From the Mailbag: Should I take Protein when I’m not working out?
I’m not working out much do I still need to take Protein? Won’t it make me fat if I take Protein without working out? – Jose in New York
This is something I have heard on many occasions, and the answers are it depends, and definitely no. As far as taking protein if you’re not working out, the need to take protein powder will depend on the rest of your diet. As I covered in my post on protein consumption, you should take in at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight daily and ideally 1.5 grams. If your daily diet includes a lot of protein and you do not have the need to supplement with protein powder then you do not necessarily need to take protein powder. The advantage of protein powder is that it is very easy to get a large amount of protein in your system through shakes, and particularly post workout it’s beneficial to ingest a fast digesting protein like Whey Protein.
As far as protein turning to fat if you’re not working out, that is a major myth. Fats can be stored as fat, obviously. Carbs can also be stored as fat under certain circumstances, but there is no mechanism for protein being converted to fat. Even though you are not working out, all muscle tissue has a thirst for protein. Keeping your muscle tissue happy with protein is a key to proper health and functioning so make sure to eat the proper amount of protein daily.