Protein, protein protein, it’s absolutely everywhere! Most service stations now stock your favourite chocolate bars with “Extra Protein”. So what is all the fuss about? Do you really need to join the ranks of shake swilling gym goers? Or is it simply another way to for companies to take your money? Before you head over to Bushy Park, for your next Personal Training Session In Richmond, take a read of the following post!
What is Whey Protein?
Essentially, proteins are the building blocks within your body. Whilst they have many functions, your probably most interested on their effects within the muscles. Proteins are help with the building, maintaining and repairing of tissues and cells. Exercise causes a breakdown of structures, protein then aids in the repair and rebuild.
Whey protein is found in milk, the other being casein (80% whey, 20% casein). The main reason whey is used as a supplement more than casein, is due to the fact it is absorbed at a much quicker. This means protein synthesis occurs at a faster rate.
What Does Whey Protein Do?
A simple list will probably suffice for this…
- Increased lean body mass
- Increase muscle protein synthesis
- Aid weight loss attempts
So Should I take it?
The big question! As with pretty much every blog post on here i’m going to use the dreaded phrase, “it depends”. If you are looking to increase muscle mass, increase the rate and quality of your recovery and supplement your weight loss attempt, then yes. However, it’s important to make sure a few things are happening before you start trawling google for the best offers.
Firstly, are you actually training enough to require extra protein? If your current training is of low frequency and moderate intensity, the likelihood is you don’t need extras.
Secondly, can you actually get enough from natural food sources? natural food sources should ALWAYS be your first option.
If you’re training hard but simply don’t have the time, money, availability of ready to eat natural protein sources. Then you may want to look into increasing you protein intake via a shake.
Dietary Intake Suggestions
examine.com suggests the following protocols for Protein intake.
- if you are an athlete or highly active person attempting to lose body fat while preserving lean muscle mass, a daily intake of 1.5-2.2g/kg bodyweight (0.68-1g/lb bodyweight) is a good goal.
- If you are an athlete or highly active person, or you are attempting to lose body fat while preserving lean mass, then a daily intake of 1.0-1.5g/kg bodyweight (0.45-0.68g/lb bodyweight) is a good goal.
- If you are sedentary and not looking to change body composition, a daily target of 0.8g/kg bodyweight (0.36g/lb bodyweight) is a good goal.
A Few Things To Be Aware Of
Extra points that I didn’t feel were worthy of their own individual paragraphs!
- Be aware of what else is in your shake. Some are jam packed full of sugars you may not want to be taking on board. Carbohydrates are essential for recovery. But if you are already taking them on board, you don’t need extras in your shake.
- Whey protein may not harm your liver or kidneys, however it can exacerbate pre-existing damage. If you have a damaged liver or kidney, should exercise caution when increasing protein intake.
- “I’m an endurance runner, do I still need to take it? take a read of THIS study!