This week I’ve been getting lots of protein related questions from clients. I was going to re-direct them to our site, but oops– I never recapped protein from the Managing Your Macros Podcast. Consider that fixed!
Q: How do you feel about protein shakes? I have some powder that is like 25g of protein per 8 oz. Is that worse than getting it from meat?
Protein shakes definitely make things easier– for one, the amount of protein in a single shake AND the fact it’s convenience in consumption (drinking calories is usually easier than eating them).
That said, the act of eating will always feel more satisfying. Again, because drinking calories is so easy to do, it’s much easier to get an excess in that manner and yet still feel hungry.
Also to note: even though we’re supposedly getting 25g from the shake, we can’t guarantee that’s the absorption the body will process. For every bodybuilder who wants to claim “nutrition is all about the numbers / it’s an exact science”, they forget to mention the variables. In other words, just because you’re supposed to be getting 25g of protein from a shake or bar, that doesn’t necessarily mean your body is going to process and digest the full 25g.
But, this absorption discrepancy ratio goes for all food, not just shakes.
TL;DR Do you need to have protein powder/shakes? No. Does it make things easier? Sure.
Other quick and easy protein tips:
- try to shoot for 100g of protein a day (the exceptions being if you’re under 5′ and/or coincidentally under 100 lbs)
- you get to pick if you want your protein through supplements (i.e. bars, powders, shakes) or real food
- don’t eat unhealthy crap just because it has protein [I’m looking at you, KFC]
On another note: don’t go thinking an increase of protein is the answer to all your prayers.
I mean, the increase of protein (while maintaining fat and carb levels) has a lot of benefits: improved muscle production, maintenance, and recovery. Protein helps curb hunger pangs by prolonging satiety. Hair looks shinier with sufficient protein too.
But just because protein can help you in your pursuit of being healthier, protein intake alone doesn’t mean you’re healthy.
It’s not about one macronutrient, just like it’s not all about one exercise. We try to keep things as simple as possible for you, but you need to think about your health, fitness, and nutrition as a system. It’s not just one choice and then you’re set. You need to keep participating with due diligence.