1. Supplements Are Just That, A SUPPLEMENT.
Supplements are meant to add to an already solid fitness foundation. Whether it’s protein powder, creatine, pre-workout, etc., no combination of these will ever replace good nutrition, working out, and a good sleep regiment. Rather, supplements are meant to make nutrition regiments easier/more convenient, increase your performance during quality workouts, and help you to recover more efficiently from those workouts. Without the base of a proper nutrition plan, workout regiment, and proper sleep, supplements aren’t worth the money. If you don’t have a proper plan for those three aspects of your fitness goals (nutrition, workouts, sleep), I invite you to head over to GRIT LIFT to see how we can help you with a plan. Overall, supplements are a great investment, but only with the proper foundation in place.
2. Protein Powders
In order for our bodies to gain muscle mass and recover properly from workouts, we need to be intaking a certain amount of protein every day. This protein can come from many different sources, including plant sources (such as beans and lentils), animal sources (such as dairy products), lean cuts of meat, and more. The average male or female needs about 1.1 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass, although this amount can change based on personal progress and needs. For the average person weighing 200lbs, with 20% body fat, they would need 1.1g X 160 (body weight in lbs-%fat mass in lbs) = 176g of protein.
For the average person, this is A LOT of protein to start eating every day. This is where protein powders come in to make consuming that much protein easier. The average serving of protein is between 20-30 grams. Drinking this powder mixed with milk, water, or milk substitutes (like almond milk) is much easier and faster than eating it’s protein equivalent in whole foods. For example, to consume 30 grams of protein from chicken breast, one would need to eat 165 grams, or almost one whole cooked chicken breast (on average, some chicken breasts are bigger or smaller).
Which protein supplements should we take? There are many different protein powders in the market, from different sources as well. There are many different plant based protein powders, whey protein powders, egg white powders, etc. The most important thing is to choose one that has all the check marks for COMPLETE PROTEIN SOURCES. Here is a list of good options. Click on the links to see where to purchase them! (I have no affiliation with the websites linked).
Whey protein isolates - Whey protein tends to be better at keeping blood protein levels higher; which is what you’re after to build muscle.
Lactose free whey protein isolate - For those of you who are lactose intolerant and gluten free.
Vegan protein - This is a great combination of pea and pumpkin seed protein; which together, offers a complete protein source to help keep your blood protein levels up! Other vegan proteins that only include one plant source by itself, unless it's potato protein isolate (which is very hard to find), or has added amino acids, don't include all the necessary essential amino acids.
Overall, protein sources that are easy to consume, like the options above, are a great investment. They can help you reach your daily protein consumption levels necessary to build muscle and make the most of your workouts.