Weight Loss: Are Protein Supplements An Absolute Necessity If You Want To Build Muscles?

Protein supplements: According to nutritionist Pooja Makhija, taking protein doesn't really convert to an increase in muscle mass. Neither does it destroy the fat and turn it to muscles. Here's what you need to know.

Weight Loss: Are Protein Supplements An Absolute Necessity If You Want To Build Muscles?

You can get adequate protein from your diet too

Highlights

  • It is true that proteins help in repairing muscles
  • Protein is an essential macronutrient that aids your workouts
  • It aids muscle recovery

Protein supplements are commonly consumed by body builders or those who want to gain muscles. But, does are they entirely necessary for these benefits? Is it healthy to consume protein supplements on a daily basis? Answering some of these common queries is nutritionist Pooja Makhija on Instagram. In one of her recent IGTVs, Makhija shares that one of the most common queries of people going to the gym are, "Shouldn't I be taking protein supplements?"

Protein supplements: Are they an absolute necessity?

According to Makhija, taking protein doesn't really convert to an increase in muscle mass. Neither does it destroy the fat and turn it to muscles. "Just eating protein will not convert it to more muscles. You need to build muscles in the gym. The additional protein intake will act like a cement to the already-laid bricks, for keeping them strong and vital," she explains.

Also read: Nutritionist Explains Exactly How You Can Get Complete Protein From A Vegetarian Diet

It is true that proteins help in repairing muscles. It is an essential macronutrient that aids your workouts. The wear and tear you put in through by working out, protein rich foods will help you recover from them, says Makhija.

Speaking of supplements, the Mumbai-based nutritionist says that just because you're exercising, it doesn't mean that you need an additional concentration of protein supplements. By definition, supplement help in completing or enhancing a particular thing.

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It is possible to get adequate nutrition from your diet
Photo Credit: iStock

"You may not need any supplements in case you are able to get all the nutrition from your daily diet," she says in her video. If your daily protein requirement, which ideally is 0.8 gms per kg of your body weight, is fulfilled by your diet alone, you don't protein supplements in the form of protein bars or protein shakes.

Also read: Portion Size Guide: Learn How To Divide Your Meals Into Protein, Carbs And Fats For Weight Loss

If you want to build muscles, you need 1.2 gms to 2 gms of protein per kg of your body weight, depending on the intensity of your training. People who follow a non-vegetarian diet can easily fulfil this need. Vegtarians and vegans too can get sufficient protein, by eating lentils, legumes, soy foods, nuts and seeds regularly.

Note that consuming proteins in excess, or more than 30% of your daily calorie intake, can harm your body and may even lead to weight gain. "Take protein supplements only if you are engaging in excessively heavy weight lifting or if you have a poor appetite," she recommends.

Make sure you opt for protein powders with hypoallergenic ingredients like hemp, brown rice, peas or a combination of them. Avoid whey protein unless you are certain that you can tolerate dairy.

Thus, protein supplements are not a compulsion for muscle construction. "Remember, you build muscles in the gym. Protein is an aid to keep your muscles strong," says Makhija.

Also read: Vegetarians, Here Are Some Simple Ways To Add More Protein To Your Diet

(Pooja Makhija is a nutritionist, dietitian and author)

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.