Protein supplements aren’t just for heavy gym-goers and professional athletes and can actually be helpful for people of all different lifestyles. When considering if it’s something that could benefit you, you’ll need to look at your diet, lifestyle and activity levels.
For example, if you have a very active job, where you are on-the-go all the time or often have to do heavy lifting, consuming enough protein will help your muscles recover. However, if you are much more sedentary on a day to day basis, then your body will need less protein to keep in good health. Likewise, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, or simply don’t often have time to stop for balanced meals throughout the day, you may want to use supplements as an easy way to get the macronutrients you need if you’re not getting enough from whole food sources.
It’s easy to forget that taking a protein supplement can have a lot more benefits than simply refuelling your muscles post-workout! For people who tend to reach for a sweet snack to pick up their energy levels mid-afternoon, a protein shake, smoothie or protein ball could be a great alternative to reaching into the office biscuit tin. Similarly, if you find that you’re often hungry mid-morning after a predominately carbohydrate-based breakfast, adding a source of protein (such as putting whey protein in your morning smoothie) may help keep you satiated for longer. However, protein isn’t for everyone, and if you eat a healthy, balanced diet and you feel well in yourself, then supplementing won’t be necessary.
To work out how much protein you should be consuming, you can follow the formula below:
For anyone in good health who’s predominately sedentary: Your bodyweight in kg x 0.8 = protein in grams (this is the lower recommended limit).
For anyone who is very active, under a lot of stress or is recovering from an illness: Your bodyweight in kg x 1.7 = proteins grams per day (this is the upper recommended limit).