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Whey protein, often referred to simply as protein, is probably the most popular supplement among gym-goers. Anyone who starts pumping iron knows that they must drink a protein shake immediately after their workout. But is it really necessary? Is it worth drinking protein? Honestly, I’m surprised that I’m only now addressing this topic, but better late than never. I invite you to read on and hope to dispel your doubts.

The fitness industry is full of all kinds of supplements that are supposed to improve the quality of your training as well as your strength and physique results. Mass gainers, pre-workouts, creatine, fat burners, ashwagandha, and vitamin complexes are just some of what is available on the market.

Every supplement store, whether brick-and-mortar or online, also offers a wide selection of protein from various brands and in different flavors.

Before we spend our money on anything, we should ask ourselves, “Is this a valuable product that I need?”

In this case, do I need this bag of powder? Does drinking protein make sense? And, by the way…

Why take in more protein?

What’s the logic behind increasing your protein intake? Why might you need more protein in your diet?

Regardless of whether you exercise or not, protein is necessary for building and maintaining muscle mass, which in turn affects the quality of your physique, strength, and overall fitness. These are all goals that, in my opinion, are worth pursuing, and that alone should convince you to maintain a controlled supply of protein in your diet.

The mechanical functioning of your body is largely dependent on how much muscle mass you have. This doesn’t mean that more muscle is always better, but the vast majority of society could use some muscle building. 95% of people are far from having an optimal amount of muscle for themselves and need not worry about having too much. The good news is that they have plenty of room for improvement.

Therefore, you want to take in more protein because you want to build and maintain more muscle tissue, which is objectively good and useful for you, improving your quality of life.

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It’s worth mentioning that protein is the macronutrient that is difficult to overeat. It is also something that a relatively high amount of will be beneficial for everyone, unlike carbohydrates and fats. They are not inherently bad, but it’s much easier to overconsume them, thereby negatively impacting health and physique in the long term.

How much protein should I consume?

Since we’re talking about intake and amounts, the question arises about what amount of protein in the diet is appropriate. At the same time, it should be remembered that the human body unfortunately does not have the ability to unlimitedly process protein into muscle tissue. Therefore, more ≠ better.

If you are interested in building muscle mass, commonly accepted ranges supported by research suggest an intake of about 1.6-2.2g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.

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Here a certain problem arises, because over the course of a day, this is quite a big difference. For me, currently, this means that I should consume 140-194g of protein per day, which can be even the difference of two meals!

So how do I know how much protein I should eat?

Well, no one will give you a definitive answer to this question. Your role is to experiment within the range indicated above. Start closer to the lower limit, and if your weight stays the same and you don’t see any visual changes in your physique, increase your intake. If you start high and your progress is satisfying, and you may not be the type who necessarily wants to include protein in every meal, reduce your intake and see how your body reacts, as the effects don’t have to be worse.

Based on my own experience, I even aim for a slight exceeding of the upper limit, but that’s because I have a large frame to build on, and I also train hard, so I simply need that protein. With a lower intake, I felt like I had worse results.

Ultimately, if you want to build muscle, it’s better to eat too much than too little, but that’s a very general rule.

Reasons why it’s worth drinking protein

So, how about it? Are you still wondering if it’s worth drinking protein, or have you already answered that question for yourself? I believe it’s worth it, and below are a number of specific reasons why.

Efficient way of consuming protein

Simply put, this is the biggest advantage of protein powder. In this form, you can consume a lot of it quickly without the carbohydrates and fats that usually accompany protein from traditional sources or meals.

Whey protein is useful for both muscle-building individuals and those on a weight-loss diet because the shake provides a large amount of protein with low calorie intake.

Satisfies sweet cravings

Sweets, which are basically sugar combined with fat, are probably the biggest enemy of a good physique. They are usually very dense in calories – a small portion contains a large amount of calories, making it very easy to build up a surplus.

Even if we are highly disciplined, we sometimes crave something sweet. This is where protein can help. The one I’m currently drinking – a solid 33g shake that provides 25g of protein with only 1.8g of sugar, 1.4g of fat, and 128 calories – tastes really good (toffee/caramel or vanilla ice cream) and I think it helps me not to think about sweets every day, which I simply manage to avoid.

Helps establish a habit

The topic of the importance of habits for long-term success in the gym is regularly discussed on this blog because it is so crucial that it deserves it. Habits related to training will be something new and difficult to implement for many beginners.

The problem is that there are actually a number of habits that should be initiated simultaneously, but where to start?

Starting with regular protein intake, which can serve as a precursor to regular meals, which can then be combined with regular training. If you are not able to somehow force yourself (although it is ultimately not unpleasant) to control your protein intake, it will be difficult to think about real training results.

When to drink protein, before or after a workout?

Alright, you already know that although it’s worth drinking protein, it’s not mandatory. If you train and decide to supplement this macronutrient, you may be wondering when is the best time to drink protein.

Basically, the issue is quite simple. Much more important than the timing of consumption is maintaining the daily and weekly protein requirements over the long term. If you know how much protein you need and provide that amount, you’re on the right track.

The most reasonable approach is simply to evenly distribute your protein limit throughout the day, possibly increasing your intake in the post-workout period.

Remember that a protein shake is not some magic potion that determines the effectiveness of your just completed workout. Your body is susceptible to muscle growth throughout the entire 24 hours after exercise, so if you exercise regularly, just provide a stable supply of protein.

Protein for weight loss

For some, it may be obvious, but I believe there are also people who need to hear this. Protein powder is not a weight loss supplement. The mere fact of drinking a shake does not burn fat, does not contribute to weight loss, nor does it have any other such effects.

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However, if you want to lose weight and therefore follow a diet based on a calorie deficit, which may mean avoiding fried or fatty meats and fish, whey protein can help you easily deliver this macronutrient without unnecessary calories.

Which protein to choose?

What we commonly refer to as protein can be further divided into whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate (WPC). Both of these products are widely available, and the difference, in simple terms, is that the former has an even higher protein concentration, but is therefore more expensive. Concentrate is still very valuable, but slightly more caloric.

Regardless of which option you choose, consider the following factors, which are much more important than the brand of the product.

  • Protein concentration – check the label on the back of the package. For isolates, this value will be even higher, but concentrate should not have less than 75g of protein per 100g of product.
  • Flavor – a very important factor because if you are going to drink shakes regularly, they better be tasty. In my opinion, fruit options (banana, strawberry) are not great, while those imitating sweets (tiramisu, salted caramel, vanilla ice cream) are quite good. There is also the option of flavorless protein, which I tried with honey and milk, and although it was interesting, it didn’t convince me in the long run.
  • Solubility – generally, the cheaper the product / the less known the brand, the more you have to shake it before drinking. If you use a blender or mixer because you make some fancy shakes with more ingredients, solubility will not matter that much.
  • Price – there is quite a big discrepancy between brands, but what are you really paying more for? If the protein content is the same, it’s not worth overpaying. Differences in other factors will be minor.

Generally, if you find a flavor / brand that you like, it probably doesn’t make sense to look further because you won’t find anything significantly better. 


I believe that in this post I managed to provide a solid answer to the question of whether it is worth drinking protein, but also to discuss a number of related issues.

In my opinion, commonly available protein is a very successful product that fulfills an important function in the diet not only of athletes but also of people who want to lose weight and therefore limit calorie intake.

Generally, there are no miracles here and no hidden reasons why it is worth drinking protein. It is simply an effective way to provide the body with protein. Of course, you can consume the appropriate amount of protein from real food, but then you will significantly increase the amount of calories consumed, the size and / or frequency of meals, and you will spend more time preparing and eating them.

If you like and feel like cooking fit dishes, you can also use whey protein as an ingredient in desserts, protein ice cream, pancakes, oatmeal, or homemade protein bars. If not, a shake with milk will do the job.

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