For the majority of people, protein is just a part of a regular, balanced diet. It is found in meat in addition to legumes such as beans, or even rice. In the great majority of cases, dietary sources of protein are more than enough to meet the daily requirements, as proteins are required to repair cells that may have been injured, either during exercise or injury, but for definite type of people, this is not sufficient. Athletes and bodybuilders in particular purposefully ‘damage’ their muscles during training and exercise, and need great quantities of protein, and the amino acids they include to repair this damage, as this is how the muscles grow up in both size and strength.
There are lots of options available to those who wish to supplement their dietary protein intake with supplements. The first type of differences is the types of protein, and even there the choice is vast. Besides the popular whey concentrate, whey isolate and casein protein supplements, there are soy protein supplements and even hemp protein supplements, to name but a few. The type of protein you choose will depend on personal preferences, potential allergies as well as your goals and training regimen.
Nearly all of these proteins are available in several forms. The most popular one is protein powder. It is a versatile product that is usually mixed with juice, milk or water and made into a delicious shake, to be consumed at your convenience. It is also possible to fortify certain types of food, like muffins for example, by including some protein powder in the flour before baking.
Protein bars are another popular way of supplementing your protein intake. Each bar contains a set protein quantity, so it is very easy to quantify with precision your protein intake. Because of their need to have physical structure, protein bars are mixed with other ingredients, which may boost their carbohydrate content. If proteins are what you need, always make sure to choose low-carbohydrate protein bars.
It is certainly probable to use both type of supplementation at the same time. For example, it would be acceptable to start the day with a tasty protein shake, and use the low-carb protein bars throughout the day as snacks. Whatever type of protein supplementation, it is vital to remember that it should be taken as close as possible to the real training or exercise session to maximize the saturation of muscle cells with amino acids. When in doubt, just consider your daily routine and training schedule, and select the protein supplement that will allow you do that with as few complications as possible.