I’ve always seen protein powder as this mystical fairy dust that’s supposed to automatically make you look like one of those muscular women in the Women’s Health Magazine ads. It leaves me puzzled and I never know whether or not I should be jumping on the band wagon and drinking protein shakes, I have never drank a protein shake as post workout fuel. I’ve struggled with whether or not I should for a while now. Being a fitness instructor, some days I find myself not having time for full healthy meals and I’ll be teaching 3 classes on top of my own workout. I’ve started to think maybe I should drink them more often so I decided to look into it.
The American Health Association recommends the average semi-sedentary woman take in 46 grams of protein a day. 3 ounces of meet provides 21 grams of protein and one cup of greek yogurt has 12 grams. Too much protein is stored in the body as fat, so it’s very important to remain within the target range. Of course protein intake varies depending on athletic training and age.
Protein powder will not make you bulky but if you are not using it as a meal replacement or considering caloric intake with it you will gain weight. Each time you go to the gym, you are breaking your muscles down. In your recovery time, your muscles are building back up because the amino acids in protein are restoring them to make them stronger for the next time. So what ever you do, you need to be taking in the proper amount of protein to help build these strong muscles.
According to bodybuilding.com, “If you’re dieting and exercising, aim higher—between 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of your body weight per day. As your caloric intake decreases, your protein needs will actually increase, so keep that in mind as you plan out your diet.”
This is a pretty drastic change from the 46 grams recommended by the American Health Association.
In all my research, I’m still pretty mystified.
I guess it’s all about the macros. Here’s a pretty helpful macro calculator. http://healthyeater.com/how-to-calculate-your-macros
In conclusion, you know what’s right for you. If you’re not getting enough lean protein in your diet or feel as though you have a depleted energy source, invest in protein powder.