How To Use Protein Powder | The Beginners Guide
If you are putting in a lot of effort at the gym to get bigger, lose weight, or even just trying to get your protein intake up for health reasons; we feel your pain. If you aren’t eating enough protein or the right foods to support your workout regimen, it can be difficult to feel the effects of your hard work while exercising.
Consuming an adequate amount of protein is essential for repairing and rebuilding your muscles that get damaged after a tough work out session; this is also how we build muscle more efficiently as well. Protein isn’t only limited to the benefits of building muscle; it is required for crucial bodily functions and helps you to feel fuller and more satisfied for longer after eating.
Whether your primary concern for looking into protein powders is to gain muscle mass, help with weight loss, or just incorporating more protein for a more balanced diet, this article is perfect for you. In this article, you will obtain access to information on protein powder and everything you will possibly need to know.
First Off, What Is Protein Powder?
Protein powders are dietary supplements that provide a high percentage of protein and are derived from a variety of different food sources such as:
Along with protein, various manufacturers provide their protein powders full of vitamins, minerals, and dehydrated vegetables. There can also be additional fats, grains, and fiber all added in to make the powder more nutritious and healthy to consume.
The powders may also include other ingredients such as added sugars, thickeners, and artificial flavoring, and the amount of protein can vary from 10 to 30 per scoop. Since protein powders can be used for muscle building and weight loss, the weight loss versions are modified to contain less protein than the others.
The Role Of Protein Powder
Eating more protein, whether if it’s from food or protein supplements, such as protein powder, helps people feel full and more satisfied for longer. The more satisfied people feel after their meals or bites, the less frequent they will snack and tend to eat in smaller portions throughout the day.
This can help a person maintain a healthy weight more easily since it takes away the temptation of eating, and as a result, you don’t feel as hungry or nutrient-deprived. Consuming more protein also helps prevent muscle loss, which is essential because the more muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism is and the more calories you burn naturally.
Recovery After A Work Out
Protein is well known to be able to help repair and rebuild muscles and tissue after a strenuous workout. As a result, many gym-goers and athletes tend to use protein powder to help speed up recovery from fatigue and muscle soreness. Many studies show that taking protein supplements, such as protein powder, can not only help in reducing muscle damage but improving general muscle performance and well.
Protein is essential for the building blocks of muscle growth and is the main reason why many athletes and people who frequent the gym consume protein supplements. A 2018 analysis of multiple studies encourages the use of protein supplementation since research suggests they significantly improve muscle size and strength. These are most effective in individuals who perform in exercises such as resistance training and lifting weights.
The recommended daily intake of protein for individuals above the age of 19 years is 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men. Consuming protein powder can be a lot of help for people who find it challenging to meet these recommendations such as vegans and vegetarians. Athletes, older adults, weight lifters, and people with certain illnesses may need more protein, in general, to meet their daily requirements as well. Protein powders are also usually packed full of vitamins and minerals which help people get their daily intake on a more regular basis.
Do I Need Protein Powder?
If you engage in any exercise program or training such as frequenting the gym, sports, group classes, or weight training, then you are going to need more protein then the average person. It’s essential to recognize the name we often use for protein powder, “supplement,” which means they are designed to fill the nutritional gaps in your nutrition. So making sure you’re getting the adequate amount of protein and vitamins in your diet is something protein powder can help with. A few other critical functions of protein are:
- Helps to provide structural components of bodily tissues
- Provides a source of nitrogen
- Cell signaling for muscle growth and fat loss
- Helps maintain and optimize essential hormones
When it comes down to protein powder and whether you need it or will benefit from it, it depends on you as a person and your lifestyle. Depending on why you are deciding to consume protein powder in the first place, it is primarily because you want to build muscle or lose weight. When deciding on which you are looking for, it mainly depends on getting the right kind of protein powder that works better towards your goal.
When & How Should You Use Protein Powder?
When would you particularly need to start taking protein powder to increase your intake of protein?
- When You’re Increasing Your Workout Load. If you’re starting to increase the amount you exercise or the intensity of your workouts, then you will need to consume more protein.
- Recovering From An Injury. Athletes and fitness lovers with frequent injuries often consume more protein to help them heal faster. This is because protein has been shown in several studies to help muscles recover faster and grow more quickly.
- When You’re Growing. Growing teenagers are the primary targets for consuming more protein since it is much needed for growing bodies.
- If You’re Becoming Vegan Or Vegetarian. Individuals who decide to pursue a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle have to remove a multitude of protein sources from their diets such as lean and red meats, fish, dairy, and eggs. This can make it more challenging to obtain an adequate amount of protein without a supplement like protein powder.
What Time of Day Should You Use Protein Powder?
The real truth is that nobody knows the exact perfect timing for a post-workout protein shake, or even if there is perfect timing for it.
Some research has been found that shows timing is better focused on when consuming protein powder instead of on overall intake throughout the day. We can then assume that adequate protein intake in the post-workout window is crucial for protein breakdown, creating a positive net protein balance or protein synthesis.
Overall, we can say that it best to get postworkout nutrition, such as protein and nutrients within two hours afterward. If you replenish these nutrients in that window, then you will get the most of the benefits it has to offer.
How Much Protein Powder Should I Take?
The serving suggestion for most protein powders is usually around 30 grams unless you are getting protein powder, particularly for weight loss. Research has suggested that this specific serving suggestion is the ideal amount to repair the damage done by exercising and training. This amount is also suitable for initiating muscle protein synthesis, which essentially means building bigger muscles. However, it is also best that you determine this based on your weight and training habits, which you can determine these answers on a fitness app, fitness trainer, or health specialist.
Before using protein powders, people should measure their personal nutritional needs to ensure that those who don’t get enough protein in their diets can consider supplementing appropriately. However, it is not best to consume too much protein daily; some powders even contain up to 80 grams of protein per serving, which is just way too much for most people. We need to make sure that we aren’t consuming too much protein not only because there are health concerns, but we can reduce intake in other essential nutrients as a result.
How To Lose Weight With Protein Powder
Decreases Your Appetite and Hunger. Protein decreases hunger and appetite in two primary ways:
- Increases in levels of appetite-reducing hormones while reducing levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin.
- Helps you feel fuller for longer
A study showed that increasing an individuals protein intake to 15% to 30% of their daily calories helped them consume about 440 fewer calories throughout the day. These shakes are a very efficient way of getting more protein in your diet, but as we have said before consume too much protein is not recommended. If you’re trying to lose weight by reducing your hunger and appetite with protein powder shakes, then 20 grams should be a perfect amount.
Prevent Muscle Loss and Metabolic Slow Down. When it comes to losing weight with fad diets or juice cleanses, it often causes individuals to lose muscle, which results in slowing down your metabolism. This should be avoided since after you end your diet it will make it much easier to gain all the weight back, and much of it as fat. A higher protein intake combined with frequent strength training can easily help prevent this adverse effect from happening while losing weight. A daily protein shake is shown to help keep muscle maintenance up to three and a half times more efficient, making it easier for us to stay toned and our metabolisms from slowing down.
Protein Shake May Help You Lose Belly Fat. Researchers, in general, agree high protein diets can help you lose more fat, especially in the belly area. One study done on protein shakes and belly fat loss show that providing a diet of 25% calories deriving from protein lost 10% more belly fat after 12 months. This could be because since protein increases overall body weight loss, the stomach area loses just as rapidly, or that you end up, as a result, consuming less of the unhealthy foods that trigger belly fat.