Protein plays an important role in muscle growth and repair. The amino acids that make up protein can be used as building blocks for the growth of new muscle. And these same amino acids can also help preserve lean muscle mass when we're in fat loss phases. 

IFBB Pro Janet Layug connected with us to discuss the benefits of protein, how protein fits into her daily routine, and her favorite XTEND Pro flavors

How does protein help you perform your best?

Consuming protein helps me increase my metabolism as the body takes more energy to breakdown the protein, helps me stay fuller longer and reduce cravings that throw me off my fitness goals. Also it’s critical I have enough protein intake to help rebuild and repair my muscles from intense workouts that way I can get back to training sooner. If I’m not trying to gain more muscle I have to have an adequate amount of protein intake to prevent muscle wasting.

What advice would you give someone who doesn’t understand the benefits of protein?

At first I never understood why it’s so important to have protein in your diet. Once I started training and exercising more I could feel why I needed it. My advice to someone who doesn’t know the benefits of protein is that it will truly help you reach any fitness goal of yours. Whether you want to lean out - you need protein, whether you want to build or tone muscles - you need protein, whether you want to increase you athletic performance in a sport - you need protein or for the most important, overall wellness. Protein is crucial because it’s part of every cell in your body containing essential amino acids and supports bodily functions.

Does how you take protein change based on your goals?

My protein intake varies. Whether I’m trying to build bigger shoulders or arms I’m going to increase my intake of protein or frequency to make sure I get enough. If I’m trying to maintain my weight or the amount of muscle I have I need to make sure I still have adequate protein intake so I don’t start muscle wasting which makes you lose your muscle gains.

What benefits do you notice from supplementing protein into your diet?

When I’m supplementing with protein I feel like I’m nourishing my body and in return it makes me feel good, I have more energy and less cravings to over eat or snack. I’m more inclined to stick to my healthier meal choices. I feel stronger knowing my body is getting enough protein to not only maintain my muscle but also rebuild and repair my muscles to gain strength. The bonus is that my body seems to just function better, my skin, hair and nails health and stronger.

Why do you supplement your diet with a protein powder?

Protein is essential to reaching my fitness goals. It helps to rebuild and repair muscles I break down from training, muscle growth and having more muscle means you burn more fat. Protein intake also helps with weight management. I notice I stay full longer and keeps me satiated from wanting unhealthy snacks.

How do you use protein powders in your regiment?

I take XTEND Pro before or after my workouts. It’s an easy digesting protein that gets in my system right away to get start repairing sooner. If I’m crunch for time I love making a protein shake super convenient for on the go!

When do you take protein to optimize results?

For optimal results I take protein first and last meal of the day and with every meal.

What should someone look for in their protein product?

You should look a protein powder that meets your fitness goal outcomes and preferences. There’s lots of different proteins like whey (most popular and my personal preference), soy, milk, rice etc. Keep in mind, for muscle growth you want protein that's high in BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) or if you want protein for weight management look for low sugar low carb.

What do you LOVE about XTEND Pro?

XTEND protein tastes amazing! Not like other chalky protein powders. XTEND Pro has flavors that are so good to drink on its own or to make a shake with! When making a shake I can add fruits, greens, or grains to make even more flavorful and nutritious. Plus XTEND Pro is low carb, low sugar and packed with easy to digest protein.

What are your favorite flavors of XTEND Pro?

It’s hard to choose because all the flavors are so delicious and satisfy whatever mood I’m feeling. For instance the XTEND Pro vanilla ice cream flavor is perfect for adding banana, berries and even greens.

When I’m want a more indulgent high protein treat I like baking with the XTEND Pro chocolate lava cake and cookie butter. But when I’m in a crunch all the flavors are so good on its own!