Though protein shakes have been gaining popularity with teen athletes in recent times to meet increased protein demands of the body, such supplemental forms of proteins are not yet passed by the authoritarian bodies to be consumed by kids under the age of 18.
So the question that arises is whether or not are protein supplements safe for teenagers?
Protein shakes and supplements have traditionally been in use with adults for the longest time known, however, this hasn’t stopped the new teen athletes to try them as well, for easier protein acquirement. Even with the rise of use of protein supplements by those under 18, protein supplements seem to be still a product of caution as they may or may not lead to health risks in growing adolescents.
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According to the RDA, the protein requirements for girls in the age group of 14-18 are 46-48 gm. per day and for boys, it is at 52 gm. per day. Teen athletes may require some amount of additional protein depending on their activity levels than non active teens; however, it is not impossible for them to meet the protein needs from food itself. While it is unlikely for them to go overboard with protein from diet, it might so happen when the diet is unbalanced with protein shakes making up the most of diet. One of the main reasons why the protein intake in those under 18 needs to be monitored is to avoid protein toxicity and excess weight gain from shakes.
Who can take them?
Kids with a history of being underweight, who have been unsuccessful in gaining healthy weight with diet may be put on a course of weight-gaining protein shakes that are calorie and protein balanced. These are specific kind of shakes meant for healthy muscle building that are not just loaded with protein and calories but also contain essential micro and macronutrients. Ideally, if a teenager is to be put on a protein shake, the recommendation has to come from a healthcare professional.
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Use caution when giving your kid a dietary supplements, only doing so under the healthcare professional’s guidance. Since most supplements are not strictly regulated with food and drug administration body, it is best to stick to certified products. Other options to add a protein shake to the diet can be by making your own protein shake at home which can be a completely healthy beverage that you need not worry about and can be tweaked depending on the kid’s preference.
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