Should I Take Protein Powder?
Curious about protein powder? You’ve likely seen other people with a healthy lifestyle taking it before and are now starting to wonder if perhaps you should too be taking it as part of your health and/or muscle building.
To help clear up some of this confusion, let’s go over some key facts about protein powder that you need to know. Once you learn these, the choice should be that much clearer.
There Is Nothing Special About Protein Powder
First, don’t let yourself get caught up into thinking that there’s something ‘special’ or magical about protein powder.
Many people view it different because it is considered to be a supplement and as with any supplement, this raises questions in the minds of many.
But when it really comes down to it, to your body, there really isn’t all that much difference between taking a scoop of protein powder or eating a chicken breast. At the end of the day, both are going to do relatively the same thing.
They each supply protein and that protein is utilised to build and repair bodily tissues. End of story. Protein powder is simply a fast and convenient way to get protein in when you can’t eat real food.
Note this does not mean it is meant to replace real food. It’s simply another option that you have available.
Not All Protein Powders Are Created Equal
Next, realise that not all protein powders are created equal. While they all will supply that protein you need, some are designed to digest much more quickly in the body, providing those amino acids immediately. These are great immediately after a workout when your body needs them rapidly.
Others are designed to digest more slowly. These would then be ideal to take before bed or when you know you won’t be having food for quite some time.
Finally, others will also contain other macronutrients – carbs and fats and are meant to replace a full meal, not just a protein source. They are typically higher in calories, so you must account for that intake or they could lead to weight gain.
Protein Powder Will Not Make You Bulky
Which brings us to the next point about protein powders, they will not make you bulky. Don’t think that just by drinking protein powder, you will immediately begin to sprout muscle out of nowhere.
Again, it’s no different than eating a chicken breast. Do you avoid chicken or fear of getting bulky?
Again, if you were to drink 5 proteins shakes a day along with eating like you normally do, you may see some weight gain, but this is more about the fact you’ve just increased your total calorie intake by 500-600 calories than it is the fact you are drinking protein powder.
You Can Take Too Much
Finally, on that note, you need to realise that you can take in too much. You shouldn’t be drinking protein powder in unlimited amounts just because you read it’s good for those who exercise.
Protein powder is still protein and you can get too much of a good thing. Ideally you should not have any more than 1-2 scoops of protein powder per day, along with your other lean protein sources.
And in total, you want to aim for no more than around 1 gram of protein per kilo of body weight per day unless you’re wanting to build muscle. Any more than this with a moderate exercise program and your intake is just getting excessive.
So there you have the facts about protein powder. If you often find yourself missing meals or not getting your protein needs met, it may just be one of the best supplements that you can take to get your daily intake of protein.