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Article: Do we need protein powder?

Do we need protein powder?

do i need protein powder

Protein is a nutrient that everyone seems to be very concerned about, and rightly so to some extent as it is a very important nutrient.

For general health, the protein recommendation is approximately 0.8g/kg per day. If you are quite active, participate in regular strength training or wish to build muscle mass, the protein recommendations are quite a lot higher, around 1.6g/kg per day.

But even that is very achievable to meet from foods alone, provided you are prioritising including plenty of plant protein rich foods in your diet, ie. aiming to include a serve of legumes, tofu or tempeh at each meal, and eating enough food overall.

It is always best to prioritise getting the majority of your protein from whole foods sources. These are so much more nutrient dense, more affordable and more filling.

Think of protein powder as a SUPPLEMENT, to help you bump up your protein intake on top of your normal food, to help you reach your goals or when it’s more convenient.

Where it can be beneficial to use protein powder:
For those with high protein and energy requirements, such as athletes and very active people who are struggling to meet these requirements on foods alone.

For convenience, such as making a protein smoothie for breakfast or after training when you’re in a rush or appetite is low.

To supplement a lower protein meal with a boost of extra protein, such as a fruit smoothie.

For taste and texture reasons!

These days there’s an overwhelming number of different brands and products on the market when it comes to plant proteins. To choose one, look for a blend of pea and rice, or a soy based protein to ensure it has a complete amino acid profile - and then I’d suggest trying a few different ones out to see what you personally enjoy the most, feel sits well in your stomach and suits your budget.

Whether or not you choose to consume a protein powder or not is completely up to you! Just remember that it is meant as an addition to a whole foods based diet, not a replacement for it!

 

by Nina Gelbke, Dietitian and Nutritionist 

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