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Benefits of Protein Powder

I like to start off posts where I talk about a specific product or substance by debunking some common myths. Over the past few years, as body building and weight training has started to gain popularity, there has been a rise in the popularity of protein powder. You’ve surely seen the signature blender bottle sitting by the squat rack, and maybe it caused you to wonder why? Why are these people drinking this powder after they lift? What is this powder? What are some of the benefits and risks? Should I be drinking it too?

At this point you’ve probably guessed what this week’s Fundamentals Friday post is about--protein powder. Before we get started, let’s address some of those myths we mentioned before.

  1. Whey and Casein based protein powders cause women to be jacked. If getting jacked was as easy as drinking a simple beverage a couple times a day in addition to your gym routine, everyone would do it. Getting “jacked” requires much more effort on your part than adding extra whey to your diet.

  2. Endurance athletes do not need protein. At the end of an extensive training session your body is is starving for the building blocks to rebuild the muscle that you’re trying to enhance through your workouts.

  3. Protein is dangerous for your kids. That’s right everyone, even your kiddos can enjoy your delicious protein shakes (if you are generous enough to share!). As your kiddos grow they actually need more protein in their diets as they develop new muscle tissue.

Moral of the story, we are in need of more protein in our lives! But let’s talk protein powder and its specific benefits.

There are three common types of protein powder- whey, soy and casein. Although vegans may opt for an alternative, whey is the most common and the type of protein we will be discussing today.

Whey is absorbed quickly into the body and is highly digestible. This means that When you drink a whey-based protein shake after a workout, it is being absorbed into your muscles quickly, which makes sense since when coupled with strength training it also promotes muscle growth. Don’t be fooled, however, because protein powder also helps with muscle recovery. We know what you’re thinking, is there anything that this powder can’t do? We typically drink protein shakes after a workout as a recovery technique to replenish the muscles that we’ve just finished working on. Protein can help to repair damaged muscles and tissues, so if you’re feeling especially sore after a workout, consider a shake.

We’ve talked about the exercise based benefits of protein powder, but what about what it does to our waistline? Whey protein contains a range of amino acids, which are absorbed into the body quickly. Protein, as a general rule, fills us up. When you are intaking 30 grams of protein in a single shake, you can imagine that it might curb some of your mid-afternoon cravings. So even if you aren’t just finishing a resistance training workout, a shake is a great afternoon snack. As an added bonus, protein makes you feel full for longer and can provide an energy boost.

Now for the fun stuff. If you’ve never cooked with protein powder you’re seriously missing out! There are entire cookbooks dedicated to this cooking movement, but we wanted to share a few ideas here before we sign off. Protein pancakes (the possibilities are endless), no bake protein cookies, protein muffins, or overnight oats are just a few ideas to satisfy even the sweetest tooth.

If you are interested in learning more about protein powders our expert trainers at RPF are always willing to answer any questions. If you’re interested in testing out protein powders, stop by the desk after your next class with us to learn about SFH protein powder. At Root we keep a stock of the SFH PURE and RECOVER in Vanilla and Chocolate, and the FUEL in Strawberry. You can click here for pricing.