Most people who have nutrition goals know the importance of getting adequate protein. Not getting enough protein in your diet can cause you to loss muscle mass, have skin, hair and nail problems, heal at a slower rate if you get cuts or bruises, experience mood swings and more likely to break bones.
The bare minimum protein requirement is estimated to be .36 grams per pound of body weight. Using the hand portion method, a palm of protein has about 20 to 30 grams of protein. It is important to remember that eating the bare minimum of protein is different from eating the optimal amount of protein. Most active people can mee their optimal protein intake by earing 1- 2 palms of protein at each meal.
Protein from whole foods is ideal but being realistic we are not always able to hit our goals from just whole foods and that’s when protein powders come in. The two main reasons one might use a protein powder are:
Convenience: busy with work or responsibilities, has a high protein requirement and not able to eat that much whole food protein, trying to meet protein goals while traveling or with limited food options.
Appetite: trying to gain weight and struggling with intake, sick and no desire to eat, aiming to improve athletic performance and recovery and doesn’t feel hungry enough to meet nutrient goals.
So how much protein powder is too much? A reasonable daily amount would be 20- 40 grams of protein from a powder is a reasonable amount. For most, 80 grams per day (3-4 scoops) is a good upper limit for supplemental intake. More than 80 grams would be excessive for most because it displaces whole food sources that provide vitamins, minerals and other nutrients we need.