Whey Protein For Teenagers
Is whey protein okay for teenagers to take?
Teenagers, both actively involved in fitness and otherwise have a higher level of nutritional requirements than adults. This is because the body is going through a period of serious growth. For example – the average calorie expenditure for an adult male is about 2000 calories a day. But the average calorie expenditure for a 17 year old male can reach 3000 calories a day. This is a considerable difference, and it stems exclusively from the fact that your body is expending a gigantic amount of energy in order to cause you to grow.
Many adults will lament the ‘good old days’ where they could eat junk food daily and not gain any weight. This is because it is much harder to exceed a daily expenditure of 3000 calories a day than it is to exceed 2000. Your metabolism doesn’t really “slow down” as you get older, you just expend less energy daily on the burdensome task of growing from a child to an adult. The benefit of this: if you’re eating 3000 calories a day, you may be nearing your daily protein requirements. (assuming you have a relatively balanced diet).
This same concept applies to the individual macro-nutrients (Protein/Carbs/Fat) that these calories are composed of. As a teenager all of your nutritional requirements are amplified. Protein especially, due to the fact that your body uses the amino acid chains present in protein to grow. These requirements aren’t as large as an adult who is seriously invested in training, but that is largely related to body weight. The heavier you get, the more grams of protein per day you need.
If a teenager is athletic, they will also have to deal with a higher level of nutritional requirements. These requirements quickly become difficult to fill without regularly eating a lot of food. With this in mind many teenagers, with their parents consent, choose to go down the route of supplementation. Whilst supplementation is not entirely a necessity, it can be a serious convenience for teenagers who struggle to take on higher volumes of food. Or teenagers with an aversion to meat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Protein Stunt Your Growth?
No, it does the opposite. Protein is an essential nutrient which your body requires to synthesise amino acids for muscle repair and recovery. Amino acids are also important for a handful of other important bodily processes. This misconception stems from a similar myth about how weight lifting can stunt growth in children. No study has ever confirmed the assertion that weight training or weight lifting stunts growth. The best approach to take with weight lifting amongst younger adults and teenagers is a relaxed one. Maintain regular discipline and a steady diet and you’ll see results immediately. Always make sure to get plenty of rest and avoid over-training.
Is Protein Safe For Teenagers?
Yes. Protein is a natural macro-nutrient found in a wide variety of foods. Most protein found in supplements comes from whey, which is a byproduct of cheese making. Whilst it is possible to make “synthetic” proteins, you won’t find them in food supplements. They’re simply too hard to make. Human beings consume protein every day, an extra 24g or so is not dangerous. The only time protein may not be safe for teenagers is if they’re allergic to dairy produce. Luckily our WPI-80 Whey Protein is Hydrolysed. Meaning the milk allergens and lactose has been removed.
Does Protein Make You Fat?
No, there is only about 4 calories in a gram of protein. In order to gain weight you must consume calories at a rate which is greater than the calories you expend. If you consume 2300 calories a day and only expend 2000 calories, then you will begin to slowly gain weight. As long as you stay within your daily energy expenditure in terms of calories you will not gain any weight in fat. It doesn’t matter if you get your calories from fat, carbohydrates or protein, fundamentally a calorie is always a calorie.
How Much Protein Do Teens Need
Protein requirements are assessed in how many grams you need per pound of body weight. This scales specifically depending on your exact age and whether you are a male or a female. Young teenagers of both sexes from the ages of about 13-14 only really require about half a gram per pound of body weight, so supplementation is not necessary and can easily put you well over the required intake. As teenagers get older, especially male teenagers, their requirements increase. A 15 year old male athlete weighing about 125 lbs may require up to 85 grams of protein a day. As a general rule anyone past the age of 15 who is regularly athletic should feel free to experiment with protein shakes and enjoy the benefits of reduced recovery time and less muscle pain.