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What is Protein Powder?


Protein powder is a dietary supplement that is made from one or more of four basic sources of protein: whey, eggs, soy and rice. These concentrated sources of protein are processed into powdered form, which can be reconstituted into liquid form as a protein shake when mixed with water, fruit juice or milk. Protein powder also can be sprinkled on cereal, stirred into soups or stews, mixed into other types of food or cooked into baked goods and other meals. Bodybuilders and athletes have long relied on protein powder to make sure that they get the high levels of protein needed to build up their muscles through lifting weights and exercise. Research has shown that ingesting protein powder every day also can boost immune system health, facilitate the healing of wounds after surgery or injury and promote healthy skin.

Why Protein is Important

Protein powder.
Protein powder.

The human body needs protein daily because that is the substance from which muscles and tissues are built, and there is no place where the body can store extra protein. The need for adequate protein in the human body is second only to the need for water. People who follow healthy diets get plenty of protein through the daily intake of various food combinations. Some people, however, like to supplement their protein intake with a protein powder or occasionally substitute a fast, easy protein shake for a meal.

Health Benefits

Jug of whey.
Jug of whey.

Protein powder is designed to be taken every day as a dietary supplement. Even for someone who isn't a bodybuilder, starting the day with a protein shake can provide nutritional benefits. Many nutritionists advise consuming protein throughout the day, but a healthy boost of protein first thing in the morning can help the body stabilize its blood sugar levels throughout the rest of the day.

Recommended Dosages

The amino acids in whey protein -- whether found in foods or drink supplements -- are essential to muscle health.
The amino acids in whey protein -- whether found in foods or drink supplements -- are essential to muscle health.

Some studies have indicated that a steady amount of excess protein might be unhealthy, especially for people who have liver or kidney problems. The recommended daily dose is based on weight, age and activity levels. Athletes should consult a nutritionist who specializes in sports medicine. Others can consult a healthcare professional or check the recommendations from health agencies.


There are many brands of protein powder on the market. These products are available in a range of flavors and at various prices. People who are shopping for protein powder can find it at health food stores, many grocery chains and online.

Discussion Comments


Is it safe for a 16 year old to take protein tablets.


Can a well built 16 year old man use protein tablets?


What is the shelf life of an unopened container of powdered whey protein?


The best place that I've found to buy protein powder in Poland is online. It has it all the same stuff you can get at GNC with cheaper prices. And the shipping is very cheap.


What are the dangers or problems associated with taking too many protein supplements?

Pulindar Singh

i am aged 16. Should i be taking the protein powder at this age for bodybuilding?


many of you seem to have question regarding the use of protein powders. to be honest, i have done a lot of research about them and their side effects.

first of all, protein powder is protein in an unnatural form. i would only recommend those older than 16 to use it. I personally advise that only weight lifters use it and use it only after a workout - not before a workout or after waking up or before sleeping. like i said, it is beneficial but too much of it is dangerous.


How safe is the use of protein powder/tablets in normal children?


I am an older person. As most of you know, older people use muscle mass. I eat a lot of salads and fruit but seldom any meat. Would using a powder protein supplement help? If so what type for my particular circumstances? I exercise regularly and in good health and am taking no prescription medicines.


Can my 12 year old child take protein powder? Or is there an age limit?


anon85027: your shake might have flavor enhancing ingredients that make you hungry afterward.


I want to ask if there are any side effects from this protein powder? Please inform me.


i make a shake to replace one to two meals a day. but it makes me feel more hungry. is that supposed to happen?


Drinking protein powder before a workout is not a good idea because all it does is make you bloated and can cause cramping. Drinking a protein shake right after a workout is the best time of day to do so because your body is craving nutrients it has just lost from the workout.


i take protein in the morning and in the evening, 30 minutes before working out, but I don't know if the quantity is too much. i weigh 130 pounds and I'm 5'0 feet tall and female. i take three scoops each time.


well most companies that are worth anything actually put enzyme blends to help with the actual absorption of proteins into the muscle. and they ultimately help your muscles get fed instead of most of it becoming feces. I take mine as soon as i wake to get the metabolism started again and an hour or two before a workout so i won't waste muscle fibers used for energy, and also after a work out to repair damaged muscle and finally one before going to sleep, because most muscle is repaired with good sleep!


I drink protein powder before, after and when i go to bed. before you purchase any protein look for coupon codes online to get them cheaper.


do you drink it during your workout or before?


Is protein powder OK after being opened in storage?


Are protein shakes OK for an active 9 and 10 year old?


The kidney is a filter that relies on differences in concentration gradients in the surrounding tissue in order to dilute the body's waste with water and urea. The liver is responsible for the enzymatic degradation of amino acids into pyruvate.


how protein is required daily for beginer of bodybuilding.

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    • Protein powder.
      By: lculig
      Protein powder.
    • Jug of whey.
      Jug of whey.
    • The amino acids in whey protein -- whether found in foods or drink supplements -- are essential to muscle health.
      By: kalcutta
      The amino acids in whey protein -- whether found in foods or drink supplements -- are essential to muscle health.
    • Protein powder can be mixed with water, milk, or juice.
      By: Anna Kucherova
      Protein powder can be mixed with water, milk, or juice.
    • The body's need for sufficient protein is second only to its need for water.
      By: MSPhotographic
      The body's need for sufficient protein is second only to its need for water.