A big thank you to Alex over at Sundried for writing this guest blog for us…
The basics of macronutrients
It’s 2017! Gone are the days when big bulky protein powders were only meant for big bulky men. Everyone needs a generous supply of protein in their diet, no matter what their age or gender. Protein is one of the three macronutrients that make up your diet, the other two being carbohydrates and fat. These are the building blocks of your nutrition and each plays a very important role in your health and wellbeing. Protein’s key role is building and repairing muscles, but it is also crucial for the proper function of tissues and organs as it is present in every cell of the body. The government’s nutritional guidelines state that an adult’s diet should be made up of 50% carbs, 30% fat and 20% protein, however for most people this is not an appropriate macronutrient split as there is no ‘one size fits all’ diet. The ratio of macronutrients that you consume depends entirely on your fitness goals, activity level, age, body type, and daily routine. A 24-year-old male bodybuilder would require a different ratio of macronutrients to a 35-year-old female marathon runner. Finding your perfect macronutrient split is something you will need to decide for yourself, usually through trial and error, although there are some guides online that you may find useful.
Am I getting enough protein?
Probably not! For most people, getting enough protein into their diet is the hardest part of keeping fit and staying healthy. Unless you track your daily food and drink intake, it’s very difficult to know how much protein you are consuming, and it is probably a lot less than you think. A lot of foods in the modern world are very rich in carbohydrates and fat, especially fast food, so finding lean sources of protein can be a struggle. This is why using protein supplements like whey protein is so important. Unless you eat a kilo of chicken a day and steak every night, chances are your protein intake isn’t as high as it should be. By having a protein shake after your workout, you are improving your chances of proper recovery and seeing better results from your training efforts. Taking a whey protein supplement won’t make you bulky or manly as it is just boosting your protein intake and is the equivalent of eating more lean protein like chicken or steak.
When should I take my protein shake?
The timing of your protein intake can be just as important as the amount you have. You have a 15-minute window after every workout, which is the optimum time for taking in your protein, hence why you see people at the gym chugging a protein shake straight after their workout! But don’t worry! There is also a wider 2-hour window which is still a good time to refuel after a workout. Nothing bad will happen if you don’t hit this window, you will just find your muscles might take longer to recover or you may feel more ‘achy’. You should always refuel after a workout though, never go to bed hungry! The body absorbs liquids the easiest after a workout, which is why liquid shakes are the protein source of choice for most gym-goers straight after their workout, rather than a heavy meal. A tasty whey protein like the sachets found in your Whey Box is perfect for post-workout replenishing.
Which protein should I choose?
Different protein powder blends are designed to achieve different results. A mass gainer, for example, may include carbs to help bulk you up, while a ‘diet’ protein is more likely to just contain whey isolate. If you are just trying to bolster your protein intake to stay fit and healthy and to supplement an active lifestyle, whey concentrate such as the one found in your Whey Box is ideal, as it will contain everything you need without making you gain weight or get ‘bulky’.
About the author: Alex is a qualified personal trainer and nutritionist with years of experience under her belt. She has trained as a powerlifter as well as a runner and has spent years perfecting the art of eating well.