Everyone is obsessed with protein and getting enough of it. Almost any person who is health or fitness -oriented has a tub of protein powder in their house. We are often told by our friends and training partners that we need to take protein powder if we are active, especially in an intense sport like Muay Thai. Protein, protein, protein!
Setting all the hype aside, guess what? Generally speaking, if you are:
1) eating enough calories, and;
2) eating a balanced diet
…then you do not need protein powder! A balanced diet that takes into account your Muay Thai sessions will provide you with the protein you need to recover and grow your muscles. Having too much protein will put stress on your kidneys. Similar to how extra carbs turn to fat, it’s the same with protein.
Moreover, if you’re getting enough protein from eating actual food, why waste money on buying expensive protein powder? Let’s take a look at three, clear-cut cases where you would definitely need a protein supplement in your life.
YOU NEED PROTEIN IF… You’re not eating enough.
If you’re not eating enough, you’re not getting enough calories. If you’re not getting enough calories, you’re most likely not getting enough protein. In this case, protein powder will help you up your calorie and protein intake easily.
However, there is a bigger problem in the picture: not eating enough calories can mean you’re not getting enough of other nutrients, not just protein. This includes fat, complex carbs/fiber, vitamins, and minerals, all of which are extremely important for an active person.
YOU NEED PROTEIN IF… You’re waiting a long time between meals.
If you’re really busy during the day or are the type of person who “forgets to eat,” protein powder will help you. Waiting five to six hours between meals means your blood sugar gets really low and your body may start catabolizing muscle in order to feed itself.
If you can’t sit down for a meal for whatever reason, have some protein powder handy to keep hunger at bay. This will also help to prevent binge eating later on in the day.
YOU NEED PROTEIN IF…You’re waiting too long after training to eat.
You trained and you have a long commute home. Or maybe you trained and you have other stuff to do before you can eat. Having protein (and carbs) post workout is essential for recovery, and protein powder is one of the easiest ways to do that. Feed your muscles what it needs post-training.
Having enough protein is just as important as making sure you’re not unnecessarily eating too much of it. Protein is extremely important when it comes to muscle growth, recovery, and even your immune system. Make sure you get enough, but also make sure you just get enough.
Thumbnail image courtesy of My Fit Station.
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