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A very common and very popular question many women as is… should I use protein powder?
Protein is touted all over the internet as a way to burn fat. That’s not really the case. Let’s keep this hight level so it makes the most sense…
Protein is the building blocks for a lot of things in your body… muscle being one of those. Most protein powders contain all of the essential amino acids used to help muscle recovery.
The theory is that protein powder can help increase your lean muscle mass based on the extra protein you would consume. In theory this happens but not as you would think.
Here Is The Good of Protein
Protein has been shown to decrease recovery time. This is a great attribute to have. With a faster recovery, you can exercise sooner, increase your workout reps, and build quicker results.
This shorter recovery time can really be helpful if you’re a bodybuilder or fitness competitor or athlete. However, you and I aren’t.
The goal is to seamlessly integrate fitness into our lifestyle… so working out more isn’t really part of that.
Protein is also good for increasing your calorie load during the day. More calories will mean more muscle but more fat as well. You have to find the balance with your training programs.
This could be a great thing for women. Most women will find that they are not eating enough calories. This can be a huge issue with fat gain. I’ll talk more about that in another article soon.
Why You Probably Don’t Need Protein Like You Think
One thing that is commonly overlooked is how much protein you currently get during the day. If you have a good balanced diet with lots of veggies and little lean meats, you’re probably getting enough protein now. You don’t need the extra.
Too much protein is not a good thing, however, you usually don’t have to worry about hitting those limits.
But think about it like this… if you’re already getting enough protein then why take in more? You’ll only be adding in a significant chunk of calories to your diet.
How will you know if you are taking in enough protein?
You have to pull out the pen and paper and track. Track for three to four days to see how much you get and then take an average.
Since you’re exercising, you can take in more than is typically recommended.
How To Use Protein Powder Successfully
Here is how I would use protein power:
1. Have Recipes To Pull From
Have recipes to pull from because you’ll know the caloric load you’re getting. Knowing the calories will help you plan the rest of your meals during that day.
I have some really great recipes for shakes, many of which are perfect for protein.
Just don’t be surprised if your protein shake gets up to 350+ calories. That is a meal in and of itself.
2. Only Use Protein After Your Workouts
This is when it will be most helpful for you. Plus having the ability to shorten recovery time is good. It might help to keep soreness at bay, but this is not proven at all.
However, after your workout, you can really use the calories for recovery and it will boost your energy levels as well.
If you workout at night, I would be very careful doing this. I typically don’t recommend working out too late as it can actually hurt your sleep. Sleep is so vital for weight loss and healthy living.
Protein Powders Can Be Great But Make Sure You Know What’s Going On
Protein powders can be a great addition to your nutritional plan. Just make sure you account for the calories. Meal planning is so critical and it’s actually a lot of fun when you get it ingrained in your habits.
Finally, keep in mind that protein does not feel good to a lot of people. Before I went completely vegan, I would use Muscle Milk regular protein or Gold Standard. I really like Gold Standard… but all whey proteins would make me feel really bloated.
I felt so nasty and gassy that I had to stop.
I have not tried egg based proteins. There are some great vegan proteins out there too. I will have an article solely for the best proteins soon too.
I hope this helped get you started with protein powder.