Are protein powders, pre-workout drinks, and other supplements like these beneficial for you?
For the average person who may or may not lift weights, protein powders are not beneficial and costly. Same for pre-workout drinks.
Drink 1 cup of water before you work out and drink at least 1 cup of water during workouts in hot, humid environments where you may also need additional sodium and potassium lost in sweat. Otherwise, electrolyte drinks are unnecessary. Water is best to keep you hydrated and if you are unsure if you are drinking enough water, weigh yourself before and after exercise before urinating. For every 1 pound of body weight loss due to sweat, drink an additional 2 cups of water before or during exercise.
Most Americans eat enough protein in a day. As a woman, you would need 53 grams of protein in a day. You could easily consume that amount in 2 cups of milk, yogurt and 5 ounces of meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese (hard type), and soybeans (tofu) each day.
Your workout would be best served by eating a variety of foods from all food groups – meat, poultry, fish, dairy, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats from olive, peanut or Canola oils, tree nuts, and avocado. Real food costs less than powders and supplements while being your body’s preference for nutrients.
If you are a football player or bodybuilder who has a larger than typical muscle mass, then yes protein powders may help lay down and repair muscle post workout. However, protein powders are not necessary with these sports either as additional protein needs can be eaten in food, not protein powders.