What are the pros and cons of protein powder for bodybuilding – quora endometrial biopsy video

The International Society of Sports Nutrition recommends that those who exercise should try to reach their protein requirements via whole foods, but protein supplements can be a practical way for high intensity athletes to meet their increased protein requirements quickly after a workout (per day: strength athletes require 1.4-2g/kg, endurance athletes require 1.2-1.4g/kg, the sedentary individuals require 0.8 – 1g/kg). If opting to use protein supplements, they should contain both whey and casein protein because of the “high protein digestibility, corrected amino acid score and ability to increase muscle protein [mass]”

Some protein shakes contain creatine which is a nitrogenous organic acid produced from amino acids. The European food safety authority report that there is sufficient evidence which shows that for high intensity athletes consuming 3g of creatine per day may help to achieve “an increase in physical performance during short-term, high intensity, repeated exercise bouts”


Branched chain amino acids are often found in whey protein supplements, some research indicates that these type of amino acids may improve recovery and exercise performance during intense exercise 4, 8-10. However, as outlined below the overall evidence base is thought to be insufficient to prove their effectiveness (see related “cons” below).

Protein supplements are quick and easy to use, and may be useful if time, cooking facilities or cooking skills are limited. They can also be useful if you are specifically trying to increase the protein content of meals without raising the fat or calorie content too much.

The Department of Health recommends that adults should not consume more than twice the recommended daily intake of protein which is 55.5g for men and 45g for women. The average daily protein intake in the UK is 88g for men and 64kg for women, and as protein shakes often include roughly 20 – 40g of protein per serving, the consumption of protein shakes could easily lead to an excessive protein intake. The British Dietetic Association reports that when energy requirements are met, a balanced diet will usually provide enough protein to meet the increase in requirements associated with exercise. As a comparison, a chicken breast contains roughly 30g of protein which is often the level of protein found in protein shakes.

The overall evidence base for the use of protein supplements isn’t very strong; the European Food Safety Authority reports that there is insufficient evidence to support a cause and effect relationship between whey protein supplements, branched chain amino acids or L-Glutamine and: the growth or maintenance of muscle mass, an increase in endurance capacity, skeletal muscle tissue repair, and faster recovery from muscle fatigue after exercise.

An investigation by the UK Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency found that 84 sports nutrition products which were being sold contained dangerous ingredients including steroids, stimulants and hormones which can result in: kidney failure, seizures or heart problems. One specific product “Celtic Dragon” was taken off the market after causing two men to be hospitalised with severe jaundice and liver damage.

The biggest risk is usually with supplements bought online, but even legal sports supplements can be contaminated by illegal substances. There have been examples of this resulting in doping scandals for professional athletes; the professional boxer Enzo Maccarinelli was suspended from boxing for 6 months after testing positive for a banned substance which was reportedly found in a fat burning supplement described as an “approved supplement for fighters”. You can check whether specific supplements have been registered as batch tested for illegal substances using websites such as Informed-Sport(dot)com

Although there have been some proven effects of creatine as outlined above, the European Food Safety Authority reports that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of creatine and an increase in endurance capacity or performance. Also the long term effects aren’t clear; creatine can interact certain medications and there can be side effects such as weight gain, anxiety, kidney problems, nausea and vomiting. Creatine is not advised for those under 18 years old, or for pregnant or breastfeeding women21. There are also those who don’t respond to creatine supplementation at all due to their individual physiological make up, so experience no benefit from it’s use. It is important to remember that from a moral point of view many sporting organisations don’t support the use of ergogenic aids such as creatine (ie. substances that improve exercise performance).

If the protein supplement hasn’t been batch tested it might not really contain ANY protein to begin with! A recent BBC documentary “Pills, Powders and Protein Shakes”found that when they tested a protein supplement called Par Nutrition which advertised a protein content of 70%, it turned out to have less than 2% protein content….which is 7 times less than flour! Non batch tested protein supplements may also have a poor protein quality and blend which can reduce the amino acid bioavailability, meaning not all of the protein listed might actually get used by the body.

Batch tested good quality protein supplements can be useful as an addition to a well-balanced diet for high intensity strength athletes aiming to meet their increased protein requirements; especially if time constraints, cooking facilities or cooking skills are an issue, but it is important to choose a reputable brand or ask your GP to refer you to a Sports Dietitian for guidance.

You will get of technical info on the internet on this subject but it will be laced with jargon and biased in most cases depending on whether the website is promotional or belongs to a naturalist etc. I am writing this from the point of view of a moderate user who has done some basic research on this subject.

First of all, protein powder is a very wide term. There are thousands of varieties of protein powders available in the market. As you seem to be an amateur body building aspirant, as a thumb rule avoid all powders with steroids. For this discussion, we shall only talk about pure whey protein powder. The pure whey powder comes in many flavours and one may choose powders of varying protein-carbohydrate percentages. For normal people, depending on workout intensity and duration one or two scoops of 35 grams each are recommended ( caution – these vary with the composition of the powder, scoop size and your physical condition, so please take expert advice before jumping to any decisions)

5. The body built with excessive reliance on these powders tends to revert to earlier state after the workout and protein intake is stopped for long periods. The muscle mass is lost quickly after the powder consumption is stopped and not replaced by another source of protein.