A Closer Look At Protein Powder
To make such supplements, protein is extracted from animal or plant-based sources, which range from cows milk and eggs to peas, rice, and soy. During processing, naturally occurring carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and fiber are often removed, while supplementary nutrients, herbs, and even sweeteners may be added.
Anyone considering protein powder should understand that it is classified as a dietary supplement, which means it is not regulated in the same way as food or medicine. Responsibility falls on manufacturers to ensure that their products are not hazardous, though many companies do not test for safety or efficacy before their offerings hit shelves. Though the FDA created Good Manufacturing Practices to help minimize adverse issues, compliance with these procedures remains a concern. In 2017, roughly a quarter of supplement-manufacturing companies whose products were tested received citations related to purity, strength, and ingredient content.
That said, there are accredited organizations, like NSF International, that independently test supplements, including protein powders. NSFs Certified for Sport designation ensures that contents match what is on the label, and that the product is GMP-registered and does not contain unsafe levels of toxic metals like arsenic and mercury.
Protein Shake Mistake #1: Using Expired Protein Powder
Keep it, or bin it? Chug it, or leave it? We’ve all been there staring into the abyss of a past-its-sell-by-date tub of protein. How bad can it be? It’s made from milk after all and, due to the manufacturing process, whey protein doesn’t spoil like meat or dairy.
However, that doesn’t mean your protein shake is good to drink. It’s muscle-building potential does diminish after the sell-by date. That’s because the protein reacts with leftover sugar, resulting in a slow decrease of the amino acid lysine. Crucially, this mens the protein power will not be as effective as it was when you bought it.
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Choco Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
by Gina Hassick, MA, RD, LDN, CDE, NCC, eatwellwithgina.com
“I’m not the biggest fan of protein powders. Many protein drinks are loaded with artificial ingredients, sweeteners and fillers, so I prefer to get my protein for whole food sources. One of my favorite protein shakes is this choco-peanut butter-banana smoothie. It’s great for weight loss and muscle building because it’s loaded with natural sources of protein.
The #1 protein drink I recommend is chocolate milk, which has the ideal ratio of carbohydrates to protein to help refuel and build muscle after a workout. Many studies have shown that individuals who drank chocolate milk within an hour after working out had higher muscle fuel stores, less body fat and a greater overall physiological response to exercise than those who recovered with water or a sports drink. Some other benefits of chocolate milk: It contains high-quality protein to help build and repair muscles, calcium to strengthen bones, vitamin D to enhance calcium absorption, plus sodium and potassium to help replace lost electrolytes and B vitamins.”
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- Water to thin consistency as desired
Nutrition: 271 calories, 4 g fat , 0 mg cholesterol, 45 mg sodium, 44 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 12 sugars, 18 g protein
by Lisa Jubilee MS, CDN, livingproofnyc.com
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4-5 ice cubes
Nutrition: 237 calories, 20 g fat , 0 mg cholesterol, 6 mg sodium, 10 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 2 g sugars, 6 g protein
Do We Really Need To Use Protein Shakes
The smell of protein powder is commonplace in most gyms , but one personal trainer believes this is all based on bogus science.
In a recent blog post, London PT Max Lowery says were stuffing ourselves with protein shakes needlessly.
I believe protein shakes are unnecessary for about 90% of people, Lowery wrote. The only people who might benefit from them are vegans who arent being so careful with their diets so its an easy way to get some protein or elite athletes who are training twice a day six days a week.
A bold claim, but an interesting one. Does the average person actually need a protein shake to bulk up?
No. But it does make the process more convenient.
Lowery claims an untrained person needs, on average, as little as 60-75kg of protein. This is easily achieved through whole foods alone, unless you’re a particularly picky eater. However, the average man who exercises three times a week needs around 1.2g 2g per kilo of bodyweight to pack on muscle. This is where things get interesting.
But remember, whole foods are far better as they contain more nutrients and minerals than protein powders. Whenever you can, always opt for real foods.
Does Protein Powder Build Bulk
Protein is composed of amino acids. Each protein molecule contains 20 amino acids, to be precise, and it’s these amino acids that are the foundation of muscle cells. With this being the case, it would be logical to assume that more protein equals more muscle mass, but this isn’t necessarily true. While protein powder can aid muscle growth, it isn’t as important as you might think.
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How Does Protein Build Muscle
Every time you exercise, tiny muscle fibres are torn. Amino acids repair these muscle fibres and, through repairing, make the muscle grow bigger and stronger. This constant repairing is how exercise builds muscles they dont magically swell a little every time you do some weights. Protein is a vital part of the process.
Bulk Pure Whey Isolate 90
Per 30g serving: 27g protein, 1g carbohydrates, 1g fat
Containing a whopping 27g of protein per scoop, Bulk’s Whey Isolate is hard to beat when it comes to upping your macro intake on the regular. Loaded with five-star reviews, this whey protein is a customer favourite, as whey protein isolates are far higher in protein due to an increased production process. Bulk also provides quick delivery and a range of flavours including chocolate, chocolate peanut, chocolate orange, banana, strawberry, salted caramel, vanilla and white chocolate. Not bad.
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What Do Protein Shakes Do For The Body
From the protein-loading of Atkins and South Beach diets to meat-heavy paleo eating styles, it’s easy to get the message that protein is everything. And if you’re struggling to get enough protein from your diet, getting a concentrated source of protein via a shake can help. Protein shakes do have several potential benefits for your body but they aren’t a necessity for eating healthy.
Protein Can Help You To Lose Weight
The muscle-building power of protein powders can also help those who want to lose weight.
While a calorie deficit is the most important part of losing weight , making your diet higher in protein can help to preserve your muscle mass and target fat loss.
Additionally, protein slows down the digestive process, which gives you a feeling of being full longer after you eat. This can and help with weight loss.
Protein Powders Are Convenient But Unnecessary For Most
If you are a healthy adult considering supplementation, you should determine whether your goal is to improve muscle mass, as most research is centered on enhancing muscle growth and strength. Older adults may benefit from increasing protein slightly, regardless of their exercise routine however, for most of us, resistance training is more effective than simply supplementing with protein.
For those looking to enhance the muscle growth that typically occurs with exercise, evidence supports consuming 20 to 40 grams of protein at a time . Larger quantities simply contribute calories and can actually reduce muscle-building potential. So, having several scoops of protein powder at once is unlikely to be helpful. Plant-based powders often have less protein, but shouldnt be discarded as an option. Rice and pea protein, for example, have been shown to stimulate muscle growth similar to whey, a milk-based protein touted for its high quality and quick absorption.
Unless you are an older adult with a limited appetite, have a restricted diet, or are a trained professional athlete, chances are you can adjust your food intake to get what you need. Protein from food is often cheaper, less risky, and naturally includes beneficial nutrients.
If increasing protein the old-fashioned way is not an option, taking a supplement can be both effective and convenient. But most of us dont need to channel our inner Mr. Olympia by using a protein powder.
Should You Drink Them
Drinking protein shakes for muscle gain will be effective only if they fit into your overall daily calorie and protein needs and those are highly individual. If you eat more calories than you need to support your activity level and muscle growth, you’ll put on fat, as well as muscle. If you have an endomorph body type, you may even need to slightly restrict calories to stay lean while putting on mass.
The other problem with shakes is that they vary widely in terms of ingredients. Many protein shakes on the market are full of sugar and no better than milk shakes. Those should be avoided by everyone even hardgainers. Sugar is high in calories but low in nutrition. It spikes your insulin levels, provides a quick surge of energy, but then leaves you feeling drained. It’s not going to help your performance or your gains.
Whenever possible, get your protein from real foods. High biological-value protein can be found in fish, chicken, eggs and dairy. Just one 3.5-ounce chicken breast has 31 grams of protein, according to the USDA.
Plants also provide protein. Although plant-based protein is considered low-biological value protein, your body can use it just the same when you eat a variety of plant foods containing different amino acids. Quinoa, chickpeas and almonds are all rich sources of plant-based protein.
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Before Or After Workout
In The Abs Diet Eat Right Every Time Guide, author David Zinczenko says, whey protein powder contains the highest amount of protein you can get with the fewest amount of calories. People who use it for exercise performance often take it as a pre-workout shake. This helps increase protein synthesis by having protein available when blood flow to the muscle starts to increase through working out. That blood then gets more protein to deliver as needed throughout your body, and you develop more muscle mass and increase your strength. Some research supports taking whey powder after your workout. A 2007 Canadian study with young men doing exercises on one leg and resting the other proved this. The participants took either whey or a mostly carb-based post-workout drink. Whey protein, with a small dose of carbohydrate, stimulated a rise in muscle protein synthesis in the leg that worked. The researchers concluded that about 10 grams of whey protein taken in a drink with approximately 21 grams of carbohydrate would lead to hypertrophy, or an increase in the size of muscle cells.
Does Protein After A Workout Help Build Muscle
Researchers have discovered that diet can manipulate muscle metabolism after exercise. Have protein post-workout to muscle gain.
However, there are mixed suggestions as to the timing of the protein intake.
One group of researchers suggest that for optimal muscle gain, protein should be consumed immediately following a workout.
These researchers seem in line with the long-held belief that proper muscle recovery and growth occurs in the anabolic window which is a short period after a workout within 30 to 45 minutes.
Other studies, however, suggest that the window could extend to 24 hours or longer.
The recommendation is to spread out protein intake within that extended window.
That would mean consuming protein multiple times following the workout.
According to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, for the best muscle growth, a person should have protein four times a day at 0.4 to 0.55 grams per kilogram of body weight.
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Labrada Lean Body Shake
The makers of Labrada Lean Body shake claim it is suitable as a snack or meal. The 40 g protein content makes this shake ideal for people looking to gain muscle or lose weight. This high amount of protein may help a person feel fuller for longer and less likely to indulge in extra snacks.
Does Drinking Protein Shakes Help Build Muscle
Whey protein contains stacks of amino acids, which assists in the process of building muscles. During athletic activity, muscle fibres break down, and a quality protein powder such as Happy Ways whey protein range can help repair that damage, whilst simultaneously helping you to recover faster, allowing for easier workout sessions . Sounds like a win-win to us.
If youre looking to lean down, theres more good news multiple studies have found that when supplementing with whey protein and exercising, those trying to lose weight have better results, with more lean muscle and less body fat. Furthermore, their metabolism is improved too meaning more calories burned per day when compared to those who didnt exercise or supplement.
Its important to note that consuming protein shakes alone will not reap results such as weight loss or a more toned appearance this will only happen in conjunction with exercise and a balanced diet.
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Benefits Of Having A Protein Shake Before Bed
Brittany Ford, RHN
Brittany Ford, RHN of the Biohacking with Brittany podcast, is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who lends her expertise in fact-checking our articles. In…
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Protein shakes are a popular food among athletes, bodybuilders, and active adults as the drink can help build muscle, shed weight, and improve your overall health. The drinks are also affordable, offered in countless flavors, and double as an easy snack or breakfast.
Consuming a protein shake post-workout is often thought to be the best time to maximize your muscle growth and recovery, though drinking protein before bed may provide extra benefits. Drinking an extra protein shake at night can improve strength, muscle size, speed up recovery, and promote weight loss.
What Is The Difference Between Protein Powders
Protein powders come in a variety of forms from lactose-derived types like whey and casein to plant-based forms like pea and hemp powder. Depending on your diet, some of these proteins will be more or less effective for you. Whey is the most commonly used protein because your body can metabolize it quickly, and it offers a long list of health benefits.
However, whey is derived from milk during the cheese-making process, so this type of protein powder may not work for people who follow a plant-based diet or have a lactose allergy. Anyone looking to build muscle will certainly want to consider using whey. It contains many of the essential amino acids your body needs. It can be broken down quickly to aid your body in recovery, making it a great protein powder to use in a shake that you plan to drink before or after the gym.
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Protein Shake Mistake #: Youve Got A One
Once youve invested in a massive tub of protein powder, its only good for shakes, right? Wrong. Constricting yourself to mixing it with milk or water alone means youre missing out on more muscle building and tasty alternatives.
Add it to your meals to get the protein you need, as well as the nutrients. And the earlier, the better. Research from the University of Missouri-Columbia found adding a scoop to your breakfast porridge or cinnamon pancakes will make you less likely to overeat during the day.
Jody Braverman Cpt Fns Ryt
Don’t believe the hype about protein shake benefits. Getting enough protein is key, but gaining muscle mass is mostly about genetics, your training plan and overall nutrition. Protein shakes for muscle gain are convenient, and they may be helpful in some situations, but most people don’t need them.
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You’ll get big only if your genetics, training program and overall diet are conducive to gaining mass. If you need a lot of extra protein and calories, you may find protein shakes for muscle gain helpful and convenient.
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Back To The Earth Protein Smoothie
by Jennifer McDaniel, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD
“This is an excellent post-workout recovery drink. Beets contain nitrate, which increases blood flow to muscles and acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which hold on to water, prolonging hydration and retention of electrolytes, and slowly release carbs for better endurance. Ginger can help relieve muscle soreness and reduce oxidative stress.”
- 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
- 1 slice fresh ginger or 1 tsp dried ginger
Nutrition: 466 calories, 6.5 g fat , 10 mg cholesterol, 316 mg sodium, 677 mg calcium, 73 g carbs, 14 g fiber, 35 g sugars, 35 g protein
by Jennifer McDaniel, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD
“This drink’s base is almond butter, which is rich in satiating protein to power muscles. Mango is packed with vitamins C and A, which promotes immunity and cell growth. Flax seeds’ omega-3 fatty acids improve insulin and glucose metabolism, and some research suggests in can increase blood flow and muscle growth. Turmeric is a strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that’s even been linked to increasing neuroplasticity, which can improve our memory and cognition. Turmeric can be especially be helpful if you’re learning how to master a new skill in your sport it’s also been proven to reduce recovery time and increase endurance and performance.”
by Libby Mills, MS, RDN, LDN
- 1 medium carrot
- 7 oz silken tofu, about 2/5 of a 16 oz package