Protein Supplementation: Is it really necessary?

It comes as no surprise that protein supplements are everywhere, you find them advertised in magazines, GNC windows, and there’s always someone at the gym walking around with their shaker. As tasty as some are, the truth is that men and women who eat a balanced meals have absolutely no need for supplemental protein; in fact, Americans consume over 2X the amount of protein that is necessary for optimal health!

The general recommendations for protein intake is approximately 10% of total caloric intake. An easy way to calculate how many grams of protein you need is to take your weight in kilograms (1lb = 2.2 kg) and multiply by:

0.9 for males

0.8 for females

For example if you are a 140lb male you would require 57 grams of protein per day. [(140/2.2) X 0.9 = 57]

Studies, such as those by Leenders, et al have shown that additional protein supplementation has had no significant improvement over placebo.

Unless you are an athlete who performs maximal exertion for over an hour per day, multiple days per week OR trying to gain weight, you are not helping to reach your goals with protein supplementation. If weight loss is your goal stay clear of these sugary, high calorie drinks (1 scoop of protein powder ranges between 60-200 calories).

Instead, stay hydrated with 8 ounces of water and eat whole foods that contain a moderate amount of protein following your workout.

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