How Much Whey Protein Powder Should You Take?
The debate about how much protein powder you should take is one that's been around forever. Bodybuilders, athletes, Dr's, nutritionists, Personal Trainers and everyone in between seem to have their own take on the 'ideal' dosage when it comes to how much protein you should take, but what do we think about it?
Well the truth is, your protein requirements generally should reflect the goal you're aiming for. After all there's not much point taking protein to aid towards a goal if you're taking too little, or as the case could certainly be - you're taking too much and not absorbing it all.
Before we give you our recommendations on how much we think you should take, there's a few important points you should consider first:
- For highest nutritional value, optimum amino acid profile and the most health-boosting antioxidants - your protein must be from a Grass Fed source.
- It's thought we have only 1.5 hours to absorb whey protein in the part of the gut that absorbs it. This means it's important not to take too much otherwise you may end up wasting it.
- A study you can see here showed that taking around 5g of digestive enzymes with each whey protein shake can increase absorption by 127% - certainly something to consider if you want to MAXIMISE the effects of taking whey and also if you're currently take whey without enzymes.
- The recommendations we make below are total daily protein intake recommendations and not just whey protein intake requirements. For example if you amassed 80g of protein one day from food sources, an athlete or very active person looking to build lean tissue would take up to 60g of whey protein to make up to the upper target of a 10st person's daily intake suggestion of 140g.
Now that's cleared up, let's take a look at the recommendations we suggest.
1. Athletes or Highly Active People Looking To Build Lean Tissue:
Athletes and highly active people need more protein than people who are less active to support recovery, lean tissue development and connective tissue strength. The demands and stress of a strenuous training programme can take it's toll on the body, and without adequate protein intake - you'll not be able to recover efficiently in between each sessions and your performance will suffer.
Our Recommendation:1.5-2g protein/kg bodyweight (approx 0.7-1g protein/lb bodyweight). For a 10st person that would mean 98 - 140g of (food + whey) protein every day.
2. Athletes or Highly Active People Looking To Lose Fat:
If fat loss is more your thing, then high protein intake should still be a target. The demands of an active person who's looking to lose fat and not necessarily gain a lot of size, still need to be relatively high (especially for women) and would benefit from these recommendations.
Our Recommendation:1.0-1.5g protein/kg bodyweight (0.45-0.68g/lb bodyweight). For a 10st person that would mean a target daily range of between 63 - 95.2g.
Minimal Activity or People Not Interested In Changing Body Composition (fat : muscle ratio):
If you're not wanting to make such changes in body composition and are generally more sedentary, but you still want the benefits of taking whey protein such as greater hunger fulfillment, less cravings, antioxidant benefits and more stable blood sugars, your protein requirements are obviously going to be a lot less than the two groups of people above.
Our Recommendation:0.8g protein/kg bodyweight (0.36g/lb bodyweight). For a 10st person that would mean a target daily of around 50g.
Now we know the daily targets for overall protein (whey protein + food) intake, what about individual whey protein serving sizes?
On our whey protein, we suggest a serving size of around 30g. This would be the ideal serving size if you took digestive enzymes with your shake based on the above research study. To know why let's look at the maths:
On average we have 1.5 hours to absorb most of our whey protein shake. At a rate of 8-10g per hour you should be able to absorb 15g in 1.5 hours. If you add digestive enzymes and increase absorption by 127% this should mean you'll be able to uptake all 30g (in theory) by the 1.5 hour mark.
When it comes to protein intake, your whey protein intake requirements should be based on the goal you're trying to achieve and your total daily protein recommendation. People who are highly active, compete as an athlete or wish to make a body composition change need much more protein per day than those who aren't aiming for these goals.
In terms of serving size, taking 6 of our digestive enzymes with each protein shake gives you the best chance of absorbing as much protein as possible in the time you have available to absorb it (1.5 hours) and should be considered for anyone taking 30g servings. Otherwise, if you're not taking enzymes in conjunction, you should lower your serving size to around 15-20g to avoid wasting your protein.
This is a subject we know will continually be debated in many years to come, but we hope you enjoyed our take on it.
Thanks for reading,
Natural Nutrients Nutritionist