Protein supplementation: do you need them and if so, when should you use them?

I’m going to say straight out that most people will already be meeting there required daily protein intake through the foods they consume although there is a place for protein supplements, keep reading to find out.

First thing is first = How much protein do you need?

The American college of sports medicine recommends you to consume 1.2 – 1.7 grams of protein per KG of body weight each day in order to build muscle
As an example ill use my body weight: My weight = 73kgs therefore I times my body weight by both 1.2 and 1.7 to give me between 87.6 to 124.1 grams of protein each day in order to build muscle.

To give the above figures some context I thought I’d give a few examples:

  • 100 grams of skinless, boneless chicken breast contains approx. 31 grams of protein
  • 1 serve of Chobani plain greek yoghurt contains approx. 15.6 grams of protein per serve of 170 grams.
  • 100 grams of almonds contains approx. 21g of protein
  • 2 slices of Abbott’s farmhouse wholemeal bread contains approximately 8.4 grams of protein.

Therefore if I was to consume all of the above foods, I’d be super close to reaching my daily protein goals, not to mention all the other foods that would be consumed with these foods. 
Point being that protein is in pretty much everything you consume and therefore most individual don’t require additional supplementation.

Where protein supplementation may be beneficial:

  • Those that chose a vegan or vegetarian diet due limiting or avoiding consumption of animal based products
  • Those over 55 years of age who partake in weight training consistently due to having a decreased ability to increase and maintain muscle mass.

I will however add that for those of you trying to build muscle that protein supplementation may be of some use particularly within 30-60 minutes of weight training  although I’d much rather see you eat a meal high in protein (e.g. chicken, eggs, yoghurt, nuts and seeds) rather than slurping down a drink most likely full of artificial products.

Therefore I would only recommend protein supplementation to those who fit into the above categories as for most others the amount of protein required is most likely being consumed in your day to day diet.