Do you have a child or teenager participating in sports at school or playing field games? Are you eager to help them reach their maximum potential on and off the field? Then you’ll do well to learn all you can about protein supplements. Protein supplements can give your son the extra strength, muscle and endurance they need to win.
It is important to know that protein supplements can’t be used any way you like. To get the most out of them, they need to be taken in a specific way. Pro athletes benefit from taking supplements at the right time and in the right quantities and if you use this advice, your child can too.
When Should Protein Powder Be Taken?
There is a whole science around protein supplements and when to take them. How you use them will have different effect if any at all on your body. It is not quite as simple as just helping your son to choose a flavour they’ll enjoy and mixing it into their drink.
Breakfast is often overrated for adults, however ensuring your children start the day on a higher protein can set them up for a day. This could be a solid source of protein like scrambled eggs accompanied with a whey protein drink. By getting both, the body receives a slow and fast acting protein. The fast protein gets the body into a great nitrogen balance. As well as this, the slow protein will push amino acids into the bloodstream until the next dose.
Pre- and post-workout
Before working out, a slow digesting protein powder needs to be used and then after the workout, the morning routine can be repeated.
Between meals, regular snacks filled with protein should be taken to maintain the right balance of nitrogen.
Just before bed, another slow digesting protein like Casein can be used to ensure a continued balance.
This doesn't mean you or your son should take in 3-4 protein shakes a day, but understanding how the timing and type of protein benefits the body you will be able to choose which of the above options you should implement.
What About Meal Replacements?
Meal replacements can be used for a full protein source as well as a nutritious meal. These can contain fast or slow digesting proteins and sometimes even both. Some meal replacements are designed to help an individual lose weight and others are used to help someone gain weight. As such, you need to make sure you’re buying the right type.
For instance, meal replacements that are made from whey protein can be used as a replacement for breakfast, providing everything the body needs to repair or build up muscle.
Lean meal replacements are specifically for weight loss and can be used instead of breakfast or lunch.
While we don't recommend anybody, especially kids living off of meal replacements, on a busy morning having a super smoothie for breakfast can save you time and allow you to take your breakfast with you.
Let's clarify what bulking up exactly means and when you should focus on it. Bulking up basically means putting on weight, ideally mainly muscle, but the build-up of some fat storage can't be always avoided when on a bulking diet.
The reason your boy may need to consider this is because it's hard to get stronger and develop muscle endurance and power without adding mass. So if your coach suggests you to work on strength and power, you should consider building some muscle too.
If you and your child are looking to bulk up, you should discover weight gainer protein supplement options. These can be taken two or three times a day and are rich in carbohydrates. These are easier to digest than typical whole foods but it's also important that since the goal is to add weight, these are consumed on top of a normal, balanced and protein-rich diet to supplement the extra calorie need for gains.
Fast digesting carbohydrate products can also provide a brilliant benefit for people who are using protein supplements. Carb powders can improve the transportation of protein around the body and increase its usage to build up muscle. The powders available can be used on a regular basis, mixed in with protein powders to provide a great additional benefit.
Still confused about which protein your young athlete should go for and would like to discuss a well-rounded exercise and nutrition plan with our expert team? Feel free to get in touch!
David Knowles is the owner, lead Coach & trainer, Dad x 5 & wannabe singer songwriter!