Should I Use Protein Powder

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How Do You Know What Size Scoop To Use

Does Protein Powder Work? (Spoiler: YES, but there’s a catch)

The measurement of size and volume using a scoop is simple to understand. Scoop size information is provided for each scoop. The number of scoops in a liquid quart measure equals that number. If the number 8 on the scoop means one eight of a quart large or four fluid ounces large, thats how much liquid is in 1 quart .

How Much Protein Do I Really Need

The bodybuilding physiques that spring to mind for many women when theyre considering whether or not to start using protein powder are shaped not by protein powder itself, but through hours of specific and intense daily training in the gym, a super restrictive diet, and often other supplements. Unlike men, most women do not have the same level of hormonesspecifically testosterone levelsthat are needed for this kind of bulky, hyper-muscular look, so theres no need to worry that youll resemble Arnold Schwarzenegger simply by adding protein powders into your diet!

When it comes to protein powder serving sizes, it really varies depending on the individual and their activity level, so its best to experiment with portions until you find the amount that suits you best. As a general guide, if youre trying to lose a few kilos, have a 20-30 g serving. If your priority is on building and maintaining lean muscle mass, use 35 g or more per serving.

If you dont have the time or energy to get your protein from meal-prepping a week’s worth of chicken breast, eggs and peas, protein powder offers a convenient means of getting the necessary protein into your diet. Women are more at risk of developing protein deficiencies, so keep in mind the recommendations surrounding daily protein intake.

Read our blog, Protein Powder For Weight Loss: A Beginners Guide, for a more detailed insight into using protein powder to help with weight loss.

Why Use Protein Powder

While whole-food protein is best, its just not always possible to get all the protein you need from whole foods. Ultimately, there are two big reasons you might want to consider adding protein powder to your diet.

Reason #1: Convenience: In some cases, people just dont have time to sit down and eat a whole-food meal. This might happen when a person is:

  • Very busy with work, caregiving, or other responsibilities
  • Aiming for a very high protein requirement and doesnt have time/desire to eat that much whole-food protein
  • Transitioning to a plant-based diet and still figuring out their preferred whole-food protein sources
  • Trying to meet protein goals while traveling or with limited food options

Reason #2: Appetite: Other times, people dont feel hungry enough to eat the amount of protein they need. This might happen when a person is:

  • Trying to gain weight and is struggling to increase their intake
  • Sick and has lost their desire to eat
  • Aiming to improve athletic performance and recovery, but doesnt feel hungry enough to meet their nutrient needs

These reasons are all completely legitimate.

But you dont NEED protein powder to be healthy. Its a supplement, not an essential food group.

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Getting Started Drinking Protein Shakes

Lets recap some of the key points of drinking protein shakes for you:

  • Protein supplements can SUPPLEMENT a healthy diet, but should not replace it.
  • My recommendation is to buy a tub of Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein online if youre on a tighter budget, in whatever flavor you like.
  • If you have more money, consider the Jay Robbs Grassfed Whey Protein .
  • Consider mixing in a protein shakebefore or after your workout. Timing isnt as important as total protein consumed over the course of a day when it comes to building muscle and recovery.
  • Think of a shake as a way to get good protein when you cant afford/dont have time to make a good meal.
  • A cheap blender will suffice if you dont have other options, but if you have more of a budget I would recommend getting a Vitamix youll have it for the next 30 years.
  • Hopefully, this should get you started! Feel free to try out different flavors and combinations of ingredients in your smoothies to make them something you actually look forward to!

    Do you have any favorite protein shake recipes?

    Any more questions about protein powders and supplements?

    -Steve

    You May Be Forgetting About Whole Food Sources Of Protein

    Who Should Use Protein Powder and Why  Momsanity

    “Protein powder is a good supplement however, it should not replace whole food protein sources like meats, poultry legumes, and nuts/seeds,” says registered dietitian Alana Kessler, MS, RDN the founder of Be Well by Alana Kessler.6254a4d1642c605c54bf1cab17d50f1e

    There are some instances of powders containing heavy metals which over time can have a titration effect leading to health problems. BPA and pesticides have also been uncovered in some powders,” Kessler tells us. “Consider the manufacturer and look for chemical-free powders,” she adds.

    “A nonprofit group called the Clean Label Project released a report about toxins in protein powders. The researchers evaluated 134 products for 130 types of toxins and found that many protein powders contained heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury, bisphenol-A , pesticides, or other contaminants with links to cancer and other health conditions,” says Nieves. According to the report, “some toxins were present in significant quantities. For example, one protein powder contained 25 times the allowed limit of BPA.”

    Recommended Reading: Best Protein Powder For Gaining Weight

    They May Contain Added Sugar Calories Or Even Toxic Chemicals

    Adding protein powder to a glass of milk or a smoothie may seem like a simple way to boost your health. After, all, protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle, bone strength, and numerous body functions. And many older adults don’t consume enough protein because of a reduced appetite.

    But be careful: a scoop of chocolate or vanilla protein powder can harbor health risks. “I don’t recommend using protein powders except in a few instances, and only with supervision,” says registered dietitian Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

    Ladder Whey Protein Powder

    Price: $$

    In fact, its NSF Certified for Sport, meaning that each batch has been tested for banned substances to ensure safety.

    According to reviewers, it mixes very easily and doesnt have a chalky aftertaste like many other protein powders on the market, so it can be a great addition to your post-workout protein shake.

    However, its a bit pricier than other supplements and is sweetened with stevia, which can have an aftertaste that some people may find unpalatable.

    Recommended Reading: Cookies And Cream Protein Bars

    Whey Protein Or Plant Protein

    The quality of a protein can be assessed by the amino acid profile. You want to use protein supplements that are high in branch chain amino acids . The BCAAs are leucine, isoleucine, and valine.

    Leucine is the most important of the amino acids when it comes to muscle protein synthesis .

    You can find substantial amounts of leucine in both whey, and pea protein powders, the two dominant sources of protein powders on the market. Whey, brown rice, and pea protein powders will help you achieve your gains.

    Its a myth that you cant get protein from plants.

    The best protein supplement is one that you can take regularly with little side effects such as stomach issues, and one that you enjoy the taste of and look forward to taking.

    Check out this vegan bodybuilder who has never eaten meat in his life:

    Count Calories And Lose Weight

    Why YOU Should Use Protein Powder (if you arent already)

    Theres a reason why weight loss programs are a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States roughly two-thirds of the population is either overweight or obese.

    And while common knowledge tells us to eat less and workout more to lose weight, its not such a simple equation for people with busy lives and a lack of nutritional awareness.

    Not everyone has the time or energy to weigh out food on kitchen scales and count calories every time they cook. Plus, many of the prepackaged weight loss meal programs just arent very satisfying and get expensive fast.

    Protein powder is easy to measure, quick to prepare, and only has around 160 calories per scoop, making it a valuable ally in anyones weight loss journey.

    It can be thrown into a blender to make a healthy green smoothie, mixed in with yogurt for a sweet and healthy treat, or baked into bars that taste great and arent loaded with sugar.

    Weight-loss warriors must select a protein powder that fits their profile and does not include added sugars or hidden carbs.

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    Naked Whey Protein Powder

    Price: $$

    Naked Whey Protein Powder is a low carb option marketed to people who want to lose weight and increase muscle tone.

    The unflavored version is free of added sugar and contains just one ingredient: whey protein concentrate.

    This protein powder gets high marks for its formulation, with reviewers on Amazon noting that its easy to mix and has a mild flavor that works well when combined with other ingredients.

    Additionally, its certified by Informed Choice, meaning its free of banned substances and safe for athletes.

    It also has a creamy consistency and can be added to milk, yogurt, or smoothies for a quick and easy dessert or snack.

    Naked Whey is also available in chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavors, all of which are sweetened with organic coconut sugar.

    Side Effects And Risks Of Whey Protein

    Whey protein is generally safe for most people to take, as long as they dont have a dairy allergy. But there are some drawbacks:

    • Calorie content: Whey protein may be low fat and low carb, but it still has calories. Too many calories from anything, including protein, leads to weight gain, Smith explains.
    • Extra sugar or processed ingredients: Many protein powders and shakes contain processed ingredients like artificial flavors, sweeteners or added sugar. Its better to get your protein from whole foods and a varied diet, rather than a supplement, bar or shake, says Smith. If you use a supplement, look for one that lists whey protein as the only ingredient.
    • Possible contaminants: Protein supplements dont have strict regulations like foods and drugs. The purity might not be proven in some protein supplements, says Smith. They can have fillers or heavy metal contaminants that arent listed on the label. Choose whey protein products that are NSF Certified for Sport or certified by Informed Choice. These products have been independently tested for purity.
    • Possible digestive problems: Some people experience constipation, diarrhea or nausea from taking whey protein, especially if they take large amounts.

    Don’t Miss: Low Carb Low Fat Recipes High Protein

    When To Use Protein Powder

    In terms of the time of day or night you should be getting your protein powder, the truth is it doesnt really matter. As long as your body is getting regular protein, youll reap the benefits.

    If you have a specific goal, however, you might want to consider that some health and fitness experts recommend the following:

    • For weight loss, protein-rich snacks such as yoghurt between meals might help curb your appetite and lead you to eat fewer calories overall.3
    • Also for weight loss, eating a protein-rich meal at breakfast time is thought to help some people eat fewer calories throughout the day.4
    • For muscle gain, some fitness experts believe that the two hours post-workout is the best time to take your protein powder for maximum muscle gain.5

    What Is The Best Protein Powder To Use

    Which Protein Powder should I use?

    With literally thousands of different protein powders on the market to choose from, this can quickly become a confusing choice.

    Especially when every company out there is hyping their product up as the best option available and giving an endless list of reasons as to why youll make better gains with their powder as opposed to another. But you have to choose protein power carefully because whey protein has side effects too.

    However, heres the simple truth when it comes to selecting a protein powder for your diet

    As long as youre consuming enough total protein for the day as a whole and from a variety of sources, the specific type of protein powder you use is not going to make any noticeable difference to your bottom line results.

    This is because ALL forms of protein are ultimately broken down into their individual amino acid building blocks, and youll easily be getting enough of all the different aminos your body needs to max out its muscle building capabilities over any given day assuming sufficient protein quantity/variety is present.

    Yes, certain types of protein powder like whey or egg are technically superior to certain other types such as brown rice or soy due to their superior amino acid profile on a gram for gram basis, but the differences in quality gradually become less and less important as the total amount of protein you consume throughout the day increases.

    Also Check: What Is The Most Protein Dense Food

    Should You Drink Protein Shakes

    Protein is part of every cell in the human body, making this macronutrient crucial to functions ranging from immune response and hormone production, andmost famouslybuilding and repairing bodies’ muscles.

    As a result, Americans spend billions of dollars annually on protein supplements, such as shakes, to build muscle mass and help bulk up.

    Recent research indicates regular gym-goers and athletes may require roughly doubling the recommended daily allowance of approximately 0.72 grams per pound , to support muscle recovery and growth.

    For optimal results, studies suggest this could mean spreading this amount over three or four daily meals, consumed every three or four hours, making protein shakes a convenient option for those that require such additional intake.

    With protein powders typically containing 25 to 30 grams of protein per scoop, HeathLine.com describes protein shakes as “a good option between meals, either as a snack or around your workout.”

    Fiona Hawker, a fitness instructor at Curves Gym, believes the subject has been under-researched, but suspects protein powder is possibly unnecessary for many people who hit the gym.

    She told Newsweek: “There hasn’t been much research on this subject and what research has been done suggests that it doesn’t make a significant difference whether it is before or after.

    Should You Use Protein Powders Its Complicated

    Did you think protein powder and protein shakes were the domain only of the Arnold Schwarzeneggers and Dwayne the Rock Johnsons of the world?

    These days, protein shakes and powders are used by diverse groups of people that couldnt be more different, at least physically: elite athletes, post-surgery patients, the elderly, time-deprived Type As and fast-growing teens.

    Why? Because protein in and of itself is key in healing and restoring the body whether the breakdown is from high workout loads or from medical procedures, such as surgery or radiation. But that doesnt mean we should all run out and buy tubs of powder. As with any food or supplement, there are upsides and downsides, and it pays to educate yourself.

    Also Check: Protein Shake Cookies And Cream

    Should I Drink My Protein Shake Before Or After My Workout

    Conventional wisdom tells us that we need to be consuming our protein shake IMMEDIATELY after our workout for maximum gains.

    It also tells us that we need to be consuming protein every few hours for maximum protein synthesis by our muscles too.

    But what does the science actually say?

    According to this abstract:

    In general, protein supplementation pre-AND post-workout increases physical performance, training session recovery, lean body mass, muscle hypertrophy, and strength. Specific gains, differ however based on protein type and amounts.

    And in this study:

    These results refute the commonly held belief that the timing of protein intake in and around a training session is critical to muscular adaptations and indicate that consuming adequate protein in combination with resistance exercise is the key factor for maximizing muscle protein accretion.

    WHAT THIS MEANS: The amount of protein you consume in a day is more important than the timing of your protein when it comes to muscle building. Consuming a protein shake before OR after a workout will result in increased physical performance and muscle hypertrophy provided youre training the right way!

    If you need to train and then head to work and you cant eat your protein until later in the day, do what works best for you!

    Some people might hate training on an empty stomach, so consuming the protein shake before the workout is beneficial.

    Not sure if youre training right?

    When Should I Consume Protein Powder

    Using Protein Powder for Weight Loss – How MUCH and What TYPE You Should Use

    If you are choosing to add protein powders to your daily routine, the best time to consume protein is after exercise! While anabolic effects of protein doses on muscle growth are dependent on the last dose of protein consumption of your protein powder within 2 hours after your workout will be the most effective.

    Read also:Nutrient TimingLooking for a quick snack? Protein powders are great snack substitutes if you are seeking something quick and convenient. Lastly, studies have shown that doses of protein 40g or more right before sleep has positive effects on muscle protein balance. Overall, protein powders are a very quick and convenient way to increase your overall protein intake throughout the day. To ensure you have a safe product you should make sure your protein powder contains one of the banned substance seals, lists all individual ingredients, and uses branded ingredients and raw materials.

    Also Check: Best Protein Bars For Weight Loss

    What Are The Other Benefits

    Apart from a resounding yes in response to the question, Does drinking protein shakes help build muscle?, specifically lean muscles, there are plenty of additional benefits of protein powder. In general, protein helps refuel and regenerate muscles after a workout, improve athletic performance and maintain overall health. For women specifically, getting the required amounts of protein is also essential for growing and maintaining healthy and strong nails and hair, since these are largely made up of the same compound.

    The benefits dont stop there. Although many women shy away from supplementing with protein for fear of looking manly or bulky, incorporating a protein powder into your daily diet is actually a great way to get into shape and offers a rather holistic approach to health and wellness. Protein powder also helps to protect your immunity, as the essential amino acids found in the supplement help to develop antioxidants that fight against illness and disease. With its high levels of vitamins and nutrients, protein powder can also help to reduce fatigue, lower cholesterol and reduce chronic inflammation that may be the result of unhealthy habits or health issues.

    Happy Way protein powders are also superb for weight management, as it aids in weight loss via natural hunger control , and stabilises blood sugar levels, helping to reduce sweet cravings.

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