The gyms finally re-opened in the UK earlier this month (thank goodness!) and loads of us are thrilled to be able to work out again. Say goodbye to following along with YouTube workouts from the living room floor whilst using milk bottles as weights!
Whether you’re an avid gym-goer or you’re just getting started, building stronger and more defined muscle is a common fitness goal.
Of course, the workout you do is super important - lifting heavy weights, pushing yourself to the limit, and doing the right exercises is all key.
But, your diet is just as important! More specifically - your protein intake.
What are the Benefits of Protein?
Protein is absolutely essential for building muscle. In fact, it is literally the number 1 building block for muscles.
Building muscle will help you to look more toned and defined, and will - of course - make you physically stronger.
Plus, it can boost your metabolism which makes it easier to burn fat, meaning you can slim down more easily or appear leaner.
This is why gym goers are often obsessed with eating enough protein - many will use protein powder supplements to help increase their protein intake.
Should I Use a Protein Powder?
If you enjoy working out and lifting weights, or you want to build muscle, you should definitely consider using protein powder.
It is very difficult to eat a surplus of protein using food alone, which is why supplements are so helpful.
Protein powders basically pull out all of the protein from milk or plants, meaning you can consume more protein without having to consume much more of other macronutrients (fats, carbohydrates) that would come along with the original food source.
What Protein Powder Should I Use?
There are a few different types of protein powders available. They are slightly different, but will all provide you with the same fundamental protein nutrition.
Whey Protein - This is the most common form of protein used in protein powders. It contains all 9 amino acids and is therefore considered a complete protein source. However, it comes from milk and is, therefore, not suitable for vegans or dairy-free individuals.
Casein Protein - This also comes from milk and contains all of the essential amino acids, but is slightly less common. It is absorbed into the body more slowly than whey protein.
Plant-Based Protein - This can come from soy, pea, or hemp. These proteins contain a full amino acid profile and are therefore complete sources, even though they don’t come from animals. These are ideal for vegans or people with dairy allergies and are better for our planet.
How Much Protein Do I Need?
Most adults need around 0.75g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. On average, this is 45g of protein for women, and 55g for men.
But, if you are looking to build muscle, you will need more protein. Namely, around 1.7g per kilogram of body weight. On average, this equates to about 102g for women and 125g for men.
Most protein powder supplements contain around 15-25g of protein per serving. We would recommend using 1-3 servings per day depending on your goals and needs.
Please note: protein powders should be used in addition to a healthy diet, and should not be used to get all of your daily protein!
It’s best to use your protein powder immediately after working out - this is when the muscles need to repair and grow, and therefore need to absorb protein.
Shop the full selection of protein powders at Wellness Factory here.