Many people still debate which is better between food and supplements. Both are good, give us the nutrients we need, and help us improve our bodies. But the question is, which one is better?
Let’s look at some nutrients that we can get from foods and supplements. We will compare them and discuss which one is better.
Nutrients from food and supplements
Protein is a vital nutrient for the repair, structure, and regulation of cells in our body. Foods rich in protein are chicken breast, eggs, oats, almonds, and other types of cheese. Meat is one of the favorites of bodybuilders.
Sometimes, they even include raw meat into their protein shake. However, eating the meat makes the experience a lot better. Yet you’ll need strong teeth to enjoy them. A missing tooth may make it hard for you to enjoy your meal, opt for a replacement tooth right away so that you can consume foods high in protein.
Different supplements provide protein- whey, casein, egg, soy, pea, and rice protein supplements. Commonly, bodybuilders and gym-goers are the ones taking protein powder supplements for them to hit the required protein to build muscle.
Now let’s take a look at the pros and cons of protein powder:
Protein powder is a great source of protein and is easy to digest protein that you can take anywhere you go. You can carry a sachet with 30 grams of protein powder and take it with you.
Depending on the brand of the protein powder, protein powder supplements are actually cheaper than eating whole foods for the same amount of grams of protein.
And one of the best things about protein powders is that they come in a variety of flavors. If you are a coffee lover, there are protein powders with coffee or mocha java flavor. It tastes like coffee but with high protein.
Protein powders are easy to prepare. Just one scoop, water, and shake, and you will have high protein. The simple process will save you a lot of time, unlike cooking.
One downside of protein powder is that you won’t get all of the vitamins and nutrients that you can get from foods. For example, you will get around 25 grams of protein/100 grams serving of beef, just like one serving of protein powder.
But in beef, you will also get other vitamins like iron, zinc, vitamin b12, and creatine. These are some nutrients that you won’t get from protein powder. Food will fill your stomach more than protein powder, which means you will gain more energy for a longer period.
Creatine can naturally be found in our bodies. Creatine will help your muscle produce the energy needed during your workout or exercise. Foods rich in creatine are Red meat, Chicken, Pork, Salmon, Tuna, etc.
Creatine supplement is a good source of creatine. Like protein powders, most people who take creatine supplements are bodybuilders and gym-goers. Taking 5 grams per day allows them to do more reps and sets or improve performance in the gym.
Creatine supplement is easy to take. One scoop of a creatine powder is enough to hit your 5 grams of creatine daily intake. Or another pre-workout supplement has enough creatine to supply you for the day.
One of the best advantages of creatine supplements is that taking 5 grams of creatine from foods will cost you a lot more. Here’s an example:
- Red meat = 4.5g per kilo
- Pork = 5g per kilo
- Salmon = 4.5g per kilo
- Herring = 6.5g per kilo
- Tuna = 4g per kilo
It clearly means that you will need to eat a kilogram to hit your 5 grams daily creatine intake.
Like protein powder, you will not get all the nutrients you can get from actual foods. And it doesn’t mean that taking this much amount of food is unrealistic to hit that 5 grams daily creatine.
Creatine causes water retention, which means you will have more weight. There are some cases where people who took creatine experienced bloating and hair loss. And when you stop taking a creatine supplement, you will lose all your water weight quickly and cause your muscles to look flat.
So which one is better?
Both are good. But we need to understand that supplements are called supplements. In other words, they are just there to back up our diet or supplement our diet. Supplements are not required, especially when you get all the nutrients you need from your food.
Many people think that they need to take supplements and magically grow their muscles. That’s not how it works. In fact, some studies have shown that taking too much protein, for example, does not have the necessary effect on muscle gain. They are just there to support our intake of food.
In case that you don’t get enough nutrients from your foods, then it is a good time to take supplements. Remember to eat plenty of healthy foods, and you will get the gains you want.