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How to Pick a Protein Powder

Most at some point wonder if they need a protein powder to help their training efforts, and that depends on your goals and current diet. Endurance based athletes have different needs from power/strength based athletes. Due to this I decided to write a post detailing what protein powder is, if you need it, and how to pick a safe protein powder.

Sponsored post by Naked Nutrition, all opinions are 100% my own

What Are Protein Powders?

Protein powders come in various forms. If you stop by your local health store and you’ll see rows of protein powders. The main ones are whey, soy, and casein protein. Of course, there are many others, but these tend to be the most common, specifical whey due to it being a water-soluble protein.

Along with types of protein powders they also come with varying price points, and this is due to the varying quality of the protein powders. For the casual athlete who doesn’t have a specific need at a certain time, the less expensive and more commercial proteins will be enough.

For those understand certain training schedules protein powder can be useful. They’re an easy and convenient source of complete, high-quality protein.

When Use Them?

When you’re growing. A teenager is going to need more protein to help fuel his workouts because his body is still growing and using more protein in general

When you’re starting a workout regimen. If working out is new to you and you’re trying to build muscle, you’ll require more protein than you normally would.

When you’re amping up your workouts. If you normally work out for thirty minutes a couple times a week, but you’ve switched to training for a half-marathon, your body will naturally require more protein.

When you’re recovering from an injury. Athletes with sports injuries will need more protein to help aide the body in the healing process.

If you’re going vegan. People who pursue a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle end up eliminating a majority of common protein sources from their diet, including meat, chicken, and fish, and sometimes dairy and eggs as well.  

Protein Math

Even though the above are valid reasons for trying to incorporate more protein into your diet, it may not be necessary. It doesn’t take that much protein to achieve the average goals. Most Americans already get about 15% of their daily calories in protein. To build a pound of muscle, the body needs between 10 and 14 additional grams of protein per day. Which really isn’t a lot, especially since some powders have 80 grams of protein per serving. You don’t need that, your body can’t even process that much in a serving.

So how can you tell if you’re getting enough? Do the math.

The following recommendation come from the American College of Sports Medicine and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

  • The average adult needs 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
  • Those taking part in recreational athletics need 1.1 to 1.4 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight.
  • Competitive athletes need 1.2 to 1.4 grams, and those involved in ultra-endurance sports may need up to 2.0g per kilogram per day.

Say you’re an adult athlete who wants to build muscle mass, and you weigh about 75 kilograms (165 pounds). The most protein you would need per day is 150 grams. That sounds like a lot. But one 4-ounce hamburger contains 30 grams of protein, 6 ounces of tuna has 40 grams, and a single ounce of cheddar cheese has 7 grams.

How to Use Protein Powders

If you calculate your intake and determine that you’re not getting enough for your athletic needs (some signs of too-low protein intake: you’re unusually fatigued, feel weak when lifting weight or doing other strenuous activity, or are recovering from injuries slowly) how can you best use protein powders to help you improve your performance?

First, ignore those who say to take protein right after a workout. Before, during, and after a workout your body needs carbs. They fuel your body and it’s what your muscles run on. This isn’t to say protein isn’t important, but research is showing that at that point the body needs fuel with a 4-1 to 5-1 ratio of carbs to protein. Given that most protein powders have at least 20 grams of protein per scoop, you’d need about 80 grams of carbs to go with that scoop to get the proportion of nutrients right.

It’s due to this ratio that many recommend chocolate milk after a workout since it hits this ratio. 

How to Pick a Safe On

When choosing your protein powder the type (whey, casein, soy, etc.) depends on when you plan to consume it. Beyond that, there are other criteria that are a bit more important. 

For example, some protein powder’s have fillers, lack essential amino acids, and don’t use quality ingredients in general. Because of this, I trust Naked Nutrition to deliver the purest ingredients with all of the essential amino acids without any artificial sweeteners or colors. 

My personal favorite is the Naked Chocolate Peanut Butter protein powder. It tastes great and mixes perfectly into my post-workout smoothie. Since adding the Naked Chocolate PB to my recovery routine I’ve noticed a difference in my recovery time between training sessions, and when coming back from an injury this is even more crucial than normal. So if you’re looking for a quality protein poweder that you can rely on, I highly recommend one form Naked Nutrition.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

What Are The Best Sports to Tone Up?

Toning is a word that has made a significant apparition in the vocabulary of the fitness world. What does it mean to be toned, you ask? At worst, it means buying the next magazine that promises to tell you all about getting toned up for the summer and starting an unhealthy diet in the hope that you can get to the bikini figure before the end of the summer.

At best, it means losing some fat and gaining muscle mass without getting bulky. And, believe it or not, but you can’t do it in two weeks – in other words, you can forget about the promises of trendy women’s magazines and their miracle diets. Fitness trainers and specialists agree that toning your muscles involves a healthy mix of cardio, strength, and good eating habits, without never starving yourself or risking an injury for dangerous training. Here are some of the best sports to tone up with.

Adopt The Shredding Regime

At the core of losing fat, there’s the need to change your diet to restrict your calories intake without falling into the trap of an unhealthy diet. In fact, you might be wondering right now: Do you have to learn what to eat if you need to learn how to get ripped? The answer is yes, definitely, you need to understand what fuels your body and whether your body needs a low-carb and high-fat diet or a moderate carb and low-fat diet. What you eat, ultimately is what your body becomes.

Additionally, getting ripped is about maximizing your body energy to sustain a workout regime. What this means is that you are likely to need to take a hormonal supplement to help your muscle grow bigger in a shorter time. Achieving a toned body is the result of a workout that focuses on strength to develop your muscles. But you can control the level of toning by introducing cardio and low-resistance exercises.

The Quick Workout That Burns Calories

Most people can find it difficult to get the time to go to the gym and exercise. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t find a workout that works for your busy schedule. All you need is 30 minutes to get some cracking results, assuming that you stick to a quick workout for a long period. Going for a jog for 30 minutes can get you to burn several hundred calories. The main problem with jogging is that it only visibly tones your lower body. If you want to notice improvements in your arms and abs, you will need to vary your workout schedule and combine running with kettlebell exercises, or even dancing. Here again, 30 minutes is a good time to achieve positive results. If you have more time, it’s better to switch to a more involving activity that will help you to tone your full body.

The Long-Term Investment In The Week

When you can invest over one hour of your time several times a week, you can embrace a sport that will help you to develop your strength and your endurance at the same time. Swimming is always a favorite, especially as it is so soft on the joints. It’s difficult to injure yourself when you swim, and you can improve your body shape visibly over a long time.

Toning your muscles implies that you need to work against a resistance, which the water provides when you swim. The resistance of the water is stronger than air; so you are likely to see better results with swimming than with a kettlebell. But more importantly, swimming is a combination of arm strokes. Which engage your shoulder, biceps, triceps, chest, and upper back –, leg kicks and core balance. It’s a full-body workout, and it doesn’t even feel like it! What’s not to like?

Got Lots Of Time To Kill?

If you find that you have a lot of time to dedicate to a sports activity; you may want to get involved in an outdoor workout that trains your entire body. Golf is one of those sport gems that provide full-body training and plenty of wonderful health benefits, and yet, you don’t feel like you are training hard. In reality, an 18-hole round exceeds the 10,000 steps a day recommendation. If you take into account that you need to carry your clubs for the round, you can be burning over 700 calories. Additionally, golf can help to reduce the impact of stress, which is often related to weight gain. It’s a win-win all the way: You’re outdoors and you are toning your muscles and relaxing your mind.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.

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