Beginners Guide to Protein

It is hard to even think about becoming a gym bunny in today’s world without considering if you need to buy protein powder. But how do you decide if you need it and how much?

Many gym-goers fall into the trap of taking protein powder without first considering if they really need it or not.

Jack Callaghan a personal trainer and bodybuilder said, "Protein powder is designed to help you reach your protein intake target of the day. If you are already getting your protein from your food, it is really not necessary to take protein.”

“In general, you need a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight so, if you are tight for time, protein supplements are great for getting the protein in without eating a lot of extra foods.”

There is a huge variety of protein powders available that are sourced from whey, soy, and pea. They come in hundreds of flavours from peanut butter to salted caramel and many many more.

Whey protein is the protein powder we are probably most familiar with as we have all seen it in the local supermarket.

 It has been shown to help repair muscles and even increase muscle strength and size when taken within two hours of a workout session.

Callaghan said, “There are so many different varieties of protein powders. Some brands' selling points is that their powders are hydrolyzed meaning that the protein is digested quicker, these kinds can be more expensive.

When starting off with protein powder I would recommend not splashing too much cash on these more expensive protein powders.”

Pea protein is 100% plant-based and typically consist of yellow peas. This makes this protein naturally fat and cholesterol-free, it also is not made from dairy making it the perfect protein if you are lactose intolerant. 

Another protein type is a soy-based protein which can stimulate muscle growth after a tough strength session however it does have some minor downsides.

“Soy can sometimes cause a change in hormone levels when you have too much of it, so, if you have a lot of soy already incorporated into your diet it may be best to steer away from soy-based protein powders”, said Callaghan.

There are many protein powders to choose from, so it is important to follow what your body needs and make the decision that suits your preferences the best.