Protein Powder vs. Whole Foods

As fitness and nutrition professionals, we get asked a lot of questions about protein powder. Should I use it as a supplement? What’s the best brand? Can I do a shake for one of my meals each day? Even though we don’t personally use many supplements, fish oil and a multi-vitamin for myself and Djuan, we’re very open minded. It’s important to be knowledgeable, as supplements are big business in the fitness industry.

Now let’s talk protein. The fact of the matter is, if you’re committed to making your foods and fueling your body with high quality complete proteins from foods, there is no reason to supplement with a protein powder. If we’re talking convenience, now that’s a completely different story. Of course it’s easier to dump a scoop of powder into a bottle of water than to bake chicken breasts or scramble egg whites for that matter. But if we’re just talking building muscle, that’s a different story. The other key with whole foods is that you can’t just eat protein once a day. You have to fuel your body after your workout and throughout the day. There is a reason we suggest eating every three to four hours. It works! And each of those meals needs a quality source of protein.

For those who are looking to lose fat, there is something to be said for allowing the body to break down and digest food from its whole form. There’s work involved in that process. The same isn’t true when it comes to powders. Because the body has to work to break down food, you’re actually expending energy during that process. The end result is a boost in your metabolism. Everyone wants that boost when it comes to fat loss!

So what’s our verdict. We say put in the work and get your protein from whole foods. BUT, if you can’t commit to doing that supplement with a high quality powder protein source as a replacement.