PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS. YES OR NO?
Is it really necessary?
It depends upon the individual. Let's take Charlotte as an example.
Charlotte trains 4 or 5 times per week with weights. She weighs 60kg.
Does Charlotte know how much protein she is eating per day?
I recommend she tracks her food on My Fitness Pal for a few days, just to see roughly how much she consumes on a day to day basis.
It turns out that Charlotte consumes 160g protein per day, without using any protein powder at all.
Does Charlotte need to start using protein powder?
She could use it if she wanted to, but she is already eating more than an adequate amount of protein, therefore does not need to invest in a tub of protein powder.
If she decided that she wanted to use it because she likes the taste, she should swap out one of her beloved chicken breasts for a scoop of protein powder.
Protein powder is just a SUPPLEMENT.
It is intended for those who do not consume enough protein on a day to day basis. The supplement industry has made it seem as though it is an absolute necessity for anyone who's once touched a dumbbell.
This is simply not the case!
DAILY PROTEIN RECOMMENDATIONS:
Lemon et al. (1992) found no differences in muscle mass or strength gains in novice bodybuilders consuming either 0.61g/lb or 1.19g/lb over a 4week period.
So, really… it is up to you where you'd like to sit your protein intake. Somewhere towards the middle would be my recommendation!
If you're near (or below) 0.61g per pound of your bodyweight, I would definitely say it would be wise investing in some protein powder.
If you prefer to eat more carbs, sit you protein intake towards the lower/middle end of the spectrum, as forcing more down yourself is a waste of calories.