Are protein supplements necessary if you already consume a lot of protein naturally?
Supplements are intended to fill the gaps missing from dietary intake, whether from food choices or impaired digestion/absorption. If your protein consumption is already high (> 1 gm/kg per body weight) then protein supplements are generally unnecessary. Many people still choose to include supplements instead of real food due to time, cooking or refrigeration restraints. The protein in certain supplements may be concentrated or isolated, but most supplemental protein is part of a bar or meal replacement shake with significant carbohydrates, fat or other nutrients. Consider the whole product when choosing a protein supplement.
– Debbie J., MS, RD
This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.
Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.