When you go to the gym, protein is a word that you will hear often. “Where do you get your protein?” The regular gym folks will probably say beef, chicken, fish, and eggs, while vegetarians and vegans may say legumes and nuts. Whether you are an omnivore, carnivore, or vegan, if you are regularly hitting the gym, then you will need more protein than the average person. If you are a light eater and struggle to reach your protein goals, then adding protein powder to your diet can help.
How Much Protein Do You Need
There is no fixed amount on how much protein you need if you are physically active. Many studies and experts say that anywhere between 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight will be sufficient. Some may benefit at the lower end of the spectrum, while some on the upper end. It will depend on your physiology, health condition, and physical activity. Feel free to experiment with what amount is best for you. Many studies have shown that going beyond this range is still safe for healthy people, but having more protein may not necessarily come with more benefits. Protein sources, such as salmon and ribeye, can be expensive after all. So just sticking with what is optimal for you may also benefit your pockets.
What Kind of Protein Can You Get
When it comes to protein powder, there are lots of sources out there. You have the ubiquitous whey protein that has been scientifically and anecdotally tried and tested in the health and fitness community. Next to it is casein, which your body digests slowly. It can thus gradually provide you with protein over more extended periods, such as when you are asleep.
Aside from these mainstream two, there are other protein powders that deserve love and attention. Collagen protein powder has been gradually taking the spotlight. Collagen is the most abundant form of protein in the body. It is found in your skin, bone, tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
With such biological uses in your human body, it is no surprise that consuming collagen has several health benefits besides giving you those muscle gains. A study found that consuming collagen supplements helped mice with arthritis. Another study showed that women who consumed collagen supplements had better skin elasticity and appearance.
How to Consume Protein Powder
Protein Powder is not a prescription drug that you have to take at certain times of a day. It is a food supplement that can be consumed as food. Mix it in your oatmeal for breakfast. Use it to prepare a protein smoothie that you can sip on your commute. You can even be creative and include your protein powder in baking.
A myth that is still circulating now is the anabolic window. Gym bros will tell you that you have to consume your protein within an hour after your workout to get the most benefits. Although there is a period after your workout where your muscles are like sponges ready to soak up protein to grow, that timeframe extends up to 24 hours, not an hour. So there is no need to chug down your protein powder as soon as you step out of the gym.
When you enter the realm of health and fitness, your protein needs will be different from when you were sedentary. Although you should get your proteins from whole foods, sometimes you need a little help here and there. Having the right protein powder can help you provide your body with the nutrients it needs to grow and be stronger for your next workout.