How much protein should I be eating? When should I eat protein? Should I use protein supplements? What is the best protein to use? These are all common questions that get asked by members in the box or by avid gym goers and health enthusiasts. The answer isn’t as easy as some might think; the answer will be different for most people. The main objective of protein is to repair and build muscles after vigorous activity. However, there are some things to take into consideration or research when trying to determine the right protein or when it should be taken.
Some things to think about when determining protein amount and timing:
- What are my goals? Weight loss or weight gain?
- In order to determine the right amount of protein for yourself you have to understand your goals and take in the appropriate amount to help you achieve your goal. Amounts are dependent on body size and physical activity levels. Our performance athletes are going to need to take in more protein to repair and recover their bodies after high amounts of volume and intensity. Whereas our members who have more of a wellness and weight loss focus will require a smaller amount. Calorie amount must be not overlooked.
- Do I get enough through my diet?
- Most people don’t eat enough protein in their daily diet to justify using supplements. Adequate amounts of protein should be obtained through foods such as lean meats, dairy, as well as nuts. This also varies depending on body size and goals. The average person’s diet is typically high in carbohydrates and fat.
- When should I use protein?
- Each meal should contain some sort of protein and should be balanced throughout all meals. Commonly people eat large amounts of protein at dinner and much smaller amounts earlier in the day. The body will only process so much protein at a time so protein intake shouldn’t exceed 30-40 g per meal. Large amounts of protein in a serving are harder for the body to digest.
- Protein supplements are great for post workouts. During a training session you are breaking down muscle and the tissue and in order to repair and grow stronger you must replace what was just burned off and heal the damaged muscle. Your body has a metabolic window of 30-45 min after a workout so it is important to have a post workout shake or snack ready to go.
- What protein should I use?
- There are more supplement brands on the market that I can count. When it comes to picking the right protein powder to use, make sure you research different brands to find out what makes the most sense for you and your goals. Just like any product you will find some on the higher end of the spectrum and some on the lower end.
Here are some options to get you started if you are looking to use a protein powder.
- SFH (Stronger, Faster, Healthier) PURE
- This would be considered a high end protein that is very clean and doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners or GMO’s and is obtained from free range cows. Many athletes training for performance and need a speedy recovery use SFH. Should be mostly be used immediately after workouts and contains 24g of protein and 120 calories per serving.
- Advocare Muscle Gain – Contains 25g of protein and 150 calories per serving. Muscle gain is tested for banned substances to ensure it is safe for athletes. This can be taken as a morning breakfast but most importantly after a workout to aid in muscle repair and development.
- Zeal for Life Protein – Also a clean protein with high nutritional value. It contains 14g of protein and 100 calories per serving. Great for weight management as well as general wellness. Zeal protein can be used as a meal replacement. Also good for a post workout snack. Great for people who have trouble getting enough protein and nutrients throughout the day.
Understanding what your body needs to help it recover and continue to improve is crucial for your success in the gym. It not just about what you do in the gym for that hour a day it’s about what you do outside of the gym the other 23 hours the have the biggest impact of your goals. For guidance on how set yourself up for success and to kill it the next day in the gym contact one of CFC’s coaches! We are here to help you create a better version of you!