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When to Recommend Protein Powders to Your Clients?

Let’s start with a refresher before we dive into this topic.

How much protein does an individual need to consume, fitness goals aside?

The most current research indicates the limit of how much protein you can take in and utilize is approximately 1.5-2.0 grams of protein/kilogram of body weight (0.68-0.9 grams of protein per pound).

Therefore a 100-kilogram bodybuilder (220 pounds), needs a maximum of 200 grams/day.

Though many nutrition scientists disagree. There is a great debate on this topic.

Many studies have shown that maximum protein absorption for non-drug using strength athletes tops out between 0.7-0.8 grams of protein/pound of body weight.

The studies indicate that anything above that level will end up as fat. Since there is a great deal of conflicting research and studies on this topic, I always suggest starting out at 0.7 grams of protein/ pound of body.

You always want to recommend to your clients to obtain protein by consuming protein-dense foods such as fish, chicken, beef, pork, eggs to build muscle.

Remember, Protein powders are “supplements” that are meant to supplement the diet when necessary.

However, sometimes in life, we need a little supplementation and Protein Powders can do the trick. Which protein powders you recommend will vary based on your clients’ goals and the amount of money they want to invest.

Whey Protein

Whey protein has become very popular with athletes, bodybuilders, and strength training fans. Whey protein contains several fast digesting proteins.

The 3 most popular types are:

1) Whey Isolate is more processed to provide higher protein content and less carbs, fat, and lactose.

2) Whey Concentrate may be the most economical, supplying nearly the same amount of protein, but more carbs, fat, and lactose.

3) Hydrolyzed Whey processes the long protein strands into smaller chains or single amino acids to aid patients who have digestive disorders or malabsorption disorders.

Carbs 3.5g 1.0g
Protein 18.0g 23.g
Fat 1.5g 0g
Lactose Up to 3.5g Up to 1.0g
Processing LESS MORE

Whey Isolate may be the better choice for someone wanting to severely limit their fat and carbs intact, but that would need to be weighed against the higher cost.

Weight Gainers Protein Powder

Picking a “healthy” Weight Gainer for your client can be a real challenge.

Many of the popular weight gainers on the market can have over 300 grams of simple carbs/serving.

Remember, Complex Carbs contain nutritionally critical vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients; some of which science has yet to discover. Whereas Simple Carbs contain empty calories with virtually ZERO nutritional value. These simple calories can easily be stored as fat inside your body.

The objective of “gaining weight” should be to gain muscle, not fat. Drill this into your clients’ heads.

If the sugar content is not bad enough, most of them contain fats, and typically, not the healthy kind.

While weight gainers may contain some protein, it is usually not the high-quality proteins your clients’ need, to build the quality muscle they are looking to achieve.

If your client’s goal is to gain quality muscle weight, your best bet is to get them to eat quality foods, and if you find that insufficient, you will need to prescribe a quality product from a quality manufacturer.

It’s just one of those things unfortunately, you get what you pay for. High-quality Protein Powders cost more. It’s an investment. If your client is not willing to invest in quality, then I would avoid them altogether.

You should also consider how much muscle can a healthy, non-performance enhancing drug (PED) using, athlete builds in a year.

Most research shows that without using PED, most healthy, experienced athletes can only put on 4-6 pounds of muscle/year. Eating excessive amounts of calories usually results in fat gain, not muscle gain.

Exceptions to these are athletes who perform unusually high levels of physical activity. Exception: World Record-Setting Olympic Swimmer Michael Phelps. He was purported to consume 12,000 calories/day while training to win his 28 Olympic Medals, but unless your client is willing to do over 5-hours/day of high-intensity swimming, they probably don’t need 12,000 calories/day.

Protein Supplements can be useful if used the right way. Just like you tell your clients, “if you want to see results, you must do the work.”

The same thing applies to you. There are probably thousands of options out there at this point. It is not fun to sort through the massive amounts of crap to find the gold. Put in the time, do the research and you will find the best Protein Supplement Products for each of your clients’ unique goals.

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