Whether your goal is to increase muscle size and gain strength or to lose weight and stay lean protein is the most important supplement that you can take.
Protein is the building block of muscle, and without enough of it, your body won’t build muscle. Protien supplements are completely safe with not side effects unless you are taking over 900 grams of protein a day. Many protein shakes are available as protein powder in bulk containers, ready-to-go protein shakes in single-serving containers which don’t require additional liquids or containers, or even available in protein powder single-serve packages! We recommend supplementing your diet with at least 2 to 3 protein shakes a day, making sure that one of the protein drinks are taken immediately after a workout to help replenish diminished resources.
Why Supplement with Powders?
So the obvious thing to be thinking now is, “why do I need protein shakes, can’t I just get enough of it from regular foods?” The answer to that question is yes! But the problem here is, since we all know that for best results we should try to eat at least 1.5 gram of protein per kg of body weight, it gets VERY hard to eat so much regular food every day. Not many people have time to make chicken breasts all day long, which is where protein shakes come in. They take just a minute or 2 to prepare, just scoop out the powder, put it in a cup, pour in a liquid of some kind (anything from water, to milk, to fruit juice), and mix it with a spoon for about 20 seconds, and drink. Each scoop usually has about 17.5 grams of protein and is WAY more convenient then eating a regular food.
Of course, you should try to get most of your daily protein from regular foods, however, there are a few times of the day where protein shakes would be better then eating a regular food. One of these times is first thing in the morning. Your body has not eaten for the last 8 or so hours while you were sleeping, so a whey protein shake (which is the fastest digesting protein there is) would be the perfect thing to give your body. The same goes for directly after your workout. This is probably the most important time to have a shake. Since you just worked out, your muscles need to rebuild and repair themselves, and this is the most important time to give your body protein, so a shake right now would be a great idea.
Protein shakes can vary. Some protein shakes and protein drinks are higher in carbohydrates, and some protein drinks are very low in carbohydrates, making it ideal for low glycemic and low carbohydrate dieting. Protein shakes are available in several great tasting flavors to keep your palate from boredom while at the same time, making sure your body gets it adequate protein intake and nutrients. Most protein shakes and proteins drinks taste best chilled or over ice. Protein powders are even a great idea to add to smoothies, as along with the antioxidants provided by the fruit, you are also getting a boost of energy and nutrients from the protein mix!
So How Much Protein Should I Take?
The RDA for protein for sedentary adults is 0.36 grams per pound of body weight, or about 42 grams of protein for someone who weighs 130 pounds. Health experts say that at maximum, athletes may require 0.55 to 0.73 grams per pound. So a 130-pound athlete who works out strenuously would probably need about 94 grams at most. When you consider that the average woman eats 64 grams of protein daily, and the average man 92, and that athletes generally eat more calories and thus more protein than average, it’s clear there’s not a big protein gap to be filled. On the other hand, Professional Bodybuilder will say the requirements for building solid lean muscles are 1 1/2 – 2 grams per pound.