Does protein supplementation help athletes make gains?
One of the biggest questions surrounding training is the use of protein supplementation & if it is useful in gaining muscle. The truth is there is no easy answer to this question because it depends on many factors including:
- Training status of the individual
- Moderately trained
- Highly trained
- Daily protein intake without supplementation
- Duration of training
- Frequency of training
Throughout the vast & convoluted research that has taken into account these variables we have come up with the following principles regarding protein supplementation:
- Protein supplementation in itself has mixed results in enhancing muscle gains from resistance training for populations of all ages & training levels
However, we know that protein, in general, is essential for building muscle & recovering from training. The research behind the amount of protein for athletes engaging in resistance training is much better and has shown that:
- Protein intakes greater than 1.6 g/kg of body weight/day do not further contribute to muscle gains from resistance training
Bottom Line: If you can reach this amount of protein by diet alone, then protein supplementation is not necessary. But, this amount is difficult to reach by diet alone so supplementation is very helpful!