Do You Really Need Protein Powder?
Protein powder is everywhere, and so commonly go hand in hand with that new years resolution to get fit, healthy and lose weight.
Travel past any gym, jump online, or walk the streets of major cities and you will no doubt be far from an opportunity to purchase protein powders.
But do you really need them? Firstly, you need to ask yourself why you are taking protein powders and from there we can determine how effective they could be for you.
Check out our top 5 reasons for protein powder consumption to determine if your protein powder use is really warranted.
- Weight loss: The overarching factor for successful and sustainable weight loss is caloric balance manipulation. If you create a 500 calorie deficit each and every day over the course of a week, you can expect to see a 0.5kg weight loss. This can be extended to a 1000 calorie deficit each day over the course of a week to provide roughly 1kg/week weight loss. Keep in mind most protein powders per serve are between 100-150 calories (and when a deficit is the first priority this is only adding calories to your diet). If you choose to use protein powders whilst losing weight, be sure to account for the additional calories to still maintain the caloric deficit to provide you with that sustainable rate of weight loss.
- Enhancing recovery from training: Most protein powders (especially those derived from cow’s milk) provide an extremely high quality and rapidly absorbed form of protein. Given this fact, if they are consumed at the appropriate times around your training sessions there is solid evidence to support their effectiveness.
- To induce satiety: If feeling fuller for longer is your goal (especially when losing weight) then certain protein powders can definitely provide you with an enhanced feeling of satiety. Casein proteins (derived from dairy) are extremely slow digesting and therefore would be the best choice for this purpose (however remember to include the calories in your daily intakes to maintain an accurate recording of your caloric intake).
- Building muscle mass: Proteins are the building blocks for lean muscle mass development, but only if you satisfy two criteria (appropriate training and an appropriate caloric surplus). Contrary to the marketing of most supplement companies, protein powders alone aren’t enough to get you “buff” for the beach season. Another point to consider, is that you may be reaching your maximum protein requirements from your regular diet. It is important to note that consuming >2grams/kilogram body-weight in protein each day has not been shown to induce greater amounts of muscle mass development. Used appropriately however, protein powders can certainly assist those with this goal in mind.
- You were told you need protein powder: The ever expanding world of “bro-science” or misinformation from individuals not qualified to provide sports nutrition advice (anyone other than an accredited sports dietitian) means that most people are of the belief that these products are for everyone. Be extremely careful of where your nutrition advice comes from, as only accredited sports dietitians have the training and knowledge to determine if these supplements are right for you.
We hope this article prompts you to question your supplement intake, and encourage you to consult our qualified and experienced team before purchasing or using any dietary or sports supplement products.