To Protein or Not to Protein

For my first post on supplements, I believe that it is only right for me to write on the basic foundation of every body builders, fitness freaks, fitness chicks, or anyone that basically sets foot in a gym. The very one supplement that most people can’t live without.

So everyone knows, protein sources is one of the most essential building blocks that you would need to grow your body. While the science behind it is rather complex (suggest that you read up on this in detail here), the simplest explanation is that protein helps you recover broken muscles in your body after a strong workout.
During your workouts, body part muscles are strained and damages may be caused after your workout is finished. At this point, the body will be looking for sources of protein to help repair this damages after a workout. Similarly enough, muscle growth would also need fuel to grow and naturally, protein become that source of fuel that the muscles need.Protein Sources*While a lot of people ask where can we get the best source of protein for our workouts, the food you eat would usually be the best bet on where you want to get your protein source for your body.A lot of people have this misconception that you can only get enough protein from gym supplements when you start working out. Believe it or not, most of us forget that protein are sourced from your every day food that you eat.

Below are a few items which has some of the highest number of protein per serving you can get just by going to the supermarket.

1. Turkey and Chicken Breast (30 grams of protein)
2. Fish eg. Tuna or Salmon (26 grams of protein)
3. Cheese (non fat) (32 grams of protein)
4. Lean Beef or Veal (36 grams of protein)
5. Beans (17 grams of protein)
6. Eggs (13 grams of protein)
7. Nuts and Seeds (33 grams of protein)
(note: all calculations are done in portions of 100 grams per serving)

So from here, a good mix and match with your diet would give you the perfect amount of protein you need to build your body.

Using whey protein*
Then comes the question, do I really need to use whey protein?
Firstly, one must understand why most gym goers find this as a “must have” in their arsenal of gym supplements is because it is a fast source of protein you can have right after or before going to gym.
One of the biggest benefit of using protein shakes during workouts is that the body would be able to absorb the protein content of each shake faster than you usual food intake, making it ideal especially those who are always on the go.
However, I am one to highlight that IT IS NOT A MUST to have protein powder every time you want to start working out.
Call it as how it is, protein powders are supplements and as such, it is suppose to supplement your daily protein intake from your regular food source that you are having in an entire day. It should not be treated as the ONLY source of protein one must take to body build or you could, but your expenses will be jacked up high. lol
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I also would like to highlight despite what I have mentioned above, no one can deny the importance of having protein powder as your supplement. Fast absorption, very low level of fat percentages, accurate amount of protein per intake and most importantly, the standard protein powder usually comes together with a line of other supplements packed in the tub together.
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Building blocks such as BCAA (branched chain amino acid) which are derived from the whey protein itself helps in the recovery of your muscles and fat burning components are usually included in the mix, which does help in other aspects of your body. Some may argue that the reason people rely so much on protein powder is that our natural food intake would not include components like this.
Myths
There are a few myth regarding protein powders and protein intake that I might need to address here:
1. Protein is not a “miracle drug” for body building
Too many times I have seen people obsess with the type, amount and regularity of their protein shake, with hope that it would “change our body physique” in an instant. As mentioned above, treat this as a supplement and that is what exactly it would do. Without proper workouts and strict diets, there is no way one would be able to reach their goals.
2. If I take to much protein, I am going to be fat
Correction, you become fat because the other things you eat, not because of protein intake. Blaming your protein intake for your size is like trying to polish stone into diamonds. The maths are simple, if you are eating higher than what you are burning, you will get fat. Period.
3. The more protein I take in, the bigger I get
Before you go out and splash thousands of bucks trying to get as much protein supplement you can get a hold of, bear in mind your body has limitations and it does take time for it to absorb all in your system. Excessive amount of protein intake in a day is not going to do anything else apart from creating a really expensive peeing session…
4. Too much protein intake will result to kidney failure
One of the craziest I have heard so far, similarly as above. Suggesting that high protein intake in healthy people due to it being able to cause kidney disease is like suggesting we should not drink water as it may cause drowning. Go figure…
So in conclusion, be smart about your protein intake and despite it being one of the most important aspect in body building, it is essential to have a good dietary planning which does include supplements in your everyday intake. The last thing you would want is to have all these burning through your pocket and becoming the reason why you get demotivated from going to the gym.
On another note, do post any fitness and sports related question on the comment section  and I will ensure that those questions will be answered. (hopefully).
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