Protein powder is perhaps the most popular supplement used today, especially when the intention is to get stronger. Because protein is fundamental to repairing and maintaining muscle tissue, supplementation is a great way to achieve adequate amounts on a daily basis.
Like most supplements, however, it would be better to just eat the nutrients in regular food. Just because a scoop of protein may have the same amount of protein as five eggs does, the outcome isn’t necessarily the same.
But the scope of today’s article isn’t to defend food, rather to provide you basics of how protein works and the dosage you should take daily.
What is protein powder?
Protein powders are dusted forms of protein that come from plants, eggs, or milk. Common types of protein are casein, whey, soybean, pea, rice, and hemp.
Depending on the protein powder, they range from 10-30 grams of protein along with other added sugars, artificial flavorings, thickeners, vitamins, or minerals.
Because protein powder is classified as a dietary supplement, it is not regulated in the same way as food or medicine. Responsibility therefore falls on manufacturers to ensure that their products are not hazardous, though many companies do not test for safety or efficacy before their offerings hit shelves.
For this reason alone, I would recommend choosing a reputable company rather than price shopping for your protein powder supplementation.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) has set protein intake around 0.4 grams per pound of bodyweight. That means that for someone who weighs 150 pounds, they should eat at least 60 grams of protein; a 200-pound person, about 80 grams of protein.
But chances are that if you are reading this article, you’re wanting to get stronger. If that is the case, most sport and performance science will recommend consuming at least double the RDA. Many high performers even will eat 1 gram of protein for every pound of bodyweight.
Depending on the research, the exact dosage will vary. A good starting point, therefore, would be to double the RDA. When you can consistently consume that much protein every day, increase the dosage.
Taking protein powder as a supplement can be both effective and convenient to reach your daily protein intake goal.
The protein powder niche within the greater fitness supplement industry is broad and diverse. Look for reputable brands prior to the types of protein. After you feel good about the company, begin to look at the nutrition facts and ingredients.
For individuals wanting to get stronger, begin with 0.8 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. When you can consistently consume this much, consider upping your protein intake to 1 gram for every pound of bodyweight.