Why do we need protein again? 

Protein plays an important role in the growth and repair of our muscles and the timing of protein intake (within the hour) is imperative after exercise. Consuming adequate protein is important for muscle growth, but won’t guarantee muscle GAINS. Tune in to Protein: The 411 for more on this.

Isn’t it important for building muscle?

To build muscle, the body needs to be in energy surplus (i.e. you’re consuming more energy than you are expending). Having adequate protein is one thing, but without consuming enough ‘energy’ your body will rely on its fat and muscle stores for stamina, preventing any muscle growth.

Protein Shakes

Do I need to drink a protein shake after I exercise?

While you do need protein after exercising, this DOES NOT need to come from a protein shake. It is important to remember, that our bodies can only metabolise a certain amount of protein at a time, so overloading on protein shakes equates to very expensive pee. While most of us meet our protein requirements through wholefoods without the need for supplementation. Simply, plan your post exercise snack or meal to contain some protein and you’re well on the way to supporting muscle repair and growth.

Would you ever recommend a protein shake?

I am a true believer that we can get all that we need from wholefood sources without the need for supplementation, hence, I would really only ever recommend a protein shake to active clients for convenience purposes (i.e. they are unable to prepare and consume a protein rich meal/snack soon after exercise) and/or if they cannot obtain an adequate amount of protein from their diet alone. In my opinion, protein shakes are definitely not a necessity in the average diet.

What do I need to be careful of with protein shakes?

Protein powders and similar supplements need to be scrutinised well before a purchase is made. I always recommend talking to the company who produced the product; the brand themselves; being upfront with them and asking them important questions so that you can assess their nutritional claims and the purity of the supplement.

I also would always recommend that you ensure the protein powder contains both an even proportion and complete list of amino acids. You always want to ensure a high quality protein source. Avoid colourful powders as these generally suggest that artificial colours have played a part in their production.