The advantages of protein powder are huge. Let's go over a few:
1. Convenience. Can't cook? Don't have time? Can't carry what you cook with you? You can't beat protein powders for convenience. They are easily stored and carted around with you to work or the gym. This is a major reason to use them.
2. You know exactly how much protein you're getting. Exactly how much protein is in that piece of chicken you're eating? The buffet meal you went to yesterday? Who knows? With protein powders, you know EXACTLY what you're consuming. Unless you're weighing and measuring your food like bodybuilders do, then you have no idea. That exactness is rare and having a protein shake is a good way to ensure you're getting what you need.
3. Digestability. Let's look at my previous post on why I recommend so much protein. Notice the BV chart. Here it is again:
|Source||Protein (g)||Biological Value (BV)|
|Chicken breast 2.8 oz (79 g)||26||79|
|Tuna 3.0 oz (85 g)||24||83|
|Egg (1 whole)||6||100|
|Milk (1%, 1 cup)||8||91|
|Lean beef 2.5 oz (72 g)||22||80|
|Lentils (1 cup)||16||50|
|Red Kidney Beans (1 cup)||15||50|
|Bread (1 slice) 25 g||2||54|
|Rice (1 cup)||4||59|
|Pasta (1 cup)||4||54|
|Oatmeal (1 cup)||13||55|
How do whey concentrate and whey isolate fit on the chart? They are practically off it, aren't they? They are more digestable (biologically available) than any other protein!! Whey is more digestible than just about any other protein source on earth. And the isolate we sell clocks in at 159!! That means that if you eat it, it will go STRAIGHT to your muscles. Digestability is a big issue for many people. Many people have stomach issues and/or constipation. Whey isolate is so highly recommended by coaches because we know that if you take it, it will work immediately despite digestion problems that might hamper getting your protein from other sources. There simply isn't a more potent source of protein!
Whey isolates are highly recommended after a workout for this very reason. If you want the protein to hang around longer (like when you sleep), mix it with milk. It's just that simple.
So that's the cheerleading for whey protein. What's the other side of the story? Whey protein is meant to be a supplement, it isn't a one-stop source of your protein needs. I often get this impression when I mention protein powders to people.
Whey protein is NOT meant to be your sole source of daily protein and I'm not recommending you make it that!
You need to be getting significant protein in your meals and use the protein shakes after workouts, as snacks, or as meal replacements if you can't get a good, regular meal. So let's dispel the notion that I think you should be eating nothing but protein powder all day. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Whey protein is THE most widely taken supplement in the fitness industry because the reasons to take it are so solid. Don't let wrong impressions prevent you making progress!