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7 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Choose A Protein Supplement

Taking a daily protein supplement is a quick way to enhance your diet, slim down, tone, and balance your nutrition. However, when it comes to the many different proteins supplements on the market, how do you even know where to begin? The quickest way to separate the best from the rest when it comes to your choice in a protein supplement for daily use is by asking yourself basic questions to determine your protein needs.
The truth is that you can't use just any protein powder or protein supplement if you want to see results. Every person has different dietary and nutritional goals out there, so begin by customizing your plan and picking the protein supplement that is right for you. Let's begin!

1.    Why do you want to take a protein supplement? Protein supplements are becoming increasingly popular, and they truly serve a variety of purposes. Simply put, protein is the building block of all of the functions within your body. It literally affects anything that you can think of, including your tissues, skin, hair, nails, and muscles. Perhaps you have been recommended by a doctor to increase your protein intake, or maybe you are trying to enhance your power in your workouts through the use of a pre-exercise protein supplement? Either way, define your goals right off the bat so that you don't choose the wrong protein supplement for your daily use.

  • If you are trying to gain weight, look for a high calorie weight gainer protein.
  • If you are trying to lose weight, look for a low carb/low fat protein.
  • If you are a vegan looking to supplement your protein intake, try hemp, soy, or rice protein.
  • If you have numerous allergies, try a hypoallergenic rice protein.

2.    Do you have any allergies? Of course, many people rely upon their diet for protein and nutrition, but if you are hoping to build lean muscle mass, supplement a vegetarian diet with protein, or even have more energy throughout the day, you will need to determine what your allergies may be so that you can clearly read an ingredient label when choosing a protein supplement. This category also includes vegetarianism, which is not a technical allergy, but you may be hoping to avoid animal byproducts altogether. As a vegan, you will also want to look for protein supplements without egg, dairy, or animal byproducts. If you are allergic to any type of dairy, then soy protein is the perfect protein supplement alternative. Conversely, avoid soy protein supplements if you have any soy allergies at all. If you do have a milk allergy or are lactose intolerant, then whey protein is the ideal choice, and it is commonly used for many protein supplements on the market.

  • If you are allergic to dairy, try soy protein.
  • If you are lactose intolerant, try whey protein.
  • If you have several allergies, try hypoallergenic rice protein.

3.    How much protein do you need? Again, if you have been recommended by a doctor to increase your protein intake for nutritional purposes, he may have given you a suggested amount. Otherwise, you may be taking a different type of protein for building muscle, losing weight, or increasing energy for fitness. Typically, it is recommended to intake roughly 1 g of protein for each pound of lean muscle mass within your body weight. This involves you subtracting your body fat percentage from your total weight to get the actual protein gram count recommended for your daily intake. If this seems confusing in any way, you can plug in your weight to a number of tools online to find out how many grams of protein you should have each day. This will help you to develop a clear-cut plan, stick to it, and achieve your nutrition and fitness goals through your protein intake!

  • If you are trying to gain weight, try high calorie weight gainer protein.
  • If you are hoping to build muscle, try a whey blend protein.
  • If you are an athlete increasing your protein intake, try creatine.

4.    What time of day will you be taking your protein supplement? If you are taking a protein supplement to gain weight for medical or fitness reasons, you may want to take it up to three times per day in the morning, afternoon, and directly after your workout. If you are recreationally interested in protein to increase your energy, then you can take it in the morning with your breakfast to give you that boost you are looking for all day long. If you are hoping to have extra strength within your workout to gain muscle mass, you will want to take your protein supplement directly before working out. Lastly, if you're using a protein supplement as a meal replacement to slim down, it can be substituted for breakfast, lunch, or an afternoon snack. Which brings us to...

  • If you are taking protein post workout, then try a fast absorbing whey protein.
  • If you are taking protein in the daytime, then use a time release protein blend or casein.
  • If you are taking protein before bed, then try a time release protein blend.

5.    Will you be using your protein as a meal replacement? Protein is something that many men and women use as a quick protein meal replacement to cut additional calories and lose weight. You can blend your protein supplement into a smoothie for a meal replacement, but it is advised to be safe about this process and only use it to substitute one meal or snack per day. A protein supplement is a wonderful meal substitute, but it is still important to be safe and integrate the protein into an already balanced diet.

  • If you are using protein as a meal replacement to lose weight, then try low cal or low carb protein.
  • If you are using protein as a meal replacement snack, then consider convenient protein bars!

6.    What will you be mixing your protein supplement with? This is something that many people are concerned about when it comes to choosing a protein supplement because they want it to taste somewhat pleasant. The truth is that protein supplements have advanced in their ingredients, and they are no longer stereotypically dry and chalky as they used to be. There are many delicious choices in protein supplements on the market that taste almost as good as chocolate milk when blended with water or milk, and you also have the creative option to integrate a protein powder into a smoothie! This is a method typically preferred by athletes and those training for fitness because you can add a number of other healthy ingredients, like strawberries, bananas, yogurt, and even honey to create a customized smoothie that is packed full of protein for your workout. Still other protein powders can be sprinkled into your breakfast foods, like cereal, oatmeal, or even your yogurt. Be inventive in the way that you approach your protein supplement, and you will find a number of delicious and nutritious options for mixing!

  • If you are mixing protein in a smoothie, then try a low carb protein addition.
  • If you are looking for a healthy alternative, then try natural and organic protein to add to your meals!

7.    What are your fitness goals? A protein supplement is a wonderful choice to enhance your fitness goals, so make sure that you have them clearly in mind. If you are simply hoping to get in shape as a New Year's resolution, you can use a protein supplement to balance your diet and give you energy to work out. If you are training for a physical competition, then you may want to choose any number of the sports and athletic protein supplements that are specifically created for training and competitions. Long story short, tailor your protein choice to specifically meet your exercise needs!

  • If you are trying to slim down, then use low cal/low carb protein.
  • If you are bulking up for a competition, then try high calorie weight gainer protein.
  • If you are an athlete, then use whey isolate protein for post workout repairs.

The bottom line is that when it comes to choosing the perfect protein supplement for your lifestyle, there are more than enough options out there for you! With these questions answered, you have the tools that you need to pick the right source of protein to enhance your daily diet and exercise program. This is the help that you have been looking for to achieve all of your fitness goals - whether they be building muscle, losing weight, or balancing your nutrition!