Protein powder: Nutritionist explains why it’s not a ‘magic wand’ for getting in shape

Workout: Expert discusses different types of protein powders

Protein powders come in various different forms that are commonly used by gym-goers, bodybuilders and athletes. It helps build muscle, repair tissue and make enzymes and hormones. Commonly associated with weight loss, one expert has shared with that protein powder isn’t the magical answer to getting in shape.

High protein foods include eggs, chicken breasts and almonds.

While intake of it will vary person to person, it is an important macronutrient for the body.

Protein powder is also a great way way to consume protein and has become extremely popular. 

However there are many myths surrounding the macronutrient, according to one expert. 

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Speaking to, Simon Jurkiw, Performance Nutritionist at sports and active nutrition brand, Bulk, explained: “At its simplest, protein is a molecule made from organic compounds called amino acids. 

“Our bodies need these to function properly, as they boost the immune system, and are vital for general repair and help build muscle.”

The expert explained that protein intake has a close relationship with body weight and training intensity and daily intake will depend on someone’s goal, whether that be weight loss, maintenance or to gain muscle.

Simon added: “Looking after your muscle mass and strength is fundamental whether you lead a more sedentary or active lifestyle. 

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“Protein helps to build and recover muscle, which is why protein supplements are great for gymgoers lifting weights, but also exercise like yoga and spinning.

“Protein supplements are now widely available and are part of all sorts of diets as they’re an accessible and easy way of boosting your protein intake without relying on cooking all the time. They are quick, easy, cost-effective and have a long shelf life.”

The most popular time to take protein supplements is straight after working out however the nutritionist explained that there is no wrong or right time to consume them.

He said: “People still argue over whether the ‘anabolic window’ (i.e. the short time after training when your muscles are repairing and recovering) is a relevant thing or not for protein and nutrient absorption. 

“However, the majority of shake-users will consume one after they train.”

Can drinking protein shakes help you lose weight?

Simon explained: “One of the most common myths related to protein powder is that it directly affects body weight. 

“Now, it’s fundamental to understand that protein powder isn’t a magic wand for weight loss. 

“Protein shakes can’t directly make anyone lose weight. However, the market is filled with protein shakes for people to lose weight. 

“Those products can only support you in a calorie-restricted diet, which is the only guaranteed way to lose weight. It’s a matter of committing to burning more calories than you consume.

“You must be in a calorie-deficit to lose weight. A protein shake will not be the reason you put on or lose weight!”

A calorie deficit occurs when you consume fewer calories than the body expends. 

Healthline recommends a calorie deficit of around 500 calories per day for an effective, healthy and sustainable weight loss.

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