Protein Powder: Types, Uses and What is it for?

Protein Powder

Protein powder is one of the nutritional supplements frequently used by athletes and bodybuilders. Protein powders obtained from various sources, especially eggs, milk, whey, peas and soy, can be easily prepared and consumed at any time because they are in powder form.

Many people use protein powder to provide the protein their muscles need before and after training . As with other nutritional supplements, in order to get high efficiency from protein powder, it is necessary to pay attention to some tips and usage methods.

We have prepared an updated content for you as a guide to using protein powder. Questions about protein powder, including answers to the questions “How to use whey protein powder” and “What is protein powder used for?” are waiting for you in the following. We wish you pleasant reading!

Before using protein powder, individual doses and times of use should be determined by consulting a doctor, nutritionist and sports professional. The information in our content is general information.

What is Protein Powder?

Protein powder is a dietary supplement containing high amounts of protein . It is obtained from protein sources such as milk (whey and casein), eggs, soy and peas . It is in powder form. It is preferred by athletes, those interested in bodybuilding and people who want to increase their protein intake.

Protein powder; It helps provide essential amino acids that are important for muscle mass gain, muscle repair, muscle maintenance, weight loss or gain, and overall health . Protein powder is a supplement, not a medicine; It may not be as effective as real protein sources from meat or plant sources. It may be beneficial to get a nutritionist’s and doctor’s opinion before use, and also to meet with a sports professional to get more efficient results.

How to Use Protein Powder?

Protein powder can be easily used throughout the day with liquid or solid mixtures. Protein powder can be consumed with water before or after exercise, or mixed with solid foods. Protein powder; It can be drunk by mixing with liquid foods such as water, milk, fruit and vegetable juice, or a smoothie or shake can be prepared; It can be consumed with yoghurt or oatmeal; It can be added to the dough of foods such as cookies, cakes, pancakes and crepes; Additionally, desserts such as pudding and pudding can be made.

  • Dosage: Usually one serving contains 20-30 grams of protein. This is enough to meet the post-workout protein needs of the average individual.
  • Mixing: Protein powder can be consumed by mixing it with water, milk, plant milks or fruit juices. It can also be added to smoothies, yogurt and various recipes.
  • Timing: It can be consumed after training, at breakfast or between meals where protein intake is low.

If we give you an idea about protein powder recipes and foods and drinks you can prepare using protein powder, the following flavors may interest you:

  • shake
  • smoothie
  • Cake
  • Cookie
  • pancake
  • waffles
  • brownie
  • Crepe
  • Yogurt
  • porridge
  • truffle
  • Ice cream

How Much Protein Powder to Use?

Protein powder is a protein supplement; It is a specially produced food supplement, not a medicine. In order to supplement protein with protein powder, it is necessary to have information about daily protein needs. The amount and frequency of protein powder use is determined by taking into account the person’s protein needs. At this stage, it is important to proceed by consulting a professional. Because it is very difficult to determine an exact amount that should be consumed daily.

A person’s daily protein need; It varies depending on age, gender, weight, diet, type of sport, training frequency and goals . Generally, 1 scoop of protein powder (containing 25-30 grams of protein) can be taken post-workout or at meals with low protein intake .

According to the World Health Organization information, daily protein intake for a healthy individual is 0.8 to 1 gram per kilogram ; for an active individual or athlete it should be between 1.2 and 2.0 grams . This rate may differ for men and women.

In light of this information, it is important to stick to the measurements and use a measuring spoon for daily protein powder use. Protein powders can contain an average of 25-30 grams of protein in 1 scoop . This ratio may vary depending on the production purpose of the protein powder (weight loss, muscle and body building).

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

The ACSM recommends protein intake for athletes at 1.2-2.0 grams per kilogram and notes that this amount may be increased for those doing high-intensity training.

International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN)

The ISSN recommends a protein intake of 1.4-2.0 grams per kilogram for increased muscle mass and performance and states that protein powders are effective in meeting this need.

When to Use Protein Powder?

The time of use of protein powder during the day is determined according to its intended use. Since it is generally preferred by people with a sports and exercise routine, the answer to the question “when to drink protein powder” can be answered within the first 1 hour after training or the following 2-2.5 hours . Let’s move on to more detailed information about protein powder usage time:

Post-Workout Use

Scientific Basis: In the post-exercise period, muscle protein synthesis reaches its maximum level. This period is called the “anabolic window” and lasts approximately 30-60 minutes . The protein taken during this period is used most effectively for muscle repair and growth.

A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition showed that taking a protein supplement after resistance training increased muscle protein synthesis and optimized muscle mass gain.

Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition stated that post-workout protein intake is effective in increasing muscle protein synthesis and muscle strength.

Use Before Workout

Scientific Basis: It is thought that protein intake before exercise may reduce muscle protein breakdown by increasing the availability of amino acids during exercise .

A study published in the journal Sports Medicine showed that consuming protein before a workout increases muscle protein synthesis and speeds muscle recovery after exercise.

Daily Use

Scientific Basis: Keeping muscle protein synthesis balanced throughout the day is important for maintaining and increasing muscle mass . Therefore, it is recommended to distribute protein intake evenly throughout the day.

A study published in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism showed that consuming protein evenly spaced throughout the day supports muscle protein synthesis more effectively.

A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition stated that dividing daily protein intake into four or more meals instead of three can optimize muscle protein synthesis.

The use of protein powder may also vary depending on the type of food from which the protein is obtained, such as:

  • Whey Protein: It is a fast-digesting protein source, ideal for post-workout.
  • Casein Protein: It is a slowly digested protein source and can be used before going to bed at night.

Resources:

  • Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition: “Position stand: protein and exercise.” (2007)
  • American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: “Protein ingestion to stimulate myofibrillar protein synthesis requires greater relative protein intakes in healthy older versus younger men.” (2011)
  • Sports Medicine: “Nutritional interventions to augment resistance training-induced skeletal muscle hypertrophy.” (2012)
  • Nutrition & Metabolism: “Dietary protein distribution positively influences 24-h muscle protein synthesis in healthy adults.” (2014)
  • Journal of the American College of Nutrition: “Protein pulse feeding improves protein retention in elderly women.” (1996)
  • British Journal of Nutrition: “Pre-sleep protein ingestion after resistance exercise in young men: effects on overnight muscle protein synthesis rates.” (2012)
  • Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: “Protein ingestion before sleep improves post-exercise overnight recovery.” (2015)

Before using protein powder, individual doses and times of use should be determined by consulting a doctor, nutritionist and sports professional. The information in our content is general information.

How to Prepare Protein Powder?

Materials:

  • protein powder
  • measuring spoon
  • Liquid or solid ingredients (water, milk, fruit or vegetable juice, yoghurt, etc.)
  • Extras (fruit, oatmeal, dried or fresh fruit, oilseeds, nuts, peanut butter, etc.)
  • Shaker, blender or any container with stirring wire, whisk, etc.

Preparation of:

  • Determine the Amount of Powder: Generally, one serving contains 20-30 grams of protein. Determine by scale or according to package instructions.
  • Choose Ingredients: You can use water, milk, plant milks (almond, soy, coconut milk), or fruit juice. The amount of liquid is usually between 200-300 ml.
  • Mix: Add the protein powder to the liquid and mix well with a shaker or blender. If using a shaker, add the liquid first and then the powder to prevent lumps.
  • Add Extras (Optional): You can enrich your mixture with additional ingredients such as sweeteners, fruits, vegetables, yogurt, oatmeal or peanut butter.

What is Protein Powder Used for?

Protein powder can be used to increase or maintain muscle mass, repair muscle, gain weight, lose weight, or improve exercise quality. Protein is one of the necessary building blocks for the body. It can also be used to maintain general health as it ensures the functioning of hair, skin, bones, muscles, teeth, skin and tissues.

If we need to summarize the question of what protein powder is for:

  • It can increase muscle mass or preserve and repair existing muscle tissue.
  • It can contribute to the diet during weight gain or slimming process.
  • It can improve the quality of exercise and training.
  • It can support the functioning of overall body health.
  • It may be a supplement option for people who have a low protein diet.

The Journal of Sports Science and Medicine

This study found that protein supplementation increased muscle protein synthesis and supported muscle hypertrophy in individuals doing resistance training.

British Journal of Nutrition

This study indicated that protein powder helped maintain muscle mass and function in older individuals. These studies suggest that protein powder may be especially beneficial for athletes and older individuals.

Resources:

  • Morton, R.W., et al. “A systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of the effect of protein supplementation on resistance training-induced gains in muscle mass and strength in healthy adults.” British Journal of Sports Medicine 52.6 (2018): 376-384.
  • Devries, MC, & Phillips, SM “Supplemental protein in support of muscle mass and health: advantage whey.” Journal of Food Science 80.S1 (2015): A8-A15.

How to Choose Protein Powder?

  • When choosing protein powder, the purpose of using the protein powder and the protein need are the two determining factors. Protein needs depend on variables such as gender, age, weight, exercise type and routine .
  • People who do bodybuilding or athletes who do intense training can choose varieties with higher protein content, or people who do sports at a normal level can choose protein powder with an average content.
  • It is important to choose protein powder suitable for health problems such as lactose and gluten sensitivity or diabetes .
  • Depending on your taste, protein powders containing flavors such as vanilla, cocoa, biscuit, banana or unflavored, plain protein powders can also be chosen.

Protein Powder Types

Protein powder is obtained from animal or plant protein sources. Milk (whey and casein), eggs, soy, and peas are protein sources often used in protein powder production. Protein powders; It can be produced by enriching it with various sweeteners and flavors such as vanilla, cocoa, cookies and banana .

Whey Protein

It is obtained from milk protein and is digested quickly. It is rich in BCAA content. It is common to use it after training.

Casein Protein

It is obtained from milk protein.

Soy Protein

It is a vegetable protein and contains all essential amino acids. Suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

Pea Protein

It is a hypoallergenic and vegetable protein. It is a good alternative for those who are allergic to soy or dairy products.

Egg White Protein

It is obtained from egg white and has high bioavailability. It is a good option for those with lactose intolerance.

Rice Protein

It is obtained from brown rice and is hypoallergenic. A complete amino acid profile can be provided by combining it with pea protein.

What Should You Pay Attention to When Using Protein Powder?

Avoid Overdose

As with every food and supplement, it is very important not to overdo it with protein powder. So how to use protein powder, how many scoops should be taken?

First of all, we must say that; The scales in the protein powders sold in the market today hold an average of 25-30 grams of protein powder . The amount of protein powder a person should take daily varies depending on the sport he/she does, training frequency and physical characteristics (height, weight, muscle and fat ratio, etc.).

A healthy adult should consume 0.8 times his weight in protein each day . A person who trains intensely can consume twice as much protein as his or her own weight. Because the body needs protein to regenerate muscle tissues that are stressed and damaged during sports.

Based on these values, you should calculate the amount of protein you take in your daily diet and determine how much protein powder supplement you will take accordingly. If you wish, you can get support from a sports trainer or dietician in this regard .

It should not be forgotten that protein powder is a nutritional supplement. Do not use more than the dose stated on the brand you purchased. On sports days, protein powder intake can be increased, taking into account the protein support of the muscles.

Consume at the Right Time

Protein powder may not be beneficial if it is not taken at the right time. Therefore, one of the most frequently asked questions by athletes is when protein powder should be used.

The ideal time to use protein powder varies depending on the type of sport you are interested in, the frequency of exercising and the time of meals consumed during the day.

Protein powders can be consumed when you wake up in the morning, before exercise, after exercise or before going to bed.

If you think you’re just hungry when you wake up, we’re sorry, but you’re wrong! Since we do not eat for a long time in the morning, not only our stomach but also our muscles are hungry. Without protein intake, the body begins to consume muscles to produce energy. Therefore, if you drink protein powder when you wake up in the morning, protein will flow to your muscles. In this way, the body is provided with the energy it needs.

If you are wondering “How to use bodybuilding protein powder”, let us explain immediately. If you want to improve your body by building muscle, you can consume protein powder 30 minutes or 1 hour before exercise. Because during training, muscles undergo microtrauma. Consuming protein powder before exercise reduces trauma to the muscles and allows the muscles to repair faster.

Muscles that are traumatized during sports also need support after sports. Therefore, consuming a scoop of protein powder after exercising helps repair muscles faster. It is also possible for those who are researching “How to use protein powder to build muscle” to use protein powder, especially after training.

In order to prevent the muscles from being deprived of nutrients while sleeping, a scoop of protein powder can be consumed before going to bed at night . In this way, muscle breakdown will be prevented as the muscles will receive the protein they need throughout the night.

Since each protein powder is digested at a different speed, the recommended time periods for consumption are different. Therefore, we recommend that you read the information on the protein powder and get information about it from your sports trainer or dietician.

Use Purposefully

Protein powders can be used for both weight gain and weight loss . We must say that whey protein supplements play an important role in both processes.

If anyone is wondering “How to use protein powder to gain weight”, let us explain without wasting any time. It increases the amount of muscle in the body by eliminating protein deficiency and thus supports weight gain.

So, how to use protein powder to lose weight? It also compensates for the protein deficiency in the body during the weight loss process.

By giving you a feeling of fullness, it can prevent you from getting hungry in a short time and therefore consuming too many calories.

Consuming protein powder alone is not effective in the process of gaining and losing weight. Whatever you use it for, you need to organize your nutrition and exercise plan according to your purpose.

There are different types of protein than the protein powders sold in the market. For example, some protein powders contain whey protein, some contain casein, and some contain soy or egg protein. First of all, you should know which protein source the protein powder you purchase is obtained from. Because the benefits, usage and purpose of each are different.

For example; whey protein powders can be used before or after training. It provides the protein support that the muscles need after training. It takes less time to digest. However, casein protein takes longer to digest and therefore it may be recommended to consume it before going to bed at night.

Beware of Milk Allergy

If you experience indigestion, bloating and digestive problems when you drink milk, or if you are allergic to milk and dairy products, you should stay away from whey and casein protein powders.

Additionally, if you have lactose intolerance or suspect that you have this condition, you should avoid consuming protein powder.

Choose Reliable Brands

We recommend that you stay away from processed, unreliable protein powders with various additives. You can choose products with a concentrated protein ratio of 70-80 percent.

Frequently Asked Questions About Using Protein Powder

How many ml of water is 1 scoop of protein powder?

You can use 300 ml of water for 1 scoop of approximately 25-30 grams of protein powder . 300 ml corresponds to approximately 1.5 glasses of water .

How Many Scoops of Protein Powder Are Used in 1 Day?

Although there are various variables for daily protein powder scaling, individuals who actively exercise 3-4 days a week can use 2 scoops of protein powder per day . It is important to evaluate this rate with a healthcare professional.

Protein Powder with Water or Milk?

Protein powder is usually consumed with water; However, it can also be consumed by mixing it with milk. However, when combined with the amount of fat and protein in milk, it can become richer in content. People with lactose intolerance may prefer water. When consumed with milk, its calories may increase.

Should You Take Protein Powder Every Day?

It is not necessary to take protein powder every day; Natural protein sources (meat, dairy products, legumes, etc.) can be added to the diet. It may not be beneficial for health to meet protein needs entirely from protein powder, or it may not be efficient to need only protein powder to maintain muscle mass or improve training quality.

Are There Any Protein Powders Suitable for Vegans?

Yes, plant protein powders such as soy, pea, rice protein are suitable for vegans.

Should Natural Foods Be Preferred Instead of Protein Powder?

Protein powders offer a practical solution, but natural foods should always be the first choice. If sufficient protein intake cannot be achieved with a balanced diet, protein powders can be used as supplements.

Abbas Jahangir

I am a researcher and writer with a background in food and nutritional science. I am the founder of Foodstrend.com, our reputable online platform offering scientifically-backed articles on health, food, nutrition, kitchen tips, recipes, diet, and fitness. With a commitment to providing accurate and reliable information, we strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. Join us on Foodstrend.com's journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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