One of the main reasons that some people feel like they can’t fully invest into their health and fitness journey, is that they struggle with feeling insecure. Feeling insecure over your natural ability to rise to the challenge of physical fitness, or feeling like you don’t know enough is more common than you may think. Some reports suggest that one in two Americans can struggle with feeling intimidated while at the gym, and this can really hold a person back from their true potential.
One way that you can start to feel more confident in your health and fitness journey, is through education and using the right tools. The good news is that no matter who you are, this learning curve can be mastered and you have the ability to overcome these things and reach your goals. A health and fitness journey is deeply personal and it takes time to understand, execute, and eventually master. This is a life long process and should be viewed as such.
If you have been wanting to take your fitness journey to the next level, but are unsure about how to do this, a good place to start is with supplements that help you achieve your goals. Perhaps the most popular fitness supplement on the market is protein powder. Protein powder is almost ubiquitous in any kind of fitness journey. One of the main reasons that it’s so massively popular is simply because it actually works.
While the words ‘protein powder’ might conjure images of muscled men and women who know how to lift weights for hours, the truth is this supplement can be used by all kinds of people. No matter your gender, age, weight, or body type – protein powder can be a powerful supplement that can help fuel your progress and give you the edge you need.
Here is everything you need to know about what protein powder is, and how it can fit into your fitness routine.
So What is Protein Powder?
Protein powder at its core is a supplement and should always be treated as such. What does that mean?
To understand what protein powder is, you have to know that it’s not necessary to actually use protein powder. This might seem paradoxical, how can one of the most popular supplements also be something that people don’t necessarily ‘need’? Well, the answer is that it is in fact a supplement.
The body needs protein in order to build muscle and recover from exercise, and protein is one of the easiest things to actually get in through diet. Unlike specific vitamins or proteins like collagen or creatine, protein is fairly easy to intake from both animal and plant sources. The trick isn’t how to put protein in your diet, it’s about getting enough protein in your diet to reach your goals.
Supplements Are Not Meant to Replace
As a supplement, protein should never replace your normal eating habits. Protein powder can be sourced from plants or animals and is concentrated protein. While this can be a very effective tool for helping to give your muscles the protein that they need to recover from a workout and even grow in mass, it should never replace a meal.
The protein sources you eat at breakfast, lunch, and dinner aren’t just going to be pure protein but instead, have a rich profile of important vitamins and minerals. No matter what your fitness goals are, ensuring that your protein intake largely comes from the meals you eat is paramount for health and success.
Where Does Protein Powder Fit In?
This is a great question, and the answer is the reason why protein powder is the most popular and best-selling health supplement on the market. Protein powder helps you increase your protein intake, on top of the protein you are already eating. This is why protein powder intake varies from person to person and from goal to goal.
For example, someone who is focusing on lifting and wants to bulk up needs to be consuming more protein than they are burning calories. While they could beef up their meal routines with more natural proteins, most people simply don’t have the time, capacity, skill set, or in some cases, budget to do this. This is where protein powder comes into play. It alleviates the pressure of adding more onto your plate at meal time and helps to supplement what you are lacking.
Protein powder is great for after a lift, post-run, or swim. The amount that you take depends on your goals. If you want to stay trim, or transition your body composition, you may take less than if you were wanting to bulk and put on a lot of mass.
There is no ‘one type of person’ that should use a protein supplement. While it should never replace your regular meals, protein supplements can be used by anyone and for any kind of physical fitness goal. Some people may only need a little extra to aid in recovery, while others may need substantial amounts. Whatever your relationship with protein supplements might be, always ensure that you are using it as a supplement to go along with your regular meals and not substitute them.