Protein powder is often recommended as a healthy supplement to accompany a quality fitness regime, but how much do you actually know about what it’s for and when to use it?
If you’ve just realised you don’t know much at all, you’re not alone! It’s time for a wee lesson to help you better understand how to use protein powder in your daily diet.
Q: How do I use whey protein powder?
A: Whey protein powder is digested quickly so the best time to take it is one scoop shaken in water (or milk if you don’t mind the extra carbs) before, during or after your workouts. Most people tend to opt for after as it can make you feel a bit ill if it’s in your stomach during a training session.
The reason for upping your protein intake close to your workout is that it assists in repairing the small muscle tears you get during your training. This helps with recovery while also making your muscles leaner and stronger for your next workout.
If you’re just trying to add more protein into your diet, you could also include it at other times of the day, such as adding some to your porridge for breakfast or into a smoothie for a snack. As a rough idea, your daily protein intake (grams) should be around one and a half to two times your bodyweight in kilos. For example, if you’re 70kg, you should be having around minimum 105 grams of protein in your diet each day.
There are a lot of protein powder brands out there which can make it confusing when it comes to choosing one; generally the more expensive a protein supplement is, the more protein and the less carbohydrate there is in it. Price can also be affected by the flavour and how well the protein powder mixes in with water or milk. Whey protein is derived from milk, so if you’re lactose intolerant, there are soy or pea protein supplements available instead.
Choose a supplement within your budget and a flavour that you like, but just remember that if you’re trying to lose weight there are still calories in protein that can tack on a lot of energy to your daily intake if you’re adding it to your usual diet rather than substituting it for a snack or similar.
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