Everyone does it, do I also need protein powder?
In order to answer just that there are some things to keep in mind first.
Anything that you do not get out of your diet and real food, will fall into the supplement category. It is true that supplements do work and they will help with seeing results but…
Supplements are there to supplement your diet. They only really work, if you use them to perfect your diet not to replace it.
What is a balanced diet?
The first thing to note here is that there is no one balanced diet that will work for everyone. Your diet and its balance will depend on your own body, needs and activity. In order to balance your diet you can follow these four steps:
- Measure your daily activity
- Find your maintenance calories
- Calculate your macros
- Measure your food intake
If that sounds like a lot, trust me, it is so much easier than you think and it is totally worth it!
If you need guidance on the above as well as the tool to do that, check the post on counting macros and calculating calories!
No matter the diet, you are bulletproofing your success when you follow these 4 simple steps. Most importantly you are educating your self and you start to understand how it all works!
A rather big majority of the people that are looking to turn their diet around have a thing in common. That thing is not taking in enough protein! Once you find out how much protein you need it may seem like a lot at first, but there is a reason to that so here’s 10 Science-Backed Reasons to Eat More Protein
Last but not least, a balanced diet comes from real food. No supplement in the world will offer you any kind of help unless your real food diet is already on point!
How protein powder will help you:
When we are talking about protein powder we are talking about protein supplements. Going back to the point made earlier, protein supplements are there to supplement your already well-balanced diet.
When you got your diet right, you have everything looked into, you know your needs and you know your goals.
Protein is going to be key when it comes to building muscle as well as losing fat. It will boost your metabolism and will lower your blood pressure.
Not to mention that after a gruelling week filled with intense exercise, protein will be what will help your body recover and grow stronger than before.
Ok we get it, protein good! Where does protein powder come into play?
Well some times protein or enough protein, is not that easy to find.
It’s all fun and games when you are not tracking your macros, but it might not be so easy when you actually realize how much of it you need. Going up to 160, 200 or more grams of protein just from food will get tricky.
And that is where protein powder comes in! Small form factor and just one scoop contain at least 20 grams of it! Protein powder will help you get to your macro-nutrient goals easier, it is easy to carry with you and you can get super creative when using it!
When should you take protein powder:
You should take protein powder when you need it!
There is not really a specific point of your fitness journey that requires protein supplements.
Despite that, working out is going to be a factor to consider. When you work out, your needs are going to change. Depending on your goals and frequency, your body will have different adjustments to make. Your diet should be able to support you in your gym endeavours.
If you find yourself struggling with meeting your macro-nutrient goals and specifically protein, protein powder will help with that. You can have a pre-workout and a post-workout shake if you want, but I would recommend that you don’t rely on supplements too much.
If your time is stretched thin and you need a simple on the go meal to meet your goals, protein supplements will also do that.
As you can tell by now, you plan your diet and then you look into supplements and how they can help. You should not base your diet on them because this is simply not what they are for.
Do I NEED protein powder then?
Supplements are there to help you if you need them to. It is going to be so much better for you now and your future goals if you master the basics first.
Educate yourself about dieting, figure out what works best for you and make it happen with the tools you already have. It might take some time to get it right, but once you do, you will know exactly what it is that works best for you and that is what matters.
Incorporate quality and variety in your meals. Get your veggies, fruits and protein in, avoid too much sugar and take it easy on the junk food, not all calories were made equal.
What your body needs is real food and real nutrients, once you understand that and know how to provide for it, you can then start looking into what is going to give you that extra push.