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Is Protein Powder Necessary?


Protein powder and supplements, including but not limited to protein bars, protein snacks, protein yoghurts, protein crisps etc.

First and foremost, these are not life or death and are certainly not a “must” for muscle growth as it may be marketed towards us.

‘Protein’ as a macronutrient is made up of smaller units called amino acids, which upon consumption, protein is broken down, re-ordered and then re-built back up into proteins that are usable for the body. They are for this reason known as muscle “building blocks”.

Protein also controls homeostasis and can also be used for fuel, however this is not the body's preferred source of energy.

Research recommends for individuals to eat between 1.6-2.2g of protein per kg of bodyweight. For a 60kg woman, this would be between 96-132g of protein. Despite this, some people work better with higher protein, for recovery and general body composition purposes. For example, I am 61kg and typically eat 160g out of my personal eating habits and because it's how I work and recover best. Find your sweet spot of protein and stick to it!

Leading from this.. Does this mean I need to be consuming protein powder?

The answer is no. Protein powder and protein supplements are one thing; supplements. This means they are a supplement to your diet, to be eaten alongside a well, balanced diet including a variety of protein sources (to get in a variety of micronutrients and all of the amino acids). If you struggle to hit a protein goal throughout the day with your typical day of eating, purchasing and consuming some whey protein/a variation of protein supplement is a good idea!

Bearing in mind, eating junk food all day and then trying to reprimand a poor day (or week) of eating (e.g no fruit and veg, no protein) with a protein shake after a workout is likely not going to help you reach your goals.

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