If you are serious about getting fit, you need to maintain sufficient protein levels. If you do not get enough protein in your diet, you will essentially be spinning your wheels. As you build one muscle, your body will have to break down another to get the protein it needs. Essentially you will be doing as much damage as you do good. This is why you need to monitor your protein intake. You can not assume you are getting enough, because if you are like most people, YOU ARE NOT.
How Much Protein Do You Need?
In a minute, I will tell you the best protein powder for men over 40, the one I use (or you can skip to the bottom), but first how much protein do you need?
To calculate your protein needs, you need to do a little math. Take your body weight and divide it by 1.6 which will get you your weight in kilograms. You then take that number and multiply it by 1.2. This is the minimum protein that you should be getting.
If you are a man that weighs in at 200 pounds, you divide 200 by 1.6 which gives you a weight in kilograms of 125. Then take this number and multiply it by 1.2 to get your minimum protein requirement of 150 grams. Below you will find some weights with the minimum protein requirement already calculated.
Minimum Protein Requirements
- 150 pounds >> 112 grams
- 160 pounds >> 120 grams
- 170 pounds >> 127 grams
- 180 pounds >> 135 grams
- 190 pounds >> 142 grams
- 200 pounds >> 150 grams
- 210 pounds >> 157 grams
- 220 pounds >> 165 grams
- 230 pounds >> 172 grams
- 240 pounds >> 180 grams
- 250 pounds >> 188 grams
Seems pretty simple right?
The problem with maintaining minimum protein consumption is getting your total numbers in and spreading the protein out during the day. Ideally, you want to get your protein from natural options. Healthy protein sources like chicken, fish, eggs and nuts. In reality though, our lives are far too busy in our 40s and beyond to take in our protein naturally.
This is where protein powder supplementation comes in.
What Is The Best Protein Powder?
Without a doubt, the best protein source is whey.
Benefits Of Whey Protein
Whey protein is derived from dairy and as such, has the most complete amino acid profile of any protein on the market. There are 9 essential amino acids and whey protein contains them all. Essential amino acids are those that your body can not make on their own, so they must be consumed in your diet. The other amino acids can all be produced by your body by breaking down and re-configuring elements.
The essential amino acids are are isoleucine, leucine, histidine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, valine and tryptophan. This is nutrition that you absolutely must get if you want to build muscle and recover from your workouts.
Negatives Of Whey Protein
There is a problem with whey protein though and it is even more of a problem for those over 40.
The issue with whey, being derived from dairy, is that it is hard to digest. This is a particularly bad problem for those over 40 because as we age we lose much of our ability to digest dairy. Your body needs the enzyme lactase to digest the lactose(sugar) in milk and we start producing less of this enzyme as we get older.
Adding Whey Protein Powder To Your Diet
So, does this mean that you should give up on whey as an over 40 athlete? Absolutely not, because having the complete amino profile is such a huge advantage that makes it the best protein powder for men over 40. Instead, what you should do is slowly increase your intake.
Ideally, you probably will want to consume 2 servings of whey over the course of the day. That will give you roughly 60 grams of protein and that is a number that should (along with your other protein sources, allow you to reach your daily protein goal. If you are following a full body exercise program, this is extremely important.
Going from nothing to two full servings a day though is problematic, so just like with a new exercise program, you need to ease into supplementation. Start with 1/2 serving a day for a few days and see how your body reacts. Once you get used to this amount, gradually increase your protein powder consumption until you are at the level you want to be at.
Easing in will do a few things. It will give your body the time to hopefully ramp up lactase production and it will give your gut bacteria time to adapt to your dietary changes.
Alternatives To Whey Protein
But what it you are vegan or you just can not handle whey protein? There is an alternative that is nearly as good and it is called Pea Protein.
Pea protein is 100 percent plant based and dairy free. For the most part, it is made from yellow split peas and it does contain a complete profile of essential amino acids. So, why doesn’t everyone consume pea protein?
Pea protein will always come in second to whey protein for three reasons.
One, is the fact that animal based protein (whey=dairy=animal) is easier for your body to absorb. This means that you will be able to put more of it to use. additionally, you get more protein per serving with whey. For the same caloric serving, you may get only 18 grams of protein with pea protein while whey would give you closer to 30. Finally, although a complete source of essential amino acids, protein contains much less methionine, one of the nine essential amino acids.
What Protein Do I Eat?
So, with all of this said, what protein do I consume?
First, you should know that I will never recommend a product that I do not use or fully believe in. Any links to products that I recommend will contain an affiliate link but this does not change the price that you pay, it only goes towards keeping the website going.
My current favorite protein powder is Premier Protein, for a number of reasons.
- It is affordable.
At just over a dollar a serving, you can supplement your protein intake for just a few bucks. For two shakes, you are under 3 dollars a day which is cheaper than most whole sources of protein.
- It tastes good.
Well, by protein powder standards anyway. My personal favorite is chocolate because it really is hard for a protein maker to get chocolate flavor wrong, although some do.
- It is easy to find.
Get it on Amazon and most local stores like Walmart. Amazon even gives you a discount if you subscribe to regular shipments, further driving down the price.
- It is low calorie.
Just 150 calories per 30 grams of protein. Since protein has 4 calories per gram (4×30=120), this is just 30 extra calories per serving.
Protein Powder Tip
Try adding a little fiber.
One of the most important nutrients we can get as we get older is fiber and very few of us get enough. For my morning shake, I like to add 2 teaspoons of insoluble fiber. This does a few things for me.
- It gives me nearly 20 percent of my daily fiber needs.
- It adds bulk to the shake, keeping me full longer.
Protein Powder Bonus Tip
Have a lot of shakers.
You should have enough shakers for at least two days worth of protein shakes, preferably three. If you don’t, you will almost certainly end up trying to mix a shake in a cup with a spoon and you will hate it.
This is the eight pack I bought on Amazon for less than 4 dollars per shaker. One of the shakers is in the picture above.