Protein Powder FAQs
Find out the answers to the most commonly asked questions about protein powder!
Will more protein help me build muscle faster?
Yes, but only to some degree. Not all dietary protein you eat goes toward protein synthesis. Once you eat enough protein to drive protein synthesis, your body will oxidize protein for energy. Driving your protein intake far beyond the realm of 30-35 percent of your daily calories probably won't provide additional muscle-building benefits, but it will cut into your fat and carbohydrate intake, which may actually hinder your goals. This isn't exact, but eating at least 1 gram of protein per pound per day should cover your bases.
Can I gain fat from eating too much protein?
If protein is a building block for muscle, then you will never gain fat from overeating protein, right? Wrong. Weight can definitely creep on if your caloric equation shifts toward a surplus. While it is harder for protein to convert into fat than its other macronutrient buddies, if you eat way more than your body needs—no matter what it is—the excess could go into fat deposits. Plus, as your protein intake goes up, protein oxidation increases, which means you'll burn fewer carbs or fats for fuel.
Is there anything beyond exercise that increases my protein requirement?
A period of heavy caloric restriction will increase your need for protein. People who are under great stress, such as people recovering from illness or a serious injury, will also need a bump in protein consumption. As you lower your total caloric intake, there is a greater chance that incoming protein will be used as a fuel source rather than for muscle-building. On a low-calorie diet, it's even more critical that you eat at least 1 gram of protein per pound daily to maintain muscle mass.
Is real food better than protein powder?
Both protein supplements and whole foods have their place in your diet. Whey protein powder is highly convenient, offers immune-boosting benefits, and can be digested rapidly post-workout. On the other hand, whole foods provide an array of additional nutrients and important micronutrients, such as zinc, magnesium, and iron.