Frequently Asked Questions About Protein Powder by The Lean Body Coach

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The most commonly asked questions about protein powder – finally answered.

Protein is an essential macronutrient required for the development and repair of muscles and tissues. Protein powders are one of the most purchased supplements in the health industry.

From fitness models drinking large protein shakes after a lifting session, to social media gurus endorsing branded protein products, it’s no surprise the protein market is so vast and popular.

Since there are so many protein powders to choose from, let’s clear up some important questions:

  • How much protein do you actually need to achieve your health and fitness goals?
  • What is the most bio-available type of protein?
  • What type of protein powder should you choose for your body?

Read on to discover everything you need to know about protein shakes:

How much protein do I need?

Gulping down five protein shakes a day may sound nutritious to some, but the body only requires a certain amount of protein per day, and any excess is excreted or converted to fat and stored. More protein does not always equal more muscle.

To discover the right amount of protein you should be consuming per day, you can simply multiply your weight in kg by 1 – 1.5, and you’ll find the recommended amount of protein in grams for your specific goals. For general health and well-being, your body only needs about 1-1.5 gram per kilogram of body weight. So if you weigh 50 kg, you will need approximately 50-75 grams per day.

For most people, getting their protein requirements from food sources (such as lean meat, eggs, nuts, legumes) alone is sufficient. However, many athletes, fitness models, CrossFitters, or those wanting to build more muscle choose to supplement their diets with a protein shake. This may serve as a meal replacement or an additional serve of amino acids for muscle recovery.

If you want to increase lean muscle tissue, then upping your protein intake is going to be important. Although real food is always digested and broken down more efficiently by your body than processed protein powders, when it comes to convenience, protein powders always win.

I would like to buy protein supplements. Where do I start?

The market is well-stocked with a dizzying range of protein powders, with dairy or plant-based options, different flavours, macronutrient contents, and more. It can be an extremely confusing and daunting experience to find the right protein powder for you.

Here are some tips to guide you through selecting a protein supplement that will complement your fitness goals:

  1. Aim for approximately 100 calories per serve.
  2. Aim for 20g protein per serve.
  3. For those following a vegan diet, choose organic fermented brown rice-based or pea protein, or a combination. If you consume dairy, make sure it is organic and comes from New Zealand grass-fed animals. Whey protein concentrate is a better option than isolate because it is purer and not heated during processing. Whey protein is bioavailable and is quickly utilised and digested by the body, making it a perfect post-workout meal.
  4. Look for carbohydrate content that is less than 7g per serving if you’re trying to lose weight.

I just purchased my first protein powder. Now what?

Now that you’ve selected your first protein supplement, it’s time to figure out when to use it, and how.

I highly suggest taking the protein supplement within 30 minutes of a workout. During this period, the muscles are very responsive to amino acids from the protein, allowing for the muscle fibres to recover quicker. Opt for coconut water or water when preparing your shake.

With protein supplementation, it’s important to remember that quality matters more than quantity. It is also important that you limit protein powders to one serve per day. Do not use them as meal replacements; instead, eat real food because your body is much better at utilising natural foods than man-made supplements.

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Nik Toth

CONTRIBUTOR

Nik Toth is the Lean Body Coach, a nutritionist, personal trainer and wellness coach based in Bondi. Originally from Hungary, Nik’s journey to wellness certainly wasn’t easy. After years of leading an unhealthy lifestyle in Budapest and then as a VIP host in Las Vegas, Nik turned her life around when she fell in love with an Aussie during her travels and had a miracle visit to a naturopath, who cured their ailments with food alone. She ended up moving countries for the third time and found herself studying nutritional medicine in Sydney – and the rest is history. When she’s not helping women transform their bodies, Nik loves travelling and spending time in “health-conscious” Bondi. Above all, she dreams of “inspiring and touching as many lives as possible and changing people’s thoughts about food and their relationships with their bodies.”

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