Protein Powder – Should you use it?

When you first start weight training, your goals are to get stronger. For guys it is to get stronger and to also put on some lean muscle mass. For ladies, it’s actually exactly the same thing however we have the common statement of:

“Oh I don’t want to get bulky”

or

“I don’t want big muscles”

or

“I don’t want to get fat”

I say this with love.. TOUGH love… but those statements are coming from an uneducated place. What is more challenging is that when protein powder is suggested – those comments and sentiments are amplified even more.

So let’s deal with this here and now. Let’s get the low down on Protein Powder supplementation.

What is Protein Powder?

It’s a Supplement.

What’s a supplement?

Bingo. This such an important question. Let’s consult the dictionary!

supplemennt

A thing added to something else in order to complete or enhance it.

So that raises the next question –

Do you need to use it?

Not necessarily however – this opens up the next question which is:

Are you getting enough protein in your daily intake of food? If you are – you don’t HAVE to use protein supplements. The reason why this question is a touch more complicated is that more times than not, people aren’t getting enough protein in their daily eating and when you add in any sort of training, it becomes apparent from a intake and convenience perspective; Protein Powder Supplementation makes sense.

There is a misconception that protein powder is only for bodybuilders who yearn to only be able to walk through doors sideways and women who wish to be bigger and musclier than their significant other. For that sort of stuff to happen, you will find that there is a hell of a lot of work in the gym being done over a number of years. Genetics will also play a role in their size and YES – let’s address that over sized, roided out elephant in the room.. for people to get REALLY big – often there are steroids somewhere in the mix – especially if they got huge in a very short amount of time.

Ladies – the truth of the matter is that it is testosterone that helps men put on more muscle. This is why you when you lift weights, you are more likely to see a more lean and shapely body. The big muscular physique you fear is unlikely due to your smaller testosterone levels.

The benefits don’t end there – stronger muscles means stronger tendons. Stronger bones is also a great benefit from this. Having more muscle means that your metabolism is higher so that you burn more body fat while at rest.

Burning body fat at rest. This is like the holy grail of fitness.

Protein is a macro-nutrient. It is also your main source of amino acids.. they build our body. If you don’t ensure that your diet has sufficient protein intake, your training is potentially being sabotaged. You want muscle to increase your metabolic rate? You need to ensure your protein intake is right. That’s why we ask about your daily food intake – so we can determine if you are eating correctly to facilitate the training we prescribe to you!

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times.

YOU CAN’T OUT TRAIN A BAD DIET

This includes under-eating the macro-nutrients required to make progress. Protein = amino acids = building blocks of life or – in this case – MUSCLE.

Protein powders definitely have their benefits BUT we shouldn’t just live off of them. We still need to ensure we have our whole food protein sources like meats, fish, eggs, legumes and even nuts. If you are a saint when it comes to eating frequently throughout the day – simply put – you may not need protein supplementation. It is important to note the benefits of having liquid protein sources (Protein Powder) that are readily digested. Having protein in a liquid form is one such way to get quick absorption. Having liquid protein intakes around your training is optimal.

“Having that protein shake can be a quick, efficient and nutritionally sound choice. Be happy about it! Though we don’t know why Tracey is looking so cheerful here. She’s just been charged with tax evasion.

Other reasons that tip their hat to protein powder supplementation are:

1. Convenience!

Let’s be honest here – So many times we miss meals and use the “Not enough time” excuse. A protein liquid meal is quick easy and can take less than a minute to organise.

2. Fountain of Youth!

Whey Protein as mentioned above is a main source of amino acids. They go towards making glutathione in your body. This strong antioxidant affects telemore length which in turn has anti-ageing properties that affect our chromosomes!

3. Don’t get skinny and fat at the same time!

Trying to lose body fat is indeed challenging. But by not eating correctly, you run the risk of losing vital muscle mass that will affect your metabolism. Lose fat and muscle and you get that floppy skinny fat feeling which is a bitter sweet feeling for all the work you put in. Feed those muscles protein in order to keep that muscle size and metabolism.

4. You can’t avoid Protein!

Protein is important. You can’t expect decent progress unless you are feeding your body the essential nutrients that will make it grow more.

5. Controlling your Hunger!

Hungry? Is it better you go snack on something bad.. or go and have a delicious (see point 6)protein shake? The latter – obviously! Protein actually fills you up with satiety so you will feel satisfied a bit longer!

6. It tastes good!

There are some protein powders that do taste like you’re eating a wet towel. There are great ones that taste so so good! Get the ones that taste good so that when you do have one – it’s a reward for your nutritional diligence!

7. Perfect for pre and post workouts

Liquid protein meals are ideal for their quick absorption rate which is why having them directly before and after your training will ensure your body is fueled and ready to put that protein to good use – building those muscles and your recovery!

In conclusion – the main thing to remember is this – If you’re diet is inline with your actual nutritional requirements i.e. you’re getting the right amount of protein; you don’t need to worry about protein powders. But if you are training and/or your nutritional requirements are being impeded by lack of convenience or time – supplementation is the way to go.

Because sometimes you just don’t have time to eat that huge piece of meat as Penelope here demonstrates.

Penelope has taken Paleo to the next level. Penelope is known for overdoing it

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Jon is a Metabolic Precision Transformation Specialist working from his Studio EPIC WIN PT in Newmarket, Brisbane. Follow all the fun and adventures by liking the Facebook page here

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