There are various types of supplements in the market today right from shakes to protein bars, which are predicted to improve your overall performance. Some of the known artificial supplements are protein bars, commercial sports drinks, protein supplements, whey protein and sports gel. However, many researches state that prolonged consumption of protein supplements can lead to long term effects on health. Some of the detrimental effects on health are as follows:

  • Long term kidney damage – Increased uric acid, increased creatinine levels.
  • Long term liver injury.
  • Gut inflammation leading to acidity, diarrhea or constipation. 
  • Weakened teeth.
  • Increased cardiovascular risk.
  • Osteopenia or osteoporosis.
  • Increased fat mass and gynaecomastia.
  • Damaged nerve.
  • Excess caffeine has stimulant effects on blood pressure and heart rate.

So, whether it is protein supplements, whey protein powders, sports gels or sports drinks, it is not recommended for young athletes below 18 years. There is no research that states that supplements are required for young athletes.

Natural supplements:

When it comes to protein requirement, the amount of protein foods that a person eats depends on age, sex and level of physical activity.  Ideally, a safe level of protein intake for a normal person is about 1 gm/kg of body weight. However, for a person who exercises or is into a professional sport about 1.3-1.5 grams of protein is required per kg of body weight. (As per the Institute of Medicine.) 

Natural protein foods are high in biological protein which contains all essential amino acids and are called complete proteins. This macronutrient when consumed in the right proportion can aid in muscle building, improving immune system, improving metabolism and keeping you healthy. 

In order to attain the ideal protein requirement, you can look out for natural food sources such as:

  • Whey water.
  • Non vegetarian sources such as chicken, fish, eggs and meats.
  • Vegetarian sources such as paneer, curd, eggs, dal and legumes. 
  • Nuts and seeds such as almonds, peanuts, walnuts, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds and chia seeds.

Thus, adding natural sources of protein has shown to improve overall health and lifespan in comparison to artificial or commercial supplements.