Across the world, millions of average gym goers buy into the hype of consuming exceptionally high protein intakes. Resulting in them purchasing a stockpile of supplements. The supplement industry is absolutely booming, taking in billions of dollars annually across the globe as millions of young men spend their hard earned money on a vast array of muscle gain products. Each product making promises of encouraging the development of a ripped, muscular physique.
Is this really necessary? If you guessed “no”, then you are correct. The hard truth of the matter is that the average trainee should be able to get enough protein primarily from their dietary intake. This relates to the fact that for the vast majority of young men who frequent the gym, their goals are generally speaking quite modest. Very few actually seek to become the new Arnold Schwarzenegger, instead seeking to simply enhance their health and fitness, as well as fill out their T-shirts a little bit better.
Whether this sounds like you, or you know someone who is desperately looking to gain some muscle, it’s important to arm yourself with the truth that the protein recommendations cited in popular muscle magazines or on fitness websites are often based off of individuals taking illegal and potentially dangerous substances such as anabolic steroids. Therefore such high protein recommendations are required for those individuals to support their abnormal growth rate and extreme number of workouts per week. Additionally, many of these inflated recommendations are a reflection of the overwhelming number of unqualified trainers who operate within the realm of fitness.
Truthfully, If you are a typical gym goer engaging in several weekly workout sessions with the purpose of developing lean muscle then you simply need to increase your daily protein intake to 1.2 – 1.5g of protein per kg of bodyweight. Once again this can easily be achieved via dietary means. You may add a protein shake to help meet this target, but only if required rather than relying on them solely for your protein needs.
The likelihood of requiring protein supplements is even further reduced when considering that thanks to being primarily a farming nation, the average kiwi already consumes a protein rich diet filled with meats, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy. In fact, our diets are significantly more protein packed than many of us realise, supporting the development of strong bodies ready to play those weekend sports or perform a hard days labour.
Some studies have also demonstrated that whole food protein sources can offer additional benefits due to the synergistic effects of the vitamins and minerals contained within them, as opposed to the more isolated nature of protein supplements. So don’t swallow the marketing hype any longer (pun intended), this winter why not invest the small fortune you normally would spend on protein supplements back into the local economy by constructing a healthy and well balanced diet. Because at the end of the day, the only thing that may be growing from your protein supplement purchases is the bank account of some rich CEO overseas.