I explained in this video why I am using a protein powder in my pre-training shakes. I am experimenting with this as a nutrient timing strategy for enhancing the results of resistance training (RT), based on some research that suggests that taking protein before RT will enhance the results. 1 However, I am aware that several studies suggest that this strategy has no benefit [For example, 2, 3, 4] so I consider this an experiment. Every individual differs slightly from the norm, so it is possible that the strategy may provide genuine benefit to some individuals and not to others, resulting in conflicting study results and an average null effect in large populations.
Use of this supplement has nothing to do with improving the healthfulness of the diet. I could have achieved the same increase in protein intake by eating some whole foods, but I am taking this before training, so I want something liquid, low bulk and easily digestible.
My total food intake for this day provided a total of 120 g protein. Only 12 g (i.e. 10%) of that came from the protein supplement, and the protein supplement provided only about 2% of my total kcalorie intake. Without the pea protein, I would still have had 108 g protein. Since I weigh 70 kg, without that protein supplement the diet provided 1.5 g PRO /kg, about twice the RDA and more than suggested intakes for someone engaged in resistance training with a hypertrophy goal.
Again, adding the protein supplement is part of a nutrient timing strategy for making an abundance of amino acids available to the tissues during training in a compact, easily digestible form. It has nothing to do with meeting protein requirements or making the diet more healthful. You can subtract the protein supplement and the diet still provides more than enough protein and other essential nutrients.
The vast majority of research on the effects of protein supplementation in resistance training subjects is conducted on subjects who consume animal protein in their daily diets (see the four examples cited above). Further, most of these studies take people who are already eating diets rich in animal protein, and enrich their diets with more animal protein (milk or egg derived).
So one could wonder: If animal protein is so great, why would anyone have to supplement with more animal protein? Why would people who are already eating cheese and eggs need to supplement more dairy and egg protein to get results from resistance training? If they need to supplement, does this mean that meat, fish, and poultry are deficient in essential amino acids, and only milk and egg proteins have adequate supplies of essential amino acids? Hardly anyone asks such questions.
No one asserts that the use of protein supplements by meat-eaters to attempt to enhance results from resistance training provides evidence that a meat-based diet is protein deficient. But if a vegan adds a protein supplement to his diet, this is taken as "proof" that plant-based diets don't supply adequate essential amino acids. LOL.
Some people are upholding a double standard by suggesting that if a vegan uses a protein supplement for a specific purpose, this means that a plant-based diet is protein deficient; but if an omnivore uses a protein supplement for the same purpose, no doubt is cast on the healthfulness or protein-adequacy of a diet containing meat. This is simple bullshit.
Vegan athletes have a right to experiment with various plant protein intakes and supplements to improve performance, and their doing so says nothing about the general healthfulness of a plant-based diet for non-athletes.
In fact, I would say that vegans have this Right, but omnivores are not similarly Right to use milk and egg proteins, because "Right" means "an action that does not infringe on the Life, Liberty, or Natural Property of another Sentient Being." In order for anyone to experiment with those animal proteins, s/he has to intentionally infringe on the Life, Liberty, Natural Property, and pursuit of happiness of the non-humans from whom they take milk and eggs. Doing so, the omnivore embraces and models a "might makes right" moral relativism which implicitly grants to everyone the license to steal anything from anyone weaker whenever the stronger one believes that doing so will suit his own goals. This moral relativism and its epistemological counterpart, egotistic solipsism, give rise to all the evil we encounter in our human world.