I get asked this question all the time so I thought I’d share my thoughts about it.
People who are active and train regularly, especially with weights need more protein than a person who is sedentary. Adequate protein intake is necessary for optimal recovery from your workouts and building lean muscle tissue.
Good sources of protein:
Dairy (greek yoghurt, cottage cheese)
Legumes (also contain carbs)
Nuts and seeds (also contain fats)
A good starting point for protein intake if you try to improve your body composition is – total body weight in kg X 2.2 – or 1g/ pound of body weight. For a 60kg person it is 132g protein a day. Most women I work with find it difficult to consume the amount they need from food only. Supplementing with protein powder can help to reach your daily protein target easier. However, I do not recommend more than 1-2 portions a day. Whole foods should still be the base of your diet!
Protein powder can’t do magic! It is just protein like meat or egg whites. If you don’t already follow a healthy diet and exercise routine, taking protein powder alone won’t make you lose weight or build muscle quicker. Supplements are just for filling the gaps in your diet that you might not be able to cover from whole food sources.
Sort out your nutrition first and only then think about supplementation!
Do your research!
There are more and more supplement companies nowadays offering protein powder but sadly most of them are filled with chemicals, artificial ingredients and flavours that you wouldn’t want to put in your body. They might have the best marketing campaign and the most popular athletes promoting their products but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best choices for your health.
Eating ‘clean’ means avoiding anything processed and filled with ingredients you can’t even pronounce, as much as possible. This applies to your supplementation as well. When looking at buying a product always read the label first and if it’s got a long list of ingredients, it is better to avoid it.
I personally use Nutristrength whey protein and Pea Protein Isolate. I am a proud ambassador of this brand because of the same ethos we share when it comes to healthy nutrition and supplementation.
All Nutristrength products are free from artificial ingredients, colors and flavors. They mix well and taste amazing!
Nutristrength whey protein has been micro filtered at low temperatures, to give you the peace of mind that your protein has not been denatured whilst being processed. In an industry full of quick fixes and false promises, Nutristrength provide an authentic whey protein that is low in fat, low in lactose, high in calcium and high in protein. They are made from grass fed cows milk and are sweetened with stevia.
When is the best time to use protein powder?
After a workout
After training your muscles are in a prime position to take up nutrients therefore it is a good time to have a protein shake for better recovery and building lean muscle tissue. However, it is better for gut health to avoid having anything for at least 30 minutes post-workout. If you would like to eat a solid meal instead that is also fine, but some people do not feel hungry right after exercise so for them a shake comes in handy. It is really down to personal preference.
As a meal replacement or snack
When you are on the go, you can keep some protein powder in your shaker in your bag and just add water when you feel hungry and enjoy it as a snack with some fruit or nuts. Nutristrength also make single sachet protein powder that is very convenient to carry with you.
You can also enjoy a protein smoothie made from fruits, greens and nuts for breakfast or as a snack between meals.
To summarise, protein powder is not a magic supplement that will get you in shape without you putting in the hard work and consistently following a healthy diet and training routine first. Supplementing with protein powder is down to personal preference. It can be helpful, but it is not necessary to achieve your fitness goals.
If you find this helpful, please share it with your friends. Also, if there is anything that you would like me to write about, please let me know and I will be happy to help.