I grew up in a very active family. I began playing sports at the age of five and I continue to live a physically active lifestyle.

My lifestyle and hobbies have led to me becoming friends with other athletes. We first met while playing sports and were able to bond quickly due to our common interests and the amount of time that we spent together.

Taking care of our bodies is one thing that we all know to be an important aspect of life. My time as an athlete is one of the many reasons that I chose to begin my career in the field of nutrition.

One of the few things that my friends and I disagree about is the use of protein powders. After several failed attempts at making my point and even more unnecessary arguments, I have learned to refrain from bringing it up. But it really needs to be noted that protein supplements are unnecessary for a lot of people that choose to use them. Most people can get their recommended daily requirement of protein through a normal diet. Sources of lean protein include meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products.

There are certainly some instances in which additional protein intake would be beneficial, but normal athletes participating in an average amount of physical activity do not need the added protein supplements. Children who are growing and people who are new to working out or who are increasing their workout regimens could use a little extra protein in their daily food intake.

Vegans and those recovering from a serious injury would also benefit from the added nutrients.

Anyone who chooses to increase their protein intake needs to be very careful and should consider consulting with a professional before making drastic changes to their diet. Too much protein can be hard on your kidneys and your liver.

If the people using these supplements are physically in need of the extra protein, often times they are being used at incorrect times and in the wrong amounts. Despite popular belief, protein powders should not be consumed immediately after a workout. Protein supplements should be used throughout the day as a snack or as a meal replacement, but never in the time surrounding rigorous physical activity. People often believe that protein needs to be consumed either before a workout for immediate energy or following a workout as a recovery drink.

Neither of these beliefs are correct. Carbohydrates are the macronutrients that provide the energy for the body to use for vigorous activity. Instead of drinking a protein shake after a workout, a simple glass of chocolate milk will do wonders to help the body’s recovery.

Studies show that the ratio of carbohydrates to protein in the diet needs to be 4 grams of carbohydrate to 1 gram of protein. Many of these supplemental proteins provide 20 grams of protein per scoop. This means that the body needs 80 grams of carbs per scoop of protein. These additional carbs lead to unnecessary calories that will only lead to an increase in body fat and other negative health issues.

Cutting the powders from the weekly grocery bill will also save consumers a lot of money. Some brands of supplements cost up to a dollar for every ounce of powder. People are spending a lot of money on a source of nutrients that are usually an unnecessary addition to their diets. Removing protein powders from your diet will not damage your health and may actually be beneficial to your body. It will certainly make your wallet happy.

Maggie Morgan is a sophomore majoring in nutritional sciences- dietetics option. She is a regular member of SNA.