Protein is essential to building and retaining lean muscle mass. Consistently getting in adequate amounts of protein each day is incredibly important for progress and overall health. Depending on your height, weight and goals, you are going to require a certain amount of protein each day. This amount will be different for everyone and will actually change as your goals do (weight loss/weight gain/maintenance).
However, sometimes that amount can seem too high to reach by solely eating whole food sources. If you need 200 grams of Protein a day, that’s A LOT of chicken breast and Greek yogurt! That is one major reason why people supplement with protein powder.
Using a good quality protein powder to HELP fulfill your protein requirements for the day is a very helpful, convenient way to meet your macro goal. Over the years Whey Protein has gained enormous amounts of popularity. It is cost effective, contains all essential amino acids, and has a very high Biological Value (BV). Whey Protein is primarily lower fat, lower carb, which results in a pretty low calorie drink that won’t immediately give you a full, bloated feeling. An average two scoops of Whey will provide approx. 50g of protein, which only amounts to around 200 calories (4 cals per gram)! Mix that with cold water or an unsweetened almond/coconut milk and you will have a very easy to drink, easily digestible shake that won’t fill you up!
This is ONE major reason people use protein shakes. I recommend them to clients of ALL ages who have issues with getting in enough protein throughout their day. Obviously we do not want a majority of your daily protein coming from powder. If you need a scoop or two of protein to help you get to where you need to be, great! We just do not want to have more than 50-60 grams of protein powder per day. If we used more then we would be limiting the amount of vital micro-nutrients that we get from whole food protein sources. Of course you want to speak with your clients and be aware of any allergies or intolerance’s. There are many sources of protein powder to fit almost everyone’s lifestyle/diet choices like;
- Rice – Pea – Hemp – Soy – Casein
Another reason whey protein powder is important would be for a post workout feeding. There have been myths toted around talking about the “anabolic window”. This is essentially where you take down a protein shake immediately following your workout to maximize gainzzz. Currently, there is no evidence proving this. This so called anabolic window actually lasts longer than we originally thought. We now know that waiting 20 minutes to get home and have protein shake versus immediately having it seconds after your workout provides little to no added benefit. The reason that protein powder is mainly recommended post workout is that it is easily digestible compared to chicken breast. We can pound a shake down much easier and faster than sitting down and eating 3 pieces of chicken breast.
Paying attention to overall protein intake over the entire day will provide more long term benefits then just paying attention to post workout nutrition. Research shows that we want to shoot an average 40 grams of protein post workout. If you are going to use a protein powder, this would be the time to use it. If you are not training on a certain day I would still recommend having a shake to ensure consistent protein intake or increasing your whole food protein sources on those days to make up the difference and save the powder solely for post workout nutrition.
Overall, protein powder can be a very beneficial way to elevate your protein intake which will directly have a positive effect your strength and overall lean body mass.
Have any questions or concerns? Comment below!