High school students can be involved in many different competitive sports like swimming, football, baseball, cross country or basketball. Just like with the adult athlete, the teenager is looking for the edge that will take him/her to the next level. Protein shakes thus step in and offer many promises. It should come as no surprise to see how many teenagers are now using protein shakes in order to boost the game.
The benefits associated with protein powders are definitely attractive since protein is basically made out of essential amino acids, the main building blocks muscle has. Various studies were done on the benefits associated with protein supplementation. We now know that bigger gains are going to appear in terms of thigh mass, total body mass, muscle strength and fat-free mass. The problem is that many of the protein powders include warnings that states the product is intended for those over 18 years old. Why is that?
The truth is that nobody really knows what will happen when teenagers use protein shakes simply because no tests were officially done. The FDA does not regulate protein supplements and shakes so effects are not actually studied by them. At the same time, trials are normally performed on an adult. Getting permission for teenage use is very complicated according to law.
The official daily protein allowance for teenagers is between 34 grams and 52 grams. A whey protein powder supplement serving includes around 24 grams of protein as an average. The 13 year old boy that takes one serving, a 2 percent milk glass and eats one hamburger at launch already went 16 grams over the recommended daily allowance. This is before dinner is even eaten. When you consume a balanced diet it is quite hard to get way too much protein. However, teenager excess protein intake is known to cause the appearance of kidney problems when the shake includes creatine. In addition, bone calcium loss can appear since the body uses it in order to deal with acidic pH appearing due to excess protein. Even if this is the case, one thing that few people know is that it is virtually impossible to reach an overdose as this would be a lot more than what you could get through a diet or even when you use supplementation according to official manufacturer guidelines.
Another thing we need to take into account is that there is a high content of lactose normally present in protein powder. According to research, people only find out that they are lactose intolerant at a later point in life. This is because the ability to digest milk is lost by 60% of people after childhood. There are situations where symptoms are obvious but that is not always the case. Whey will include a lot of lactose, more than enough to actually set off different symptoms like cramps when there is lactose sensitivity present. Fortunately, a very simple way exists to get rid of this problem by just getting tested before taking protein supplements.
On the whole, we can say that we do not have enough official data to state whether or not protein powders should be consumed by teenagers. The truth is that the best and healthiest way for the teenager to increase protein intake is to do this through the diet. This is true even for the teens that are athletic and want to put on muscle mass. This can be quite difficult though, especially when involved in highly physical activities. If the protein supplement is used as directed and dosage is respected, it does not matter how much you take in through diet since you will be safe at all times.