I’d assume that a woman considering taking protein supplements normally aims for a more toned, leaner body. Less fat, a bit more muscle – this is what determines the “tone”. Do protein bars and shakes help us to achieve this or will we grow fat or bulky? (I’ll be talking about those which are low carb and fat)
Do women need more?
Protein is very important for anyone training and eating to look great. First of all, when we eat more protein, we feel fuller and more satiated. It is simply marvellous as the fuller we feel, the less we eat overall, the fewer calories we consume in total! Second, it helps to maintain or build muscle. With a bit more muscle we have a better shape and more calories are being burnt at any time.
The latest scientific findings suggest consuming around 2g of protein per 1 kg of body weight for those who work out properly. This is a very rough estimation, as research findings differ and the dosage is quite an individual thing. Normally it is easy to get enough protein from ‘real’ foods. Just include a portion of anything protein in every meal: eggs, fish, poultry, red meat, cottage cheese or quark.
If for some reason you cannot get enough protein from natural food, protein supplements can be helpful. For example, you are running like a headless chicken and there is no time for lunch; or you are too tired to cook after a busy day at work and tough gym workout; or … decided to be a vegetarian. In addition, protein bars and shakes are a very convenient snack and can also help with sweet tooth cravings.
Would I recommend it?
There are some drawbacks, though. First, there is nothing better than a whole, natural, unprocessed food – most of the protein supplements are highly processed and full of unpronounced ingredients. Second, some people tend to overeat “safe”, palatable, high-calorie density foods. As we lose fat only by creating a deficit of calories week by week, make sure that protein bars are substitutes of, not complements to your daily food intake.
I love protein stuff, it is a sweet treat and a convenience food – can be eaten anytime anywhere! My favourite bars are Quest’s “Cookies and Cream” and Grenade’s “White Chocolate Cookie” Carb Killa. Between the brands, I vote for Quest – they are a bit more filling and have a bit better ingredient list. Don’t buy chocolate chip brownie or lemon pie flavours! 🙂
Tip of the day: blend your protein shake with an electric blender and add frozen berries for a mind blowing taste and texture.
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Fat loss expert, elite group fitness instructor and personal trainer based in Sheffield.