Protein Powder Basics

by Ashley Ellefsen January 21, 2017

You’ve probably heard it said that proteins are the building blocks of life.  It’s true!  Every cell in our body contains protein.  The basic structure of protein is a chain of amino acids and we all need protein in our diets to help our bodies repair cells and make new ones.  

Sources of food that contain lean protein include white meat such as: chicken, turkey and pork loins. lean beef, fish (especially salmon, which is also a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids), sweet potatoes and low fat or nonfat dairy products such as cottage cheese, and greek yogurt.  Other foods that you may not think of include tofu, oysters, eggs, pumpkin seeds, almonds, beans and Swiss cheese… heard me right. Swiss cheese!  You can get roughly 50% of your daily protein needs in a 100gram serving. So, go Swiss next time on your salad or sandwich for some extra protein!

So, with all of these great options for protein, why would you need to supplement with protein powder?  The first answer is because it’s obviously an easy and convenient source of complete protein.  Also, protein powder is versatile!  

5 reasons you may want to consider supplementing with protein:

  1. If you’re a growing boy or girl!  Teenagers need more protein for workouts because their bodies are still growing and use more protein in general. So if you’re a young buck or have one at home involved in athletics, consider offering a protein supplement to their diet.
  2. When you’re starting a workout program and you’re trying to build muscle
  3. When you’re amping up your workouts
  4. When you’re recovering from an injury
  5. If you’ve decided to move to a vegetarian or vegan diet

Protein powder comes in various forms, the three common ones are: whey, soy and casein.  Whey is the most commonly used protein because its a water soluble milk protein; it’s also a complete protein (meaning that it contains all nine of the amino acids necessary to meet our dietary needs).  Casein protein is also a milk protein but where whey protein is fast digesting, casein is a slow digesting protein. My vegan friends out there probably prefer soy protein; however I’ve found that it doesn’t dissolve as well and usually has a slightly off setting aftertaste.  

To build a pound of muscle the body needs between 10 and 14 additional grams of protein per day….which really isn’t that much considering that most protein powders contain anywhere from 25-50 grams per serving.  Some signs that you may be protein deficient is: feeling fatigue, feeling weak when lifting weights or recovering slowly from injuries.  

Now, if you exceed the amount of protein that you’re body can process all it’s going to do is break it down for energy.  Too much protein CAN be hard on your kidneys and liver.  So if you have any liver or kidney problems, consider consulting a physician before supplementing.  

It was popular among athletes to drink protein shakes immediately after a workout but that’s now been disproven.  Before, during and after workouts your body actually needs carbs because that’s what you’re using for fuel and what your muscles run on.  Protein IS also important after a workout but more recent research has shown that after a workout your body needs fuel with a 4:1 or 5:1 ratio of carbs to protein! For a better recovery drink after a workout consider sipping BCAA’s from On Point Supplements or a fruit smoothie with yogurt or milk.  

If you’re going to replace meals throughout the day with protein (We recommend no more than twice a day with protein powder), do it as a breakfast or a snack but not in the immediate time period surrounding your workouts.


Stay Safe, Stay on Point!


Check out my segment on The BOLO Podcast, where I talk about protein powder!  

Ashley Ellefsen
Ashley Ellefsen