The question that we all have in our mind at some point during our fitness program is ‘should or shouldn’t we consume protein supplements?’ Let’s get deeper into this topic and hope to find the answer to your question.
Protein is a special type of molecule that is made up of amino acids- building blocks of the body. It is required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s cells, tissues, and organs. They are many types of protein in the body. In this article we will discuss about the proteins that are responsible for the growth of our muscles- the muscle protein.
When we consume food that contains protein, our body breaks down its molecules into amino acids that they are made up of and then use those amino acids to build its own protein. Now let’s see its role in building muscles.
Before we go further into this topic one must understand the term Anabolic and Catabolic.
To make it simple, Anabolic means building up and Catabolic means breaking down. These are two sides of metabolism. When you are working out for a longer period of time or going through a high intensity workout without providing enough fuel for your body- nutrients, the body goes into catabolic state and leads to breaking down of muscles for energy. Likewise putting hard work at the gym means you are simply breaking/tearing up your muscles leaving space for its growth which is only possible when provided with sufficient nutrients and hence leads to anabolic state, helping you gain muscle mass. It is at this point supplements come into play. Protein shakes are the most effective and easiest way to shoot up those nutritional needs for your muscle repair.
NO they are not drugs. Just had to put that out there, as a lot of people seem to see it that way, which is just sad to see. It is just a common sense to understand why our body needs more protein when we put it through extra stress/work. If you are living an average Joe’s life with no exercise at all we have nothing to say to you. Now let us talk about the facts rather than just brag about it. Professor Peter Lemon from the University of Western Ontario recommends between 0.7-0.8g of protein per pound of body weight for athletes training for strength, endurance, stamina and increase in performance whereas the daily protein intake for a sedentary male is 55-60g per day and for a sedentary female is 45-50g per day recommended by the FDA.
We know that there are a lot of food providing protein but not all that you consume is at point for the body. 100g of chicken breast provides only 20g of protein for the body, 1 whole egg provides around 5g of protein. Let’s do the simple math out here, given that you are under a well planned workout regime. A person weighing 70 kg would have to consume 123.2g of protein /day (70×2.2×0.8). Now image how much chicken breast or eggs or nuts would he have to consume to meet his targeted intake and also do calculate his costs behind it. See… this is why protein supplements are the easiest and cheapest way to achieve your daily value requirements. Do not get the idea that we are talking about substituting whole foods with supplements, that is not the case at all. Whole foods can never be substituted by any supplements. The smartest way to get those targeted intake is to get certain amount of it by consuming supplements and the remaining through whole foods. That way you get the best of both worlds.