How Do I Use The Best Protein Pills Properly?
If you’re heavily into fitness, working out, going to the gym, and even bodybuilding, you most likely already know about protein powders. But how much do you really know about protein pills? Protein pills are another option when it comes to supporting your muscles’ recovery and growth after your workouts. Truly it feels as though you have endless options when it comes to protein supplements – but is it better to use protein pills, or protein powder? Which of these two muscle support systems will give you the results that you crave?
To find out which option is better and more effective, we need to take a look at all the pros and cons of both. So read on to find out what the actual difference is between protein pills and protein powders.
What are Protein Pills?
Protein supplement pills are exactly what you would expect from the name – they are essentially protein-filled capsules that you can take. They are an excellent way to boost your body’s protein synthesis in order to help your muscles with recovery. Protein tablets are a good way to boost your gains – with these dietary supplements you can raise your protein intake and receive all the amino acids you essentially need to get results.
The amount of protein you need to take daily completely depends on your individual needs, but the average daily protein intake is usually 0.36 grams per pound of body weight. You can use the protein capsules to complement the protein you take in from your food, but these supplements are only really effective if you combine them with regular exercise. This is because you get muscle growth from the natural tearing of your muscle fibers when you workout and lift weights. When your muscle fibers heal, your muscle mass pretty much increases.
When you provide your body with the essential amino acids – all 9 of them – along with the protein you need, your body can easily build more muscle. The amino acids you get from these supplements basically help to repair your muscle tissue. The additional protein along with these 9 essential acids also help buffer your immune system, so you become healthier and stronger. This is why if you’re looking to get lean and get gains, protein pills may really help you out.
Where Do Protein Pills Get Their Protein From?
On average, protein tablets contain 2 grams of protein each. It probably seems like a tiny amount, considering a serving of protein powders (usually a scoop) usually contains about 20 to 25 grams each. When you consider this fact, it really seems like powders are the way to go for ease of use and convenience. But you also need to consider what the sources of proteins are for both powders and pills. Ask yourself – what are the best protein pills on the market made of?
The answer to this question isn’t exactly as simple as you may think, because it varies depending on the tablets’ manufacturer. Most pills, however, use either whey or casein. There are of course other options out there that you can try – there are pills that use beef, milk, chicken, liver, or even eggs as their protein source. However, these alternative sources are not as popular. This is why in most cases, casein and whey are the sources of choice. As a matter of fact, athletes most often choose pills that use whey.
Whey and casein are comparable choices that are similarly easily absorbed and digested by the body. However, whey protein does end up in the bloodstream faster. It also seems to have stronger anabolic effects on muscle gains due to it having more leucine amino acid.
When you choose protein pills, make sure that you look for pills that use only high quality sources of protein – regardless of what that source is. It’s also important to take a look at what else is in the formula. See what other vitamins and minerals you get that can further help your body to recover.
How Do I Use Protein Pills?
The first thing you need to keep in mind when you want to learn how to use protein pills is that they are NOT a meal replacement. Even though they provide you with extra protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, you still need food. Protein tablets are best taken in addition to your regular food intake, so make sure that you have your diet down pat before you begin to supplement with these.
Protein powders and shakes are usually taken after working out. In the case of protein capsules, however, you are better off taking them 2 hours BEFORE your workout – if you want the best possible results, that is. The reason you take them 2 hours ahead of your exercise session is because your body needs enough time to digest the tablets in order to utilize the contents within. When taken correctly, you will most likely feel greatly energized by the time you work out.
Another way you can take these pills, however, is right after your weightlifting session. This is so that your body can get protein to help speed up your recovery (and your gains!).
The second thing you need to keep in mind when you use protein pills is the fact that these dietary supplements are not meant to be used as weight loss aids. Although protein pills will likely help fuel you through your workouts, this doesn’t mean that you’ll immediately lose weight. To lose weight, you have to have the proper diet and workout regimen – so don’t be disappointed if you don’t lose any weight with these pills in particular. After all, protein tablets are supposed to help you build mass.
How are Protein Powders and Protein Pills Different?
Surely by now you are wondering what the difference is between protein powders (shakes) and protein pills. That’s the big question this whole article poses, after all.
To put it simply, the most prominent difference between the two is the actual amount of protein you get provided with. As we mentioned previously, each protein pill contains up to 2 grams, whereas protein powders can contain anywhere between 20-28g per scoop. However, it’s worthy to note the difference in convenience as well. Although you only need one scoop of powder in order to get your correct dose, you most likely need to make a shake out of it. Therefore you will have to bring a blender bottle, make the shake, and then later on rinse the bottle out – something a lot tend to hate doing (especially when the powder begins to stink and gunk up the bottle!). Protein capsules on the other hand need only be taken on their own, with or without the help of a beverage.
But before you start taking dozens of these capsules, you need to know there is a limit to the dosage you can take in a 24 hour period of time. So make sure that you know your protein needs, and that you are taking these pills properly and within the right dosage ranges.
Let’s take a look at some more similarities and differences between the two.
How Are They Similar?
- We hate to break it to you, but pills and powders are essentially the same thing – just packaged differently, and in different quantities. After all, they use the same protein sources most of the time too.
- You will pretty much digest, utilize and handle both of these products in the exact same way.
How Are They Different?
- Powders come with extra calories – these calories help when you are trying to bulk. Because these shakes do have extra calories, you may need to adjust your diet accordingly if you want to stay within your macros.
- In a pinch, protein shakes are a great replacement meal. When you make your protein shake or smoothie, you can even add fruits and vegetables to ensure you are getting the most out of your meal or snack.
- Protein pills are basically more convenient in the end. You can take them any time of day without any sort of preparation or clean-up involved – plus you can take them multiple times a day (within the right dosage limits of course).
- Protein tablets are no fuss and no muss. Protein powders? They’re more likely to make a mess. Plus they really stink up your bottles if you forget to wash them immediately – and that smell doesn’t go away.
- Taste-wise, protein pills win if you’re finicky. Most powders tend to have an aftertaste. Those with sensitive stomachs or acid reflux may hate powders because that taste comes back when you burp!
Now let’s take a look at the pros and the cons of both!
- Both of these products can be used for your specific needs. If you just want the protein, go for tablets! If you’re looking to bulk up, go with shakes so you can get the extra calories.
- Both products come with great health benefits such as: lowering of blood pressure, reduction of inflammation, buffered and increased immunity, and improved diabetes. They also decrease bad cholesterol and help your body to gain more antioxidants.
- Protein powders help to keep you from getting hungry for longer periods of time. They are also great as a meal replacement.
- Protein tablets still offer less protein than eating actual protein-rich food.
- When you take too many tablets or too much powder, you can do damage to your liver. For example, whey protein should never be taken in more than 30g doses in one sitting.
- These products can disagree with your digestive system if you are sensitive, so you may end up with nausea, bloating and pain, cramps, and diarrhea.
- There is a small possibility of liver and kidney damage if you don’t use the products well.
- Human bodies can only really utilize a certain amount of protein at a given time. So even if you take excess protein, your body essentially ignores it (and it is wasted).
- Protein powders and pills become pretty much unnecessary if you are already following a proper diet plan with all of your macros.
So How Do I Choose?
In the end, choosing between protein powders and protein pills becomes easier when you consider the similarities and differences of both.
Both benefit you in similar ways. But if you want convenience without any need for prep or clean-up, go for the pills! On the other hand, if you’re looking for meal replacements (or if you are trying to bulk up) then powders and shakes are your best options.
The most important thing you should take away from this is the fact that both of these products are meant to SUPPLEMENT a proper diet and exercise regimen. Make sure that you get the proper amount of exercise and the right macros, and these products will really help you make the most of your gains!