Yes. If you are training hard and regularly and are following an optimised diet, you will likely need to supplement your diet with protein supplements. A recent study also revealed that consuming protein supplements before and after training put the body in an optimal state to increase muscle protein synthesis.
What does that study tell us? It proves that if we want to recover quicker from our training, then we should consume fast-acting protein supplements around our workouts.
But hold on, aren’t there many variables involved to determine if you need to supplement? Correct! There are! You see, the amount of protein you need depends on your size, sex, training style, diet and goals.
A 100lbs human that is 5ft 3 and a runner would need a different diet and protein requirement, than say someone that is 230lb, 5ft 11 and a bodybuilder.
To determine if you need extra protein (and therefore protein supplements), you need to work out your body requirements and caloric expenditure. You can then determine how much, if any, surplus protein supplementation you need.
Yes. Amino acids are key to recovering and rebuilding your muscles. You see, when you work out, your muscles are put through stress which in turn causes muscle fibre tears and breakdown. Once you complete your workout, the body must go through a recovery and rebuild phase, and it does that by using protein in the form of amino acids. But that is not all. The muscles need other macro and micronutrients such as carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals etc to recover fully.
Food should always be your primary source of protein. You see, by eating foods that are high in protein, you also benefit from the other macro and micronutrients, thereby increasing your recovery potential.
Protein supplements, but always be just that – Supplements. Many people get into bad habits by leaving out food and just using protein shakes, and this caused several issues in the body, namely nutrient imbalances.
So always tailor your diet around good wholesome food that is high in protein and good fats. Your body and results will thank you for it.
No, protein powders are not bad for you. There are different qualities of protein powders, but they will not harm your body as a nutritional product.