Do you need to supplement with protein?
Author: Tyson Matthews
Do I need to Supplement with Protein powder?
By far and away the most common question I get every day from customers and the general public is "Do I need to supplement with protein? Can't I just get all my protein needs from my food?"
Of course the best way to get protein into your diet is from whole natural sources BUT.... how many people actually hit their daily protein goal? How many people actually know what that number is?
When I start to run through a person's daily diet with them it becomes painfully obvious that they are falling very short of their daily protein requirement, and in most cases, loading up with a 500g steak at the end of the day! For some reason the modern diet is carb heavy, and building your meal around your protein source has been forgotton.
For me, my protein goal is between 240g to 270g a day and I have trained myself to take protein in consistently throughout the day. My meal before training is oats with a scoop of whey, then 40g for snack, 40g for lunch, another 40g for my second lunch and on it goes. I build what I eat around protein as the key component. During my comp prep I NEVER EVER missed that protein goal, and I believe that was the key reason I was able to hold onto almost all of my muscle mass throughout the cut.Without between 1-3 shakes/bars a day I simply could not hit that goal. As much as I love eating I just simply can not get all my protein through whole foods.
Remember, weights training and building muscle are not natural processes: they go against the bodies evolutionary derived goals of storing fat and limiting muscle mass and muscle is a very inefficient difficult tissue to maintain! So treating them like run of the mill goals is a mistake. To make the most of your gym sessions you need to back it up with accurate nutrition and supplementation.
So what to do?
1. Calculate your macros! Go on a website like bodybuilding.com and use their macro calculator. It gives you a starting point to pin down what your protein goal actually is! You might get a shock!
2. Use a calorie counting app like my fitness pal or even just manually record the protein content of everything you eat for the day to see if you are falling short
3. Focus on getting a good dose of protein (15-40g) in every 2-3 hours, making sure that breakfast has a healthy amount of protein: NO toast or cereal! The aim of the game is to spread protein intake over the whole day... loading up half your protein requirement is ineffective.
4. Find a protein rich supplement to suit you. Generally whey is the most cost effective but I personally would recommend a good quality multisource blend with a good range of proteins. And dont worry vegans or those with lactose issues... there are plenty of good ways for you to get protein in, whether it be whey isolate, plant protein or hydrolysed beef protein.