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Should I use protein powder?

Updated: Dec 10, 2023




Right let’s talk protein powder – SO often people think they HAVE to have a protein shake or use a protein powder if they want to be in good shape, lose weight or see results in the gym – they see the muscle man at the gym chugging one immediately post-workout and think if they want to look ‘toned’, fit or healthy then surely they ought to be doing to same, right?! Wrong…


Let’s start from the very beginning – a very good place to start I heard!


Protein powders are convenient and an often-cheap way to obtain protein in the diet and usually come from milk, whey, casein, egg and soy-based products, the two most popular probably being whey and casein. Different sources and products have varying amino acid availability – read protein content and effectiveness, really, but that’s a little beyond the scope of what we’re chatting about here and can delve into that another day if you fancy?!


I wouldn’t suggest a diet containing multiple protein shakes a day, of course, real food is always going to be preferable from a nutrient content perspective. We’re talking lean meat, fish, eggs, Greek yoghurts, all the good stuff with plenty of protein. This is going to provide you more nutrients and therefore more HEALTH within the diet, which is, of course, first and foremost before ANY other goal but also leave you feeling more satisfied. The simple act of eating, chewing and taking time over your food is going to be more satiating, thus leading to adherence over a longer term.


BUT this isn’t me saying that protein shakes don’t have their place – I mean, jeeps, I LOVE mixing a vanilla protein in a coffee for a frothy vanilla latte with allllll the extra gains – delicious!


IF your diet consists of plenty of varied protein sources, despite what supplement companies will tell you, their protein is no more ‘complete’ than anything you are putting into your body – you may struggle ever so slightly more if you are vegan to obtain your requirement but it isn’t impossible and that’s a conversation for a different day (holla if you want to chat about this!). You do not NEED a protein shake for maximum recovery or muscle repair, development, ‘tone’ or growth – optimal nutrition will do.


The long and short of it being, it is wise that exercising individuals, whether it's CrossFit, triathlon, running, gym classes, try to obtain their protein requirements, which are, of course, very individual, from whole foods. Supplements can be used for no other reason than those described above – it’s convenient and cheap – if you don’t enjoy your protein shake you bloody well don’t have to have it, despite what your husband tells you about what Steve at work told him!! If you need to supplement for the convenience factor, or you enjoy it then go for it – but it isn’t the magic to your success, weight loss, performance or otherwise, promise!


DO NOT be fooled by savvy marketing praying on your insecurities – the reason you are struggling to build muscle or lose weight is NOT because you are or are not consuming a protein shake or powder.


Peace and love, A x




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