Is it advisable for a fifteen year old to take protein supplements?

Patient

Q: Dear Ask the Doctor: I still feel my question hasn't been answered as the focus is my son's age. I copy below previous question and reply and hope to have the age issue addressed in the next response. Do you think it's safe to take the protein supplements out of the counter for a teenager of 15?
"Dear Ask The Doctor: My son is 15 years old and wishes to build muscle. He is asking me to buy him protein supplements, the kind they sell over the web, like Whey, etc...I believe he is too young for this but would like your professional opinion and reasoning to help me explain it to him. Thanks. Mary-Kay



Dear Mary-Kay: If your son keeps a balanced and healthy diet he should have all his protein requirements covered. These are the most common types of protein powders used by bodybuilders and athletes: Egg, Casein, and Whey. Casein has a high glutamine content( amino acid glutamine), which can benefit bodybuilders and athletes by helping preserve muscle mass and aiding immune system function, also has more absorption. Casein protein digests slowly, making it an ideal protein to consume before bed time, or anytime throughout the day when there will be a prolonged amount of time between meals. Egg protein is absorbed by the body at a rate in between the fast absorbing whey protein, and the slow absorbing casein protein. You can eat hardboiled eggs instead of spending money on egg protein. Egg protein is low in calories and has a great amino acid profile. Egg protein can be consumed at most meals throughout the day. It's also a good choice if you are trying to cut body fat. Whey protein is the most commonly consumed type of protein supplement on the market. It's easily digestible, has an extremely high biological value, and is relatively inexpensive. Whey protein may help stimulate muscle growth by increasing insulin-like growth factor-1. Since whey protein is the fastest absorbing protein, consuming it before and after your workouts is ideal. Consuming it in the morning along with another type of protein is also advisable."

Thank you.

Kind Regards,

Doctor

A:   This question is currently in queue and will be answered shortly by one of our doctors. In the meantime you may browse our library of answered questions by clicking here.

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