For years I avoided protein powder. Not because I didn’t want to use it, but because I was hesitant to use a product associated with the terms “shredding, and gaining” as getting “bulky” simply isn’t my jam.
I also tried to purchase it a few times, but quickly became tired of receiving the same perplexed expression when I asked the (visibly ripped) sales assistant “do you have any organic protein powder?”
It’s apparent that many women avoid protein powders for similar reasons and predominantly out of fear of becoming too “muscly”. The fact that a number of protein powders contain artificial flavours, preservatives and hidden sugars is also a concern.
However, after some extensive research and using a protein powder I trust (Four Protein), it is obvious that the concept of “getting bigger” from protein consumption is a myth. In fact, as part of a healthy and balanced diet, it can actually help you achieve your health and fitness goals.
Firstly, let’s go back to basics. Protein is the fundamental component of the human body as it is the building block of cells, muscles, organs, energy production and the synthesis of DNA. Furthermore, protein, like other macronutrients, is essential in the diet and consumption is linked to a number of positive health benefits including healthy muscles, energy production and weight management.
Individual requirements of protein vary based on a number of factors such as age, lifestyle, gender and health goals. However, for women, the Australian Nutrient Guidelines recommend approx. 0.75g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. For a 60kg female, this is 45g per day and equivalent to 7.5 eggs or 200g of almonds. However, one serve of Four Protein is 20g of protein and is equivalent to almost half of this daily requirement.
It can be difficult to monitor individual protein intake and let’s face it, who has time? The preparation of protein rich foods (eggs, meat, fish, counting out almonds etc.) can be time consuming and this is where the beauty of protein powder prevails. The addition of one scoop to your smoothies, oats and breakfast bowls can help you meet your daily requirements (as well as enhance the texture and flavour) with minimal effort.
Regardless of your fitness and wellness goals, one of the most positive outcomes of increasing protein in the diet is that it keeps you fuller for longer. If you are like me and find yourself hungry for the most part of the day, protein powder can reduce hunger, snacking, maintain energy levels and curb those dreaded sugar cravings. In addition to these benefits, it can also contribute to healthy weight management and even assist with weight loss, hooray!
Whether you’re a yogi or cross-fitter, protein powders containing L Glutamine are also excellent for post workout recovery. L Glutamine is an important amino acid, which contributes to muscle development and can also assist with gut health. BUT, before you close your browser ladies, in no whey (excuse the pun) does this mean you will get bulky. It will simply help to nourish your hard working muscles and promote the development of lean muscle mass and tone.
It is abundantly clear that the health benefits of protein in the diet are significant. Whether you are striving to improve your fitness, clean up your diet or boost your energy levels, the addition of protein powder to your meals is a quick and efficient way to lead you down the path of healthy living!