Something that i see a lot of people confused about is protein powders. There are so many different types of powders, prices and brands which can be a little overwhelming to say the least! It’s something that you will see in most health stores and hear people talking about at the gym. People stereotype protein shakes with beefy guys who are twice the size of an average human, but now it’s the common thing to do, even for us girls! Protein is essential for muscle growth and repair.
When i started training i was confused just as many of you are, so i thought i’d write this post to clear up some things!
Protein powders come in various forms. The most well known is Whey protein, which is a water-soluble milk protein which you can mix with water or pretty much anything. You can also get soy protein, which doesn’t taste great apparently and also Casein which is a slower releasing protein which i personally have before bed mixed with low fat yoghurt (you guys really need to try it before you question it!). Whey Protein has it’s advantages, it has all the necessary amino acids in which are essential for the human diet. Also, a plus for us, they come in EVERY flavour imaginable. I just stick with vanilla, boring i know, but then that way i can make up fruit shakes with a scoop of whey!
So, can the average person use protein powders? Of course they can! A lot of people think that if you use protein powder you will automatically gain size. That’s not the case at all. Shakes are convenient sources of protein which you can have on the go, replace a meal if you’re short on time and to have as a snack. But remember, if you have time to prepare and make a meal including a source of protein such as chicken, fish or a dairy product, then i would 100% recommend doing so. You will get just the same amount of protein per serving and personally i’d prefer to eat a meal then drink one…anyone else with me there? You won’t get ‘fat’ (i hate that word) having protein powders, if you abuse them or get a protein powder that is for bulking and you aren’t working out, yes of course you will gain weight as protein powders have calories just like anything else. So be mindful of the product you buy.
They best time to use a protein shake is if you are amping up your workouts, making a big change to the way you are working out. If you are putting your body through a lot of training you will want to make sure that you are also getting enough protein in your diet to help recovery. Protein powders are an easy way to help get that extra bit of protein in your diet, especially if you are lacking time! The average person needs 0.5-0.75grams of protein daily for every pound of body weight. So if you weigh 140lbs you will need 70-105g of protein per day. Does that sound alot? Well, in 100g of chicken/turkey there is 33g of protein, in 100g of roasted soy beans there are 58g of protein and in 1 large egg there is 6g protein. bodybuilding.com have a list of lots of foods and how much protein they contain so check that out!
You don’t need to have a protein shake straight after a workout. In fact you need more carbs after a workout than protein. Your body has just depleted its energy levels from the workout, by eating carbohydrates will replenish that level and ultimately help you recover and build muscle. Having a protein shake with a banana and some cinnamon is a great way to give your body all the nutrients it needs to recover sufficiently. That’s the shake in the photo!
I’ve used a lot of different protein powders, flavours and brands. What i look for in a protein powder is taste, how well it mixes with water…no one wants a lumpy protein shake…and price. You don’t need to buy the most expensive brand, a protein powder for less money is still going to have the essential ingredients and nutrients that all protein powders have. If you are struggling to find a protein powder check out Predator Nutrition, they stock pretty much every brand of protein and even brands that you may never have heard of! They also sell bars, breads, cookies etc you name it, they have it in a protein form!
So in answer to the question, yes protein powders are worth it! I hope this was of some use, if you have any questions about protein powders or how to use them just drop a comment below and i’ll get back to you! Otherwise i hope you enjoyed this post!