Navigating the Protein Powder Aisle
If you walk into any health food store or fitness center, you’re likely to pass by several shelves stocked with various protein powders. What’s the best option? How do you know what is right for you? I’m going to dissect the options available to give you the knowledge to make informed decisions as you navigate those aisles.
First, let’s talk about the importance of protein.
Aside from water, proteins are the most abundant molecules in our bodies: Our muscles, skin, hair, bones, and organs are made mostly of protein. Your body needs protein for survival. Amino acids — the building blocks of protein — are necessary for everything from immune function, metabolism and weight management to muscle repair, growth, development and performance. There’s also research that shows protein helps you feel alert and keeps you full for a longer period of time.
The amount of protein you need varies according to your body size, activity level, weight loss and fitness goals. According to Jim LaValle, RPh, CCN, MS, founder of the LaValle Metabolic Institute, “the average person is working out a lot harder than people once did, and you need protein to replenish muscle tissue after you exercise.”
Active adults have a greater daily protein requirement than someone with a more sedentary lifestyle.