As I sit here typing this with a protein shake in hand while working at the GNC I have been at for what feels like the last 30 years.. I recognize that one of the most popular questions I get asked is..
"Do I NEED protein powder?"
Truth is, you do NOT need anything.. but, this all so popular and tasty supplement may be of some benefit to most if they choose to take it. This blog will have a brief description of what the heck protein powder is in the first place and why it may be of benefit to you. Part 2 of this blog will cover choosing the right protein powder for your needs and goals, since everything nowadays is so complicated.
First off, what even is protein powder?
Protein powders regardless of source (Whey, Animal, Egg, Plant, etc) is manufactured from the original source and processed in a way that is convenient for individuals that may not be able to just sit and eat copious amounts of protein at a time for a meal.
Life keeps you busy and sometimes its just flat out hard to eat a bunch of meat or plant sources high in protein because you have other things that need to be digested when consuming whole food sources (fat, fiber, etc) all of which plays a role in how much you can comfortably eat. So, the solution to this a convenient powder that can be mixed with liquid and guzzled down at any point of the day.
Secondly, How much protein should I consume?
You can go online and search up the legit protein need calculator.. but to make things easier.. no more than 240 g of protein a day and no less than 50g per day will be pretty much safe, baring any preexisting health conditions.
Even further specific.. your goal weight should be the amount you strive to consume in grams of protein daily. Since most protein supplements offer between 20-40 g of protein per serving, this can be a tremendous help to anyone struggling to reach their protein goals.
Lastly, Besides "Building" muscle.. why else should I take a protein supplement?
Lets say your goal is not necessarily to put on some muscle, well thats fine! Adequate protein supplementation offers plenty benefits beyond that such as:
Keeping You Feeling "Fuller" Longer - Although Protein powders are typically low in calories,
- Hormones, such as ghrelin, glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) and peptide tyrosine-tyrosine (PYY) are involved in hunger control. PYY and GLP-1 reduce the appetite, and GLP-1 prolongs the emptying time of the stomach. Protein happens to raise levels of both these hormones, while reducing levels of ghreli (hunger hormone).
Reducing Belly Fat and Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes
- Research has indicated that consuming whey protein with regular exercise may also reduce visceral fat (belly fat). Whey helps with improving insulin resistance, which is a contributing factor to visceral fat gain and as a result diabetes which as been associated with the excess abdominal fat.
Improving Mood and Cognitive Function
Neurotransmitters that regulate mood, concentration and alertness are synthesized from amino acids in the brain. Amino Acids make up from... Yes you guessed it, Protein!
For example, Whey protein can improve sleep and regulate your mood due to its high levels of tryptophan. This amino acid increases serotonin production, helping you feel calm and relaxed.
So, (No Pun Intended) Protein powders, especially whey should be a No Brainer when deciding on whether or not take them.
From performance benefits to daily functioning.. Adding protein powders to your routine will undoubtedly help you achieve your goals and increase your overall feeling of wellbeing.
Ready to Reign.