

Protein pills are one of the easiest ways to make sure you are getting the protein you need. Put a bottle of pills in your gym bag, so you always have them on hand. Unlike protein powders, which need a liquid to mix with, pill supplements are more convenient and can be taken on their own. They are also great if you don't want to carry around a shaker full of the powder slurry mixture to take sips in between workouts.

When bulking, you can use powder to get extra calories and can replace a meal if needed. Powder also has a bit of maintenance. You will need to carry the dry powder along with your shaker and water. This means cleaning your shaker after every workout. Carrying it around means a risk of spilling your powder or shake in your gym bag or on the gym floor—adding to the cleanup.

Protein bars offer a convenient way to add protein to your diet, but they are sticky and sweet. Pills can be a great alternative If you are not a fan of candy-like protein bars. Like powders, you can use protein bars to add calories to your diet and replace meals. The shelf life of protein bars can be considerably shorter than pills.

Protein powders and bars can have significant amounts of calories, so pills can provide protein without the added calories. Unlike most powders and bars, pills have no sugar or artificial flavorings—no bad aftertaste. One thing that protein bars lack compared to the other choices is the dosage. A scoop of protein powder can contain the dosage of many pill supplements. The average pill dosage is 0.5-2g of protein, whereas a serving of powder can be 20g.

What Are Protein Pills Made From?

Most protein pills are manufactured by processing cow's milk into either casein or whey. Whey comes from a byproduct of cheese and contains concentrated amounts of protein. Casein is the other byproduct of cheese extracted from curds. Casein contains less lactose and can be a good choice for people who have digestive problems from whey protein. Both ingredients deliver a similar protein with similar effectiveness.

Manufacturers of supplements have also started to use ingredients like collagen and bone broth. This can be a good substitute for lactose intolerance and other dietary reasons. For plant-based diets, a good protein source is a soy-based protein. They all have their advantages and disadvantages, but you can get similar results with similar dosages. You can find the more common whey and casein in stores, but the less common pills are available online.

Other Benefits of Protein Pills

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Protein is an essential part of your diet. The body uses proteins to rebuild and grow cells. A diet rich in protein can help improve metabolism to burn fat and fight diabetes. Protein can help as an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. It also helps lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure. It can strengthen and recover muscle and boost your immune system.

Risks of Protein Pills

Protein supplements are not FDA regulated, so there can be some products with unsavory ingredients and fillers. High-quality pill supplements usually contain no sugar, flavoring, or filler. If your protein supplement is high quality, and you are a healthy adult, there are few risks to adding a protein supplement to your diet. Some people may have digestive problems or headaches while taking protein supplements. You should never load up on protein supplements, as it can damage your liver. Observe the dosage limits on the label and never take more than 30g of protein supplement at one time.

Pills and other supplements are not a good replacement for protein-rich food. Adding natural sources of protein like eggs and beef to your meals and snacks is preferable. Always opt for protein-rich food, and use supplements for additional protein when you need more protein than you can easily consume.


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Protein pills are an effective way to ensure you are getting the protein you need for your workouts. Pill supplements offer an easy and organized way to add protein to your diet to reach your bodybuilding goals. You can more easily monitor your calorie intake with pills and don't have to worry about sugars and artificial flavors. If you are working out, pills can be a great alternative to protein powders and bars. There are many pills on the market that cater to dietary needs and protein dosages.

Protein pills can add significant benefits to your overall health, and advantages in your muscle building and recovery. They also offer weight loss potential and benefit your cardiac and metabolic health. While pills may not offer large amounts of protein found in powder supplements, they are much more convenient. There are risks involved, and you should be careful about dosages and instructions. Always consult a trained physician, especially if you have a health condition.

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