Is it good to take protein powder before or after my workouts?
Protein powder is a supplement. A supplement should only be used when the nutrients you need are not accessible – either externally (I.e. there isn’t a supply of food nearby) or internally (I.e. your ability to absorb nutrients is compromised). Like most supplements, less than 5% of all protein powders that exist on the market are actually good for you – the others will cause things like constipation, bloating and other forms of digestive distress, skin issues, water retention – the list goes on.
The amount of protein you need depends on your activity level. If you’re like most people, going to school/work and then doing some kind of physical activity for up to an hour or two each day, you definitely do not need a protein supplement if you’re eating whole foods. If you’re involved in some kind of physical training where you are doing intense weightlifting, or training for multiple hours, multiple times per day, you may need more protein than most to recover well. In that instance, we suggest increasing protein in the diet that’s easier to digest (e.g. eggs, fish, fowl).
There are a lot of sources which state you need a certain amount of grams of protein per kg of body weight. This advice is not good to follow. Overconsumption of animal proteins will lead to issues such as chronic inflammation, joint pain, immobility, inflexibility, and digestive distress (including IBS, Crohn’s disease, and diverticulitis). If you have access to raw milk, pasture-raised eggs, fish, and raw fruit – these are good natural, absorbable sources of protein that will facilitate strength training and physical improvement. There are a number of issues with market protein powders (whey isolate, corn-based fillers, artificially-sourced minerals, etc). If you have exhausted all options and decide you need a protein powder to assist with recovery from physical activity, only get one that is one (or a combination of) the following: protein from grass fed cows, bone broth protein, sprouted rice protein, sprouted pea protein, or hemp protein. Anything else will be throwing your money into something that is making you unhealthy and will cause many a health problem in the future.
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