Protein and Protein Powders

My husband and I decided to look at our diets to make sure what we are eating isn’t negatively affecting our diets. One of the things we looked at is Protien and the various kinds of powders offered. I thought I would share my research incase anyone else was looking into this or wanted a helpful reminder.

How much protein do you actually need:

That depends on your goals and what you are trying to achieve. Below is a guideline, and I stress the word guideline because not everything works the same for everyone. And really, you need to do what is right for you and your body.

* Recreational Athletes need .5-.75 grams of protein per pound of body weight
* Competitive Athletes need .6-.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight
* Teenage Athletes need .8-.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight
* Athletes building muscle mass need .7-.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight

***Research says you should not exceed .9 grams of protein per pound of body weight.***

Example: An adult athlete weighing 175 who wants to build muscle mass, the max protein you would need is 157.5

Should I take Protein right before/after a workout:

If you are thinking about taking a protein supplement immediately after a workout, you should reconsider. According to Barbara Lewin, a dietitian and sports nutritionist who has worked with NFL, NBA, and NHL athletes and trained ironman competitors, She says, “Before, during, and after a workout, carbs are what your body needs. They’re what your body uses for fuel, and what your muscles run on. Yes, protein is also important for recovery after a workout, but research shows that at that point your body needs fuel with 4-1 or 5-1 ratio of carbs to protein.”

An example of what Lewin is talking about: After a workout if you took a protein powder, which usually has around 20 grams of protein per scoop, you would need about 80 grams of carbs to go with that one scoop to make sure you get the proper nutrients after a workout.

A better choice for after a workout snack is a smoothie with fruit, yogurt or mild or even chocolate milk. Yes, you read that correctly, chocolate milk.

So what type of Protein should I look at:

Like all products, there are good and bad ones out there. So how do you tell the difference? Well, you go to the experts. At, they list the best and worst when looking for a protein supplement. Below is a recap of some of what they say but check out their sight for specific suggestions on whey protein products.

Whey Protein- According to muscle and fitness editor, Whey is one of the richest sources of BCAA’s, which include the three amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine) which are critical for muscle growth and energy during workouts. Whey protein also contains biologically active protein microfractions (alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin, glycomacropeptides, immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase) which provide antioxidant benefits, boost immune function and enhance muscle recovery and growth.

Yeah, that was a mouthful. Bottom line, Whey protein is far more effective than any other protein form out there, but its effectiveness can vary based on the other ingredients companies add.

How to tell if my Whey Protein powders is good:

To be considered a great Whey protein the product MUST list whey protein isolate or hydrolyzed whey protein isolate as the very first ingredient. The reason behind this is because whey protein isolate is the purest form of protein you can get, with some being more than 90% of protein. And hydrolyzed whey protein isolates means that the whey has been pre-designed into smaller protein fragments for easier digestion.

You can’t just stop at the ingredient list, you have to take it one step further by doing some math. Take the grams of protein per serving and divide it by the serving size (in grams). This number will give you the percentage of protein in each serving and you want this number to be 80% or higher.

Example: Whey powder provides 25 grams of protein per 28 gram scoop, that protein powder is 90% protein and is a great whey protein for the money.

Meal Replacement:

Protein shakes can come in handy and help control your diet. When used as a meal replacement, it is best to pair them with a source of vegetables, fruit, and a healthy fat. Below is the recommendation for “super shakes” found at

2 scoops of protein powder
1-2 cups vegetables (ex spinach)
2 handfuls fruit (fresh or frozen)
2 tablespoons of a healthy fat (nut butter or seeds)
Mixer (almond milk, milk, or water)

1 scoop of protein powder
1 cup vegetable
1 handful fruit
1 tablespoon of a healthy fat

Keep in mind this is just a framework to start. Women usually need half the amount of protein then men do but if you find you need more, add more to your shake. Do what is right for you and your body!

What am I going to try:

Protein mix

I went with Gold Standard 100% Whey. I added 8 ounces of Almond milk and 1 tablespoons of raw cacao powder and it was delicious!! I am using this as a meal replacement today because our dinner is going to be a high calorie one, but very yummy. So I don’t want to miss out. But don’t worry, I will be having a snack later. Probably a yogurt and jerky.

This drink is:
Calories- 215
Fat- 8g
Carbohydrates- 7.8g
Protein- 27.5g

I think it would also be good with peanut butter and oatmeal. And I think next time I will need to try to add my veggies and fruit in the mix.

In the end..

I think you need to listen to your body and do what is right for you. I struggle getting the amount of protein in my diet that is required (111.75g) and needed to find an extra boost. I am going to try this for a month and see if I can see better results.

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