Diet and exercise: What you should know about protein powders and supplements

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Protein powders – what are they and can they really help make you stronger? This is paid for content, readers are encouraged to seek NHS advice before taking any supplements

The truth is there are a lot of misconceptions around protein powders and supplements.

A recent survey showed 15% of those in the South East thought you could ‘bulk up’ by just taking protein powders.

Over 2,000 people across Britain were surveyed on behalf of sports nutrition company SCI-MX . Here, their nutrition and exercise expert Matt Durkin straightens out some misunderstandings from what he described as ‘worrying’ results.

More than a fifth (21%) of people in the South East believed consuming protein powder alone will make them stronger, according to research from SCI-MX.

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Ask the expert

“It’s worrying to see there are so many misconceptions when it comes to protein powders and supplements,” said Matt. “It can be very confusing to understand how protein supplements work and what’s best for your own goals, so doing your research is really important.”

The research data also reveals one in eight in the region thought protein powder was neither safe nor suitable for women interested in increasing their strength, and 42% thought bulking-up requires excessive calorie consumption, not just protein, and more than a third (34%) were not sure. 

“For anyone that is hoping to build muscle and strength, it’s crucial to have a high-protein diet. However, unless you pair it with exercise, you’re unlikely to build muscle.”

Matt Durkin

Matt explained that protein powders alone are not enough. Bulking up is the muscle-gaining phase, and your diet needs to be carefully balanced.

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“Eating more calories than your normal diet with an increase in protein does play a key part in bulking; however, eating excessive calories daily can lead to unhealthy weight gain; there is a balance,” Matt explained. “The goal is to use the additional calories to build muscle, whilst performing regular strength training to stimulate muscle growth.”

Protein power

You can visit the SCI-MX website for advice and guidance on how incorporating protein into your diet can help increase strength.