Proteins are the major structural and functional material of body cells. Proteins from food help the body to grow and to repair tissues. The human body uses about 20 kinds of amino acids to construct the proteins it needs to build muscles and tissues. The body manufactures many of these amino acids, but it cannot produce all of them in the quantities that it needs.
Most animal proteins, like eggs, milk, fish, poultry, beef, contain all the essential amino acids the body needs. Most plants, on the other hand, do not. However, eating a combination of two or more plant foods can supply the essential amino acids the body requires. Vegetarians who eat no animal products get their proteins by eating two or more plant foods or by combining seeds or grains with legumes.
Body builders, athletes and heavy manual laborers, who want to make sure they get the high level of protein needed to beef up their muscles, find it hard to eat so much regular food everyday to be able to get the required one gram of protein per pound of body weight, so they result in taking in protein powder shakes which are easily absorbed by the body. This provides rapid availability of the protein needed for the purpose of building muscle.
Not only body builders and athletes need to bulk up. Ingesting a daily dose of protein powder will boost the immune system by increasing glutathione levels, especially in facilitating the healing of wounds after surgery or injury. It will increase T-cell activity and decrease wasting tissues during illness, and speed up overall recovery. The results also reveal healthy skin, regulated muscle development and increase well being.
Whey is very rich in protein and is the most common source of protein powders. It can be combined with any of the other basic sources of protein like egg, soya and rice. These are processed in powdered form which can then be added to cereal, stirred into soups or stews and added into baked goods.
Doctors have expressed some side effects of excessive protein intake. Since majority of the population get their protein from their regular dietary routine, they advise that users of protein powder shakes should check with health care professionals and nutritionists before they continue. Excessive protein intake is known to cause health problems such as weight gain, kidney and liver problems. Heavy metal poisoning is also reported as a result of consuming more than three servings per day.