Protein supplements are popular. Very popular. However a lot of guys take them without really considering where they fit into their overall diet and calorific intake.
They also just pick one an buy it – again without really considering the levels of fat and carbohydrates in it, as well as the protein.
So we decided to try and write a page to help you work it all out. Stick with us here, we’ve tried to make a complex process simple.
Supplementing with protein will not magically make you gain more muscle – but it will help you build muscle if you’re struggling to get your required protein intake from your diet alone.
This is the question.
First we need to work out a few things. Namely, your calorific requirements. So … with that in mind, let’s look at your macros and explain more.
The Granddaddy of research into energy from food, the Atwater system, tells us that the different macronutrients provide different levels of energy;
To understand how much protein, fat and carbohydrate we need to consume, we first of all need to know our daily calorific requirement.
Weight loss or gain is determined by energy balance. Too many calories in, and not enough exercise burning it off results in weight gain. More calories being burned off than ingested? This is a calorific deficit and will result in weight loss.
There are a number of ways to figure out how many calories you should be eating in a day. A (very) rough and ready way to calculate daily calorific intake for someone who wants to lose weight would be to take their bodyweight in lbs and multiply it by 12.
We can do a lot better than that though. Use our calorie counter below to calculate exactly what your requirements are based on age, height, weight and exercise levels. This is known as your Basal Metabolic Rate.
You can also select your goal and we’ll calculate your macros for you. The ratios are based on the following macro breakdown;
|High Carb for Body Building||30%||50%||20%|
|Weight Maintenance & Energy||35%||40%||25%|
|Low Carb for Fat Loss||55%||25%||20%|
Finally, we’ll also convert the calories into grams for you to help you plan your diet.
Ok, so you’ve put all your vital statistics into the form above and calculated your daily weights for the three food groups.
Based on your answer above on your goals, we have generated a sample daily meal plan for you below. We’ve done it ourself but it’s typical of the type of nutrition plan you’d get from online workout guides.
As is the case for most of these guides, the calorie and macro numbers came from MyFitnessPal.
OK, so what have got so far?
Now we need to compare your requirement to the macros in the daily meal plan. What you might well find is that your calorie requirements are WAY different to the meal plan. Mealplans tend to be aimed at Mr/Mrs average, so if you are 225lbs, 6ft 4 and working as a mustang wrangler and then workign out hard 7 times a week you are going to be burning a lot more calories than any workout guide mealplan will be catering for.
So now we can find out where the meal plan is over/under what you need. This article is about Protein, so next we’ll look at how you tackle any protein shortfall with supplements and establish how the protein supplement fits into your overall protein intake requirement.
We’ve shown your results below, and matched them against a range of protein supplements to demonstrate that you should be picking a supplement that fits with your profile.
|Totals from Mealplan|
|Over / Under|
Maximuscle Whey Protein Isolate
This is based on the goals you set in the calculation form.
1 blueberry muffin
1 medium banana
3 oz. grilled chicken breast
30g roasted almonds (unsalted)
6 oz Halibut
1 cup lemon sorbet
1 whole wheat bagel
1 medium banana
6 slices turkey breast
3 celery sticks
6 oz. filet mignon
4 tbsp hummus
2 poached eggs
0.5 cup of pistachio
1 tin albacore tuna
4 Rice crackers
6 oz. Salmon
You are still reading this – well done. It’s been a journey, and you’ve made it this far, hopefully you’ve learned a little on the way.
The conclusion to this article is that you can just guzzle down any old protein shakes and expect muscle to magically appear on you.
Or you can understand where supplements fit into the overall picture and use them as they are meant to be used – to supplement shortfalls in your diet.