protein supplement

“Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein” by Zeyus Media is licensed under CC by 2.0

Protein supplement powders, bars, liquids, gels, pastes, and more have thoroughly permeated the nutritional supplement landscape. They grace the pages of fitness magazines in the form of extreme fitness models with bulging muscles, 6-pack abdominals, and not an ounce of fat on their bodies.

On these very glossy pages, these extreme representatives profess to the effectiveness of the particular protein supplement brand they’re promoting.

In addition, we’ve got a fair number of bloggers, amateur trainers, and armchair nutritionists who claim to know exactly what your protein supplement needs are without having ever met you. While not malicious in their intent, much of what they have to say (or write) is based on purely anecdotal evidence, without any studies cited, and without any formal background, education, or training in nutrition.

Not to worry! I’m not here to tell you that you’re protein-deficient nor am I here to regurgitate my knowledge of protein to you. However, I AM here to tell you it’s very likely your protein intake is more than sufficient to make it thru each day of the week WITHOUT a protein supplement. For any other more involved discussions or EXTREME recommendations, I would then defer to the Registered Dietitians I collaborate with.

In the meantime, before you go rushing off to try that next new flavor of Optimum Nutrition or Muscle Milk, take an inventory of what you eat on a daily basis, read a few labels for protein content, then add everything up. You may be pleasantly surprised to know you don’t have to add something to your grocery list.

To get a better idea of when it’s appropriate to consume more protein or what exactly “extreme” means and how it fits into this context, read on… it pays to educate yourself!