Should you be Using Protein Powder?

Purition - bags of it
Purition – bags of it

Protein powered is one of the greatest ways to add to an already beneficial workout if you use it correctly. So many sources will urge you to pick up a tub of protein powder right away and start making yourself shakes while others will tell you the exact opposite—it’s too dangerous. So who do you trust? Ignore the opinions. The facts about protein powder will tell you if this workout supplement is right for you.

It’s important to understand what protein powder is at first. Protein is used by the body to build and heal itself. It is also the most basic unit of muscle. Protein powder is a supplement that is high in protein and helps you gain and keep more muscle during or after a workout. There are several different kinds of protein powders available. They all have different uses, but whey powder is the most common. Soy and hemp protein are plant based and therefore can help vegetarian and vegans.

Women need 50g of protein a day while men only need 65g. Consuming too much protein daily can be a health risk, while consuming too little can also have poor effects. If you are able to satisfy your daily protein needs with whole foods, then you won’t need protein powder as a supplement. Do keep in mind though, that it may be nice to have on hand, especially if you find yourself on a tight schedule with little time to eat a good meal in between.

While protein powder can be beneficial to building muscle, gaining muscle or losing weight, it’s important to remember that using protein powder consistently while you are already consuming a proper amount of protein can be dangerous. This puts an excessive amount of pressure on the kidneys and can be harmful if prolonged. Check over Monica’s Health Mag for more.

Some experts say that only body builders should use protein powder because the average diet will feature an average amount of protein. While most gym-goers should consider this, these experts are not necessarily taking into account vegans and vegetarians whose sources of protein do not include meats and in some cases eggs or milk. For vegans and vegetarians, protein powder as a supplement or a meal replacement may be beneficial if they are not taking in 50-65g of protein daily.

Protein is an extremely important part of every diet and workout, but with so many opinions and facts about protein powder, it’s hard to know what to believe. You should only use protein powder if you need it. You might need it twice a week or you might need it every day. Observe how you eat for the next week before deciding if you should use protein powder and how often you should use it.

Writer’s Bio

Jane Grates is an award-winning web lover and the Co-manager of Runnerclick, Monicas Health Mag and Janes Kitchen Miracles. Travel scholar. Writer. Health enthusiast. Food and health practitioner.

 

Sports people lead the way in encouraging more young children to stay active

Sam Quek
Sam Quek

British gold medallist Sam Quek surprises hockey club

Over a quarter of children have sports role models, according to new research by Sun-Pat Peanut Butter. The research reveals that 9 out of 10 adults who played sport as a child encourage their children to be active now, with 65% of adults who didn’t play sport as a child saying they still encourage their child to play sport now.

23% of adults had a sporting role model as a child and 87% of them were active throughout their childhood, and taking a lead from their parents, over a quarter of children (26%) today have a sporting role model.

The research also found that over half a million children want to be a hockey player when they grow up. “When I grow up, I just want to be like Sam Quek,” exclaims one of the girls after playing alongside British Gold medallist for Hockey, Sam Quek who is giving young children a chance to learn hockey skills and see her in action.

Sam is offering young hockey enthusiasts a chance to fuel up and stay active during the Easter holidays. Children aged 6-13 year old can enter for a chance to win a free hockey lesson.

With the research showing that 61% of Brits struggle to find activities to entertain their child during the Easter school holidays, enjoying a game of hockey with Sam Quek could be the perfect solution.

Hockey classes will be taking place in five locations nationwide during the Easter holidays:

Monday 10thApril, 11am – 12:30pm Spencer Hockey Club, London

Monday 10th April, 7pm-8pm Bristol & West Hockey Club, Bristol

Tuesday 11th April, 4pm – 5:30pm Bowdon Hockey Club, Manchester

Thursday 13th April, 10am–11:30pm Whitley Bay & Tynemouth Hockey Club, Newcastle

Thursday 13th April, 4pm – 5:30pm Clydesdale & Clydesdale Western Hockey Club, Glasgow

Multiple sclerosis – what is the relationship between the immune system and viruses in triggering MS?

Renaud Du Pasquier on Multiple Sclerosis
Renaud Du Pasquier on Multiple Sclerosis

What is the relationship between the immune system and viruses in triggering multiple sclerosis?

Renaud Du Pasquier tells us more in the brilliant TEd talk.

Devic’s disease – what are the signs of Devic’s disease?

Devic's disease
Devic’s disease

Neuromyelitis optica (NMO), also known as Devic’s disease, is a rare neurological condition.

Neurological conditions are caused by disease or damage to the brain, spinal cord or nerves.

NMO most commonly affects the optic nerves and spinal cord, which can lead to optic neuritis and transverse myelitis (see below).

Some people may only experience optic neuritis or myelitis but may have the aquaporin-4 antibody (also see below). In such cases, a person is said to have an NMO spectrum disorder (NMOSD).

Each person with NMO will experience different symptoms and require individually tailored care and support.

Some of the main symptoms of NMO include:

muscle weakness – reduced strength in one or more muscles that can affect mobility

impaired eyesight

nerve pain – which can be a sharp, burning, shooting or numbing pain

spasms and increased muscle tone – from nerve damage that affects muscle control

bladder, bowel and sexual problems

NMO UK has more information about the symptoms of NMO.

Optic neuritis

Optic neuritis is inflammation of the nerve that leads from the eye to the brain. It causes a reduction or loss of vision, and can affect both eyes at the same time.

Other symptoms of optic neuritis include eye pain, which is usually made worse by movement, and reduced colour vision where colours may appear ‘washed out’ or less vivid than usual.

Transverse myelitis

Transverse myelitis is inflammation of the spinal cord. It causes weakness in the arms and legs which can range from a mild ‘heavy’ feeling in one limb, to complete paralysis in all four limbs.

It may cause numbness, tingling or burning below the affected area of the spinal cord and increased sensitivity to touch, cold and heat. There may also be tight and painful muscle contractions (known as tonic muscle spasms).

Relapses in NMO

An attack or relapse of NMO results in the nervous system becoming inflamed. The inflammation usually occurs in the optic nerve and spinal cord, and causes new symptoms or the recurrence of previous symptoms.

Less common symptoms of NMO can include unexplained nausea and vomiting, unexplained itching and tonic spasms (painful muscle contractions). In someone with known NMO, these symptoms may signify a new relapse.

NMO symptoms can range from mild to severe. In some cases, there may only be one attack of optic neuritis or transverse myelitis, with good recovery and no further relapses for a long time.

However, in severe cases, there can be a number of attacks which lead to disability. Disability occurs because the body can’t always fully recover from damage caused by the attacks on the spinal cord and optic nerve.

NMO UK has more information about NMO relapses.

What causes NMO?

NMO is an autoimmune condition, which means a person’s immune system (the body’s natural defence against illness and infection) reacts abnormally and attacks the body’s tissues and organs.

An antibody against a protein called aquaporin-4 is present in the blood of up to 80% of people with NMO.

Antibodies are proteins produced by the body to destroy disease-carrying organisms and toxins.

In NMO, the immune system attacks aquaporin-4 which damages the myelin sheath (the protective layer that surrounds nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord and helps transmit nerve signals).

Who’s affected by NMO?

NMO is a rare condition. In Europe, it’s estimated that there’s one case of NMO for every 100,000 people. In the UK, it’s thought that NMO affects less than 1,000 people.

NMO can affect anyone but it’s more common in women than men, with about four females being affected for every male.

Although the condition is thought to be more common in people of Asian and African descent, an increasing number of white (Caucasian) people are also being diagnosed.

Diagnosing NMO

It’s important that NMO is correctly diagnosed. It can sometimes be confused with multiple sclerosis, which also affects the brain and spinal cord and has similar symptoms. However, the treatment is different.

A neurology specialist will discuss your symptoms and medical history with you.

You’ll have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of your brain and spinal cord. Some people with NMO (up to 60%) have lesions on their brain and spine, which are different to the lesions of someone with MS.

A blood sample will be taken and tested for aquaporin-4 antibodies.

A lumbar puncture is another test you may have. A sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is taken from the spine using a hollow needle that’s inserted into the lower part of the spine.

The fluid sample will be sent to a laboratory to be tested and to look for evidence of conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord or other parts of the nervous system.

In some cases of transverse myelitis, there’s an increase in the level of proteins or white cells.

NMO UK has more information about how NMO is diagnosed.

Treating NMO

There’s no cure for NMO, so treatment aims to manage attacks and symptoms, and prevent relapses.

Every person with NMO is affected differently and some may have much milder symptoms than others. However, early treatment is usually needed to prevent further episodes and permanent disability.

Medication is used to reduce nerve inflammation, suppress the immune system and treat any pain. Rehabilitation techniques, such as physiotherapy, can also help with any reduced mobility that the relapses cause.

At these centres, research is ongoing to find possible future treatments for NMO.

To be referred to one of these centres, a GP referral letter is all that’s needed. These specialist services are nationally funded, so GP practices won’t have any additional costs for referring.

NMO UK has more information about treatments for NMO.

Driving

Optic neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve) could affect your ability to drive.

“How I Went From Wheelchair To Walking By Changing My Diet” – From Dr Terry Wahls an MD with Multiple sclerosis

Terry Wahls MD
Terry Wahls MD

I’ve been aware of Dr Terry Wahls for the best part of a decade. Indeed she wrote a post for me in a previous job on diet and multiple sclerosis.

So when I can across this I just felt I had to share!