Your definitive guide to protein powder – Bike Magazine Australia

We all know that protein helps us recover from leg-ripping rides, but sometimes we struggle to get that protein into our system as we rush between workouts and workplaces.

Protein powders are an easy, convenient option – but also historically chalky, gas-inducing and goopy. No one would blame you if you’ve sworn off the stuff, but if you haven’t tried it in a while, it might be time to give protein powder another look. Today there are lots of options, which taste, dissolve and digest much better than they used to – great news for the time-crunched athlete.

So how do you negotiate the frankly bamboozling process of picking one? Here’s a quick guide to using protein powder to help you meet your goals.

First Thing’s First: How Much Protein Do You Actually Need?

Recreational athletes need about 0.8 to 1 gram of protein for each kilogram of body weight and day to maintain muscle mass.  So, if you weigh 77kg, you’ll want about 77 grams of protein daily. However, if you’re a masters athlete or you exercise intensely for 10 or more hours a week, you probably need a little more to help repair and build your muscles. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends around 1.2 to 2 grams of protein/kg of body weight for serious athletes.  

Most protein powders contain from 20-50 grams of protein per serving, which might seem like the quickest way to hit your mark. However Kristen Arnold, a performance nutritionist and elite racer cautions that your body can only absorb 25-30 grams of protein per meal (any excess is converted to waste). So before you choose a protein powder, double-check the serving size and protein ratio to make sure you’re not paying for protein your body can’t actually use.

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