Nowadays there are more and more people who want to have an ideal and muscular body, especially men. So, fitness centers also grow like mushrooms in the rainy season, not only in big cities, even in small cities. Exercising in the gym has become part of the lifestyle. But is it really always necessary to supplement protein to build muscle?
Is the consumption of protein supplements really useful, or just a mere gimmick?
Supplements and body protein needs
There are several types of protein supplements, but the most popular are whey, soy, and casein. Of these three types, whey – which is a water-soluble milk protein – is the most widely consumed. Meanwhile, the solubility of casein and soy in water is not as good as whey.
However, soy protein that uses soy can be an option for vegetarians who want to form a muscular body.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, ordinary adults generally need 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. Meanwhile, professional athletes need 1.2-1.4 grams.
This amount is different in athletes who carry out strenuous sports such as marathons and bodybuilders who require a greater amount of protein intake, which is 1.5-2 grams per kilogram of body weight per day.
So, if you weigh 80 kilograms, the maximum amount of protein you need in a day is 160 grams.
Protein from food
Actually your protein needs to build muscle more or less can still be met from food. Various sources of protein are available in red meat, fish, chicken, eggs, and milk and its processed products.
A serving of skinless boiled chicken breast contains 28 grams of protein, 500 grams of steak tenderloin has 26 grams of protein, and in one large boiled egg there are 6 grams of protein. If you will only achieve 1 gram of protein requirement per kilogram of body weight, then the protein can still be met from food.
But if you want to achieve 2 grams of protein intake per kilogram of body weight, sometimes it will be more difficult if you only take protein intake from food alone. For example to obtain a protein intake of 160 grams, you must consume nearly 6 servings of boiled chicken breast.
For reasons of practicality and fulfillment of higher protein needs, it is not uncommon for people to take protein supplements whose quantities are already obvious. This is mainly done by those who are actively exercising to build body muscles.
For example, teenagers who are growing rapidly. If the protein intake is lacking, it is feared that growth will be disrupted. In addition, if you are recovering from an injury, more protein intake can help speed up the recovery process.
For a vegetarian, meeting the needs of protein will be more helpful when taking supplements. This is especially true for vegans who are not allowed to consume milk and eggs.
The right time for consumption of protein supplements
Oftentimes, many people are still confused about the right time to take protein supplements. Actually you can take protein supplements before, during, and after exercising.
But after exercising to lift weights that are quite intense, glycogen reserves in the muscles will thin out. In addition, there can also be “tears” in the muscles that must be repaired immediately.
To overcome this, you are advised to immediately consume foods or drinks that contain carbohydrates and protein within 30 minutes, or no later than 2 hours after exercising.
Because sometimes it is rather difficult to eat certain foods in that time period, usually people also choose protein supplements with a mixture of carbohydrates in it that feels more practical.
However, if you have difficulty accessing protein supplements, take it easy. A box of milk chocolate can replace it, because chocolate milk already contains carbohydrates and protein as well.
Be careful using protein supplements
If you want to try taking protein supplements, there are a few things to keep in mind. If your protein needs can still be met through food, it would be better to get it through food.
Don’t deify protein too much. Because carbohydrates are needed after exercise to replace lost muscle glycogen reserves. Also avoid consuming excessive protein supplements. Because it can burden your kidneys and liver.
If you want to try taking protein supplements to build muscle but are still in doubt, don’t hesitate to consult your doctor first, yes!