If you still haven’t heard your name yet then, welcome to your tape.
Sorry, Chris and I just binged on the second season of 13 Reasons and I couldn’t resist.
But seriously, welcome to this new series – ‘The Supplement Series’ where each post will be delving further into a different supplement to give you a better understanding as to what is available, what does what and how it may (or may not) help you on your fitness journey. Quick apologies to all the guys out there, this series is going to be exploring supplements and their effects on the female body.
To kick things off, it seems only right that the first of the series be dedicated to the king of supplements himself; Protein Powders.
So, Protein Powder, welcome to your blog.
Now I know there is a general consensus that protein powders are only for guys who want to ‘bulk up’ but this is simply not true. Yes there are protein powders out there specifically designed for that purpose but there are also protein powders out there for which the sole purpose is to help with protein intake. So ladies, yes protein powders are for you to. Guys that aren’t wanting to neccessarily bulk up, they are also for you. Protein shakes are for just about anyone*. So why do we need them?
Well, the reality is we actually don’t need them.
Protein is a macro-nutrient. Macro-nutrients make up our calories. There are two other macro-nutrients; Carbohydrates and Fats. We should all be getting a balance of each macro-nutrient within our diets anyway. However, for those trying to build muscle, a higher percentage of our calorie intake is required from Protein and where we fall short in getting in enough protein from our food, Protein powders are a really useful way of bridging the gap.
But why do we need Protein at all?
Protein is responsible for muscle repair and growth. The absence, or inadequate amount, of protein means that our muscles will take longer to repair and simply will not grow. Hence why protein powders are so popular within the culture of fitness.
So, it’s established, protein shakes are pretty much all inclusive – suitable for basically everyone so how do they help? Can’t we just get protein from food? More specifically, what are the benefits for women including protein shakes in their diet?
Without delving to deep into the boring bits, here is an overview of a few benefits of protein powders and how they can be useful for women:
- Assist in fat burning;
Now please don’t all roll your eyes at me. I already know that not all women want to lose weight however, in the gym you have two options; Burn fat or build muscle. We have already established that Protein Powders will assist with building muscle but the advantages of using protein powder doesn’t stop there. If you are looking to lose weight, drop an inch or two, or want to show off those gains or abs, protein will assist with that process. It will allow the body to burn fat whilst protecting the muscle tissue from any damage. This basically means that if you lose weight or inches, it will mostly be a loss of body fat as oppose to a loss of lean muscle.
- Time saving;
Literally grab it and go. These days, every one is moving at million miles an hour without enough hours in the day. The ability to get protein in, in a matter of minutes is such a convenience. That being said, protein powders should always be used to support a healthy balanced diet of actual food – not just shakes.
It is suggested that the body responds best to protein in the 20 minute period after a workout which means, post workout you have just a 20 minute window to get your protein in for it to be used to its maximum potential. A shake is one of the most effective ways of securing protein intake during this window. You could have it done before you even hit the showers.
As we have said, hitting our daily protein requirements can prove a difficult task. However, if you introduce a protein powder, it can make life much easier due to their versatile nature. Porridge for breakfast, throw in a scoop of protein and boom, high protein meal. Pancakes – add in a scoop of powder, boom – high protein meal. Yoghurt, add in a scoop of powder, boom – high protein snack. You get the gist. Sprinkle some protein powder over your food and as if by magic, you’ve got a high protein meal.
Whether you are male or female, protein powders can be an extremely useful addition to your diets and trust me, your fitness/gym gains will thank you for the support.
If you are still unsure about the benefits of introducing a protein powder to your diet or have a few more queries, Scitech Nutrition created this graphic which clearly and concisely goes over some further benefits of protein powders so, I would recommend having a look over that too.
I hope you found the first of our ‘supplement series’ useful and are excited for future posts! What supplement would you like to gain a further understanding of next time? Fat Burners? BCAA’s? Creatine? Let me know in the comments below.
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post with information provided in a press release from Scitech Nutrition.
*Obviously, this is talking outside of any medical recommendations or requirements. I am not a registered dietitian and if you have any queries about your diet I would advise that you consult a registered dietitian for further advice.