Protein Powders for Muscle Building in Teenagers

Patient

Q: Hello! I have 13 yr old son who is trying to build muscle. Can you please recommend a powder protein that we can add to our smoothies and shakes to help build muscle?

Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. Powder forms of protein consist of amino acids.  Amino acids are considered to be the basic building blocks of muscle tissue.  In addition, because high performance athletes tend to "break down" their muscle tissue during performance and training, it is believed that amino acids - when taken at the right time - help to enhance muscle recovery. Muscle recovery is optimal immediately after exercise and during sleep.
Unfortunately, the majority of studies involve individuals over the age of 18. It is difficult to recommend supplementation in individuals younger than the age of 18.  Further more, the risks of kidney damage from excess protein intake are enhanced in younger individuals. It is probably best to obtain protein requirements through food sources.

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