Whether you’re trying to build muscle, tone up, or recover from your workout, getting enough protein is the key to unlocking your fitness goals. Adding protein powder into your diet, particularly after an intense workout, can help take your fitness journey to the next level.
Why Do I Need Protein in My Diet?
Protein is a nutrient your body needs to repair and maintain muscle mass. It’s a macronutrient, meaning your body needs a lot of it to function, and your body can’t store it, so you need to make sure you’re getting the proper amount every time you work out or burn energy.
Protein is the building block of the body. Made from amino acids, protein is what your body uses to build and repair its muscles. Protein is also essential to maintaining healthy bones, skin, hair, cartilage, and nails. Other benefits of getting enough protein in your diet include:
- Regulating your hunger signals: A high-protein diet can help you stay feeling full for longer, which can help you snack less and meet your weight loss goals more easily.
- Aiding your digestion: Your stomach uses protein to help create certain digestive enzymes that make your body able to process food like milk or carbohydrates.
- Helping your brain stay alert: Protein helps your brain and neurons communicate via a complex web of hormones and enzymes. Getting enough protein raises your tyrosine levels, an amino acid that helps your body manufacture dopamine and norepinephrine. These hormones help you stay energized and awake for longer.
How Much Protein Do I Need?
According to the National Academy of Medicine, the average person needs just over 7 grams of protein for every 20 pounds of body weight. That means someone who weighs 140 pounds needs approximately 50 grams of protein per day. Likewise, a 200 pound person would need about 70 grams per day.
However, the International Society of Sports Nutrition recommends a higher range of daily protein intake. Athletes or someone doing regular high-intensity workouts will need more protein in their diet than the average person. They recommend anywhere from 0.6 to 0.9 grams of protein per pound for someone exercising regularly to gain muscle mass. This means the same 140 pound person might need up to 126 grams of protein per day, and the 200 pound person up to 180 grams.
Your individual protein needs will be shaped by how intense a workout you do, how regularly you work out, and what the rest of your diet and health needs look like. In general, the more strenuous your workouts, the higher you’ll fall in the range of recommended protein intake.
Benefits of Protein Powder
Good protein powder can power you during your workout, help with recovery afterward, and keep you full of nutrients you need.
A 2018 study showed that regularly consuming protein supplements (like protein powders) significantly increased muscle strength and size in healthy, exercising adults. In 2017, a review of overweight and obese adults showed a positive correlation between using whey protein powder and weight loss and a reduction in the body’s total fat composition.
Some studies also show a connection between using protein powder and better cardiovascular health. The University of Reading found that drinking protein shakes could help reduce your risk of heart disease or stroke by about 8%. The same study also showed that consuming whey protein powder lowered participants’ blood pressure and cholesterol.
All this is in addition to what protein powder does to help your body recover from a workout and stay fueled during it. Protein powders can help reduce muscle soreness and increase muscle regeneration. They keep you feeling full longer, meaning you can watch your caloric intake without sacrificing muscle mass or energy.
Choosing Your Protein Powder
A great protein powder will be one that you’ll look forward to having, incentivizing your workouts while keeping you fit and fueled. You can pick from delicious flavors like cinnamon bun and blueberries and cream to stick to a healthy routine without feeling like you’re sacrificing sweets. Protein powders help you manage your sugar cravings while also getting the low-carb, protein-rich nutrients you need to supplement your diet. They can keep you toned, repair muscle, and rebuild your strength after working out. We recommend FitVibes! Delicious and effective.
You can customize your protein shakes to add even more nutrients to your diet. Make sure you have a good blender and try out these add-ins:
- Milk: Adding 200 milliliters of skim milk bulks up your protein intake by about 7 additional grams and adds a creamy taste and texture.
- Coffee: Adding in one teaspoon of instant coffee to your protein shake, especially one made with cinnamon roll-flavored protein powder, is a great way to start the morning or get a caffeine boost midday. You can also add in a cold brew or chilled drip coffee.
- Frozen berries: Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and pomegranates contain the highest amount of antioxidants out of nearly all commonly consumed fruits. Adding frozen berries into a protein shake can help manage free radicals, which cause cell damage and oxidative stress. They can also improve your blood sugar and insulin levels.
Protein powder is loaded with benefits. It can help you add muscle mass and recover more quickly from intense workouts. It can repair the muscles you already have and help keep your hair, nails, skin, bones, and cartilage in good shape. Protein powder has been proven to help you meet weight loss goals since it keeps you feeling full longer. It can also reduce your body’s total fat composition while building muscle, making you look more toned. Picking a powder that comes in delicious dessert flavors can help curb sugar cravings while keeping you fueled and fit. Adding protein powder into your diet can help you reach any number of fitness goals and tastes delicious while doing it.