Should I use a protein powder?

Posted in: Supplements

Should I use a protein powder?

Protein powder is one of the most widely available and widely used supplements, and one of the first we’d recommend for just about everyone. So, we thought we’d do a rundown on its benefits to help you decide whether it’s right for you (also see our guide on how to choose the best protein powder!).


First up, a quick summary of protein and the role it plays in your body:

  • Protein is an essential macronutrient that is critical for the body to function optimally
  • Protein plays a major role in recovery and repair in the body, and is also important for numerous other essential processes including immune health, your body’s biochemical reactions and hormonal system, maintenance of pH and fluid balance, and transport and storage of nutrients
  • Protein provides a source of energy 
  • Proteins are made up of amino acids, and nine of these we need to obtain via food as our body is unable to make them (essential amino acids)
  • Everyone needs protein every day to maintain health


We get protein in our daily diet from various foods, and this includes both animal and plant-based protein. Protein is supplied by eating red meat, chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy, and plant-based sources such as legumes, soy, nuts, seeds, and some grains. It is not common to be deficient in protein, but most of us can benefit from increasing our protein intake to some degree, and protein powder supplements can provide a convenient way to achieve this. Below are some of the reasons that people may choose to supplement with a protein powder.


Busy lifestyles

Every single person needs to ingest protein containing foods every day. Sometimes life gets busy, and it is hard to make good food choices or have the time to prepare well balanced, high protein meals or snacks. Protein powder can be a quick way to top up any nutritional gaps and provide a protein boost with a meal or a satisfying, on-the-go snack.


High energy requirements and additional protein needs

People who are highly active or involved in strength or athletic training have increased protein and energy requirements. Higher protein intake is also necessary for older adults when muscle mass and strength begin to decline. Protein powder is a convenient way to help meet these extra needs.


Support for recovery and repair

Protein is essential for recovery and repair processes in the body. When additional support for recovery and repair is needed, for example during illness or injury or when physical training demands are high, protein powder can fill in the gaps.


Weight management assistance

Consuming protein rich foods can help you feel fuller for longer. This means that you are less likely to want to snack and may need smaller portion sizes to feel satisfied, which helps to control your calorie intake and can support healthy weight loss and maintenance. Using protein powder to boost the protein content of meals, or as a nutritious snack to tide you over between meals can be beneficial if you have a weight management goal.


Gaining muscle

For those who are looking to add lean muscle mass, an adequate intake of protein (particularly after training) in combination with resistance exercise is important to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Protein powder is a common choice to supply the required protein post-workout.


Vegetarian and vegan lifestyles

Although it is possible to get all the protein you need from whole food plant-based sources, it is typically more difficult than obtaining protein when you eat animal foods. Many vegetarians and vegans choose to top up their diets with high-quality plant-based protein powders, particularly with powders that have a complete amino acid profile.


Protein powder is suitable for everyone, and unless it is your goal (in conjunction with a resistance training programme), consuming protein powder will not make you “bulk up”. In fact, protein is a highly necessary part of everyone’s daily diet regardless of whether they are looking to gain muscle. Protein powder is one way that you can support a balanced nutritional intake, particularly if your energy and protein needs are high, you are highly active, or you follow a diet where protein intake may typically be less. 

2022-07-18 21:18:00
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