Supplementation – Protein Powder
I’ve been taking protein powder on and off for about 14 years now, and I’ve heard it all – “isn’t that basically steroids?”, “but your not going to the gym at the moment”, “it all comes out in your urine anyway” and the classic “I wouldn’t do protein powder as I don’t want to get huge”.
Say the last one to any body builder or athlete and when they finish laughing they will probably explain that supplementation will only work in that way when combined with correct nutrition and a workout programme focusing on hypertrophy (muscle growth).
Firstly to dispel a few myths – protein powder doesn’t make your grow muscles (on its own) you’re not going to look like Arnold if you take protein powder, just as you wouldn’t grow his muscles if you ate a lot of steak and chicken.
It won’t make you look manly if you are a woman! It doesn’t contain testosterone and will not alter your hormones.
It IS as much use when losing weight as it is when gaining it! There are plenty of “diet protein powders” on the market, some containing other fat loss ingredients such as CLA or green tea extract. You may have noticed that even Slim Fast has cottoned on to the protein buzz and now advertises itself as a high protein drink – or protein shake. You don’t even need to be going to the gym and lifting weights to get results from it, just don’t think that adding it to your diet instead of using it as a meal or snack replacement will help as it still contains calories!
Protein is probably the most important macro of any healthy diet, with most diets from Paleo to Atkins and The Abs Diet to the Lean in 15 suggest a marked increase in protein consumption and reduced fat or carbs. Protein powder is a simple and easy way to get that increase without having to be eating tuna from the can 3 times a day whilst also keeping your other macros at the correct levels.
It really doesn’t come out in your urine! In fact if you’ve ever had your pee tested in a hospital they tend to get very concerned if there is protein present! Your body will naturally filter out stuff it doesn’t want, need or your taking too much of to an extent anyway, so anything you eat or drink you will never get the full benefits of.
Protein helps repair muscles. Your body needs protein particularly after exercise to help repair the muscles. If you are weight lifting your body you will often suffer from delayed often muscle soreness and protein powder plays a big part in helping reduce this.
Another big advantage of the protein shake on a diet is that it comes in some delicious flavours, and can help curb your cravings for chocolate and other sweets by giving you a chocolate milkshake taste without the full calories!
If your not already taking a protein shake as part of your diet, I would highly recommend it. Regardless of your end goal be it weight loss, or muscle gains it will help support them. For those who struggle to eat a breakfast within an hour of waking it’s a great way of getting the metabolism fired up.
If you have any concerns with the legality of supplements, or job policy the simple rule of thumb is that if you can buy it off the shelf in a store or a reputable website it’s likely to be legal. If it’s ok for tested athletes it should be ok for police officers. There should be nothing in protein powders for sale in the UK that should be any cause for concern. But if your taking one with additives I would advise checking your force policy. Better to be safe than sorry!