Over the course of this weekend, I’ll be publishing a series of 3 posts on protein supplementation. The first is about how you can know if you need a protein shake/supplement to begin with, the second will dive into all the different kinds of protein and how to know which one is right for you, and the third will talk about some protein benefits you’ve likely never heard of. I know when I was a newbie in the fitness world I kinda avoided the subject of protein shakes entirely because I thought it was something only athletes used, and even then, only men. I didn’t realize that if you give 110% in your workouts on a regular basis, you are an athlete, and that women who train need extra protein just as much as men do. So hopefully I can shed some light on the subject so you don’t have to walk in the dark as long as I did.
Let’s get right into it – here are 3 sure signs you need a protein shake/supplement:
- You’re always hungry, but never satisfied. This is my go-to test to see if I need more protein. I’ve been without my usual protein powder for over a month now and my goodness, let me tell ya, the only meals that have come even close to satisfying me have been loaded with protein. It’s hard to describe if you’ve never experienced the feeling, but it’s like you’re craving something intensely but you don’t know what it is. It’s actually kind of awful because your body is screaming it needs better nutrition but if you don’t know it needs protein, you end up binging on junk food and deteriorating physically. And yes, if you lift or do a lot of strength training, carbs and protein are a must. I feel so bad for athletes who eliminate carbs completely and have tiny portions of protein.
- You’re working your butt off but not seeing any results. A lot of people who start strength training get frustrated when after 3-4 weeks of consistent, hard work they still aren’t seeing any changes in their body. A lot of times this is simply because if you don’t have enough fuel too feed the amount of work you’re putting out, your body won’t be able to generate more muscle/burn more fat. You gotta feed it right to get results.
- You lift. Seriously. If you lift heavy on a regular basis (I’m talking sticking with a steady program of lots of weight and low reps), you need more protein. Lifting is one of the BEST ways to build muscle/lose weight and the normal human diet ain’t gonna get you the results you are looking for. Some people try to do it on a vegan diet or through diet alone and personally I haven’t seen one yet who actually built any mass (or for the ladies, healthy curves). But then I’ve been wrong before, it’s just my personal opinion and experience that protein shakes do wonders for avid lifters.
What has been your experience or lack of experience with a protein supplement? I’d love to hear any of your thoughts in the comments!