Protein or No Protein?

Should I supplement with protein or not? How much protein do I need? Will protein make me fat? These are questions I have seen out there on Instagram, blogs and forums over and over again. Honestly, I can’t answer all of these questions for you but I can fill you in on the information I learned doing research into the topic.

Currently, protein is being marketed in grocery stores, in magazines and on TV to everyone, including people that don’t workout and live a pretty sedentary life. The question of whether or not someone should consume extra protein is bound to come up.

The facts: Everyone needs protein, it’s essential to body tissues, growth and bone health. The big question is, how much is too much? Typically, the average male should be consuming about 56g of protein a day and a woman should be consuming a little less at 45g of protein a day according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. An average serving in a protein shake clocks in at about 25g (I use Combat). That’s nearly half or more than half of what you need daily, if you aren’t working out.

The truth is, most sedentary people can consume close to the right amount of protein in an average day without supplementing. This means that an average person who does not work out probably doesn’t need to supplement with protein.

If you are someone who does resistance training or runs a lot, you should look into supplementing with protein in some shape or form. The worst thing for me is sitting down to a meal right after working out, so drinking a quick protein shake keeps me from feeling fatigue and keeps my metabolism going. It also helps repair and build those muscles that I’m trying so hard to grow!

What about replacing a meal with protein, is that okay? I say go for it, but I am not a dietician. I just know what works for my body. If I’m in a hurry and want something that will satiate me like a meal would, I might reach for a protein shake. I won’t just drink one for the heck of it.

In summary, the choice of whether to supplement with protein is ultimately up to you. Our bodies need protein and we should try to eat enough protein, carbs and fat to keep our bodies healthy. It’s okay to replace a meal with a shake but remember that it’s a meal replacement. If you don’t workout that day, you are just adding extra protein and calories to your body that you have not and will not burn off. Do your research and try a few samples to find the right one for you. Also, make sure you use the right serving amount and watch out for quick fixes, because they never work for the long term. It’s all about balance when it comes to being fit and living a healthy lifestyle.

Do you drink protein after workouts or for a meal replacement? What’s your favorite brand? When do you drink it and how much? Share in the comments below and as always, stay balanced ya’ll!