Protein powder, the advantages and who should use it and when.

    These days more and more people go to the gym, everyone is after better health and a better body. This may be a fashion it may be in response to the rise of pseudo celebrities or may be that people are taking their long term health more seriously. Whatever the reason you will have heard of protein powder and protein shakes. There are all sorts of supplements available and they are getting more and more popular as a supplement across a wide spectrum of people.

    You can get protein powder from a multitude of sports shops, health food shops and on various supplement stores online. You can get powders, liquids and tablets. But what are they? What are they used for? And who do they benefit?

    Well we can answer those questions one at a time.

    What Are Protein Powders?

    Well in a nutshell protein powder is an easy way to get protein into your body. When you are training regularly protein is important to help build and maintain muscle. The most popular types of protein powder you can get are Whey and protein blends often incorporating Soy Isolate, Calcium Caseinate (casein), Whey Hydrolosate, Milk Protein isolate and now Beef Protein Isolate or Hydrolosate too.

    Whey is by far the most popular of all protein powder, it mixes easy in water so it is easy to shake and take, it is a complete protein so includes the 9 amino acids a human needs in their diet and its widely available and can be cost effective.

    When you look around at all the protein powders available you will see a huge range both in product and price. Some will have specific uses or types of athlete and if you are one of these types then you should go for the specific one that suits your circumstances. However the vast majority of users are just general keep fitters and they have no need for products with specific benefits.

    So when do you need to take protein powder?

    Well you can use them any time when you are looking to build and maintain muscle, but a balanced diet with lots of meat and fish is also very important but for convenience, vegetarians or those who lack much appetite then they are definitely a good way to go.

    If you have competitions coming up and are increasing your levels of exercise, if you are growing still (thinking teens here mainly), if you are increasing your normal program or starting a new regime or maybe if you are on the way to recovery from an injury then these would all be situations where you could benefit from extra protein.

    If you are going vegetarian or vegan especially then it is more difficult to get the required protein from your diet so a protein powder supplement may be a great idea to bolster your protein input.

    Warning

    So let’s look at what your body needs;

    As an average athlete who just exercises recreationally you needs at least 0.5 grams per pound of body weight. If you are competitive that goes up to circa 1.0 grams, the same as you need as a teenager and still growing. If you’re goals are purely building muscle then 1.5 grams per pound of body weight is our recommendation.

    So the trick is to calculate your average weekly intake and then work out what you need and if there is a shortfall then protein powder might be for you. You can usually tell as you are tired and you feel week when lifting weights or carrying out other forms of exercise.

    We would recommend taking a protein supplement before or straight after exercise due to you breaking down muscle tissue during intense exercise, this is what lifting does to your muscles, breaks the tissues (hence the pain in the following days!), only for the body to repair these tissues making them thicker – this is where the size comes from, and what is needed for making these fibres thicker? Amino Acids which come from where? Protein!

    Extreme Whey is a high quality protein powder.

    There are many different kinds of protein powder, this is Extreme Whey by Extreme Nutrition.