Although most individuals currently get enough protein from their diet and the long-term consequences on health are uncertain, protein supplements may aid in muscle growth when paired with resistance training.
Protein powders are popular supplements for people of all ages, especially those looking to bulk up muscles or increase protein intake on a vegan diet. However, most adults in high-income countries already get enough protein from their diet, and consuming protein powder won’t build muscle unless combined with resistance exercise. Studies show that protein powders can help to build muscle and increase strength, but the optimal amount of protein is still unclear and may depend on age, health, and exercise routine. Some protein powders may also contain added sugars, flavorings, and vitamins, which could lead to health problems in the long term. While some small studies suggest that protein powders could have additional health benefits, dieticians recommend getting nutrients from intact foods whenever possible.