In today’s modern world it’s unthinkable to talk about workout and fitness without mentioning protein supplements or any kind of supplements whatsoever.
The main reason why people decide to include some kind of protein supplement into their diet is simply that it’s extremely difficult to find a way to intake the right amounts of protein through only foods.
Whether you just want to lose weight or you’re an athlete or weightlifter, finding the right foods to get the best results without taking any supplementation is challenging, to say the least.
Meeting your protein needs
According to nutritionists and health professionals, the daily protein needs for adults are 40 to 50 grams of protein for women and 50 to 60 grams for men.
Depending on what you want to achieve throughout your training regimen, the overall protein intake for athletes can be much higher, up to 2 grams per kilogram of bodyweight if your workout is intense. So, it’s easy to calculate how much protein you need but it’s not that easy to find the right foods that will meet your protein needs and also provide the right amounts of other macronutrients.
If you’re serious about your workout and you want to get the best results in the shortest period of time, the optimal solution would be to include protein-rich foods into your daily diet and also drink a protein shake or two on top of that.
Mixing a dairy-based (whey, casein) or plant-based (pea, hemp) protein powder into a shake with water or almond milk after a workout would significantly contribute to better recovery, muscle growth, and overall performance in the gym. Also, it is a well-known fact that protein supplementation can help people looking to either lose weight or maintain the muscle mass they gained through working out.
On the other hand, you should create a meal plan that fits your goals. Meal prepping has become a trend and even if you don’t have time to prepare every meal for the next day there are excellent meal delivery services that can do this for you.
If you’re not sure which service to choose for your specific meal plan, you can find the list from 2021 including reviews for the most prominent companies offering meal kits for gym-goers and athletes, but also for families, food lovers, and extremely busy people who want to be fit but can’t afford any time for meal preparation.
These services offer delicious protein-packed meals made from healthy and fresh ingredients, which is exactly what you need. For example, you can go with a steak in a brown butter sauce with mashed potatoes on a side for a well-balanced meal you desire or you can even go with a cauliflower dish with lentils in a red pepper sauce if you’re on a vegan diet.
Through a variety of different menus this meal delivery services offer, you can always find a high-quality meal that meets your demands and a meal that will provide a boost to your fitness goals.
Benefits of protein supplementation
It can be extremely hard to get those gains in the gym if you’re fighting against taking supplements, especially if you’re avoiding protein supplements. Maybe the most popular protein supplement, whey protein, provides numerous advantages in regard to cardiovascular health, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, weight control, weight loss and even cancer treatment.
It is a known fact that whey protein improves protein synthesis of a muscle and it contributes to overall growth of lean muscle mass. Even though there are various protein powders on the market, the reason whey protein is mentioned is because whey protein contains all amino acids important for the human body, all 9 of them to be exact.
How much protein supplement do you actually need to take?
Depending on the manufacturer, one scoop of whey protein powder can contain 22 to 30 grams of protein, and less than 200 calories. The recommended dosage is determined on your individual needs, your weight and your desired fitness goal.
Most people take two to three scoops per day on the days they workout, and at least one scoop on their off-days to maintain protein levels in their system for proper recovery of muscle tissue.
The isolate whey protein, which is thought to be the best option, is the purest form of protein you can get and it doesn’t cost as much as preparing full meals that can meet these protein amounts. Besides that, whey or any other protein powder available is low in calories and thus prevents unwanted weight gains.
However, one should be aware that gaining some weight in the first couple of weeks of using a protein supplement is normal since muscle mass weighs more than fat.
Protein is good for you in any form and you should find a way to implement the right amounts into your diet without overeating and entering unnecessary calories. There is a thin line between calorie deficit and calorie surplus and if you don’t track your calorie intake properly there is a good chance that the results from your workout will not come.
However, in combination with a proper diet loaded with all other nutrients your body needs, the real results will certainly come, and come faster, if you include protein supplements into your diet. It is not a coincidence that almost every athlete on the planet is using some kind of protein supplementation to boost their goals and their careers.
If you’re wondering how long you need to take protein supplements to see the fruits of your labor, the answer would be somewhere between 8 and 12 weeks, depending on the frequency and intensity of your workouts.
The results will vary due to differences in individual metabolism, general health of the individual, weight and overall fitness awareness and knowledge. So, it shouldn’t take long to see those gains in the gym if you choose the smart approach, drink your protein shakes and don’t forget to count your calories!