Putting Protein Powder in Perspective

Poor protein powder has taken a beating. 

It’s most likely that the bad rap got its roots from the population of body builders convinced that several grams per kilo are necessary for gaining or maintaining their muscle mass.

I haven’t in the past, nor do I foresee ever advocating protein powder in such high doses.  About 99% of the time (and assuming you don’t have an electrical burn or necrotizing fasciitis-that one’s for you Welcher, RD) it’s excessive and a waste of your hard-earned money.

Now, let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water, however.  Protein powder is a supplement, and as such, can be very helpful for those currently not meeting their protein needs, or for those needing a portable protein source in a pinch.   It can also serve to take a previously unbalanced meal and make it more balanced.  (Oatmeal, for example, mostly carbohydrate.  Tossing in some healthful fats and protein stabilizes blood sugar and increases satiety.)

If you are doing intensive training and are able to meet your pre- and/or post-workout protein needs with whole foods, great.  But, if convenience, time, and/or portability are ever issues, protein powder might be an option worth throwing into the mix.