Choose Your Weapon Er Protein
Its pretty easy to add protein shakes to your routine for weight loss.
The first step, of course, is to decide what type of protein youll use. Vegan or vegetarian? You have plenty of options, like soy, rice, pea, or hemp. For nearly everyone else, whey is a fine starting point.
Next, you need to decide if youll be making your own shakes or buying premade. If you buy premade, be prepared to shell out a little more dough. If youre going to make them, youll need a blender or a blender bottle and other ingredients for the shake, like milk or plant-based milk.
Youll also need to know your daily protein needs. Protein needs vary considerably based on many factors including age, body composition, and health.
Most people need 20 to 25 percent of their calories to come from protein thats about 0.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight . To calculate this, multiply your weight by 0.5 if using pounds or by 1 if using kilograms.
Also, more is not always better! Excess protein can be taxing for the kidneys in people with preexisting kidney disease. Plus, your body will excrete excess amino acids the building blocks of protein and will store excess protein as fat.
If youre slamming several protein shakes a day, youre making some really expensive pee, and you may be sabotaging your weight loss goals.
Eating too little often leads to bingeing and rebound weight gain, so its better to make small changes that will result in lasting weight loss.
Do Drink Protein Shakes If You Work Out In The Morning
Many fitness gurus recommend drinking a protein shake before exercising if youre trying to build muscle. Protein shakes for breakfast can help provide extra strength to push you through a workout and build more muscle. However, its also important to consume carbohydrates before a workout as carbs are converted to glycogen, which is essential to powering your body. While many people are tempted to try carb-free diets to lose weight, this can be detrimental to your overall health because of your bodys need for glycogen. Avoid so-called empty carbs like white bread and foods with refined sugars, opting instead for nutritious carbs found in wheat bread, quinoa or sweet potatoes.
Protein Shake Mistake #: Youre Making A Meal Of It
There are too many guys who think all protein is created equal and are swapping for shakes. Dont be one of them. It might be quick to take, but a high calorie smoothie is unlikely to fill you up and wont give you as many nutrients as a proper meal, says Baptie. Plus, a full course means your body has to work harder to break down the food so you use up more calories in the digestion process.
If your busy work day makes it too tempting to trade in a meal for a whey shake, then prep your lunchtime the night before. Focus on things like fish, chicken, turkey, beef for the best protein. Theyve got far more nutrients to keep you full, says Baptie. Thats right, investing in some foil, Tupperware and a Mexican tuna salad could be a key step to a chiselled core.
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It Can Help With Post
Not only is a protein shake good for your muscles, but it can aid you in post-workout recovery. Having protein at least 30 minutes after a workout helps to feed your muscles and repair muscle tissues.
“Foods like protein bars or smoothies/ready-to-drink-shakes can be great options for snacks, especially post-workout snacks to help ensure you get the protein you need to start post-workout recovery,” Goodson.
” is super important after a workout to fuel your muscles,” says Simeone. “We always say it’s best to feed your muscles within 30 minutes of your workout. Additionally, protein plays a key role in producing antibodies needed for immune function, important enzymes, and hormones that boost your mood and more!”
Can You Drink Protein Shake Every Day
Depending on the goals you have in mind, you can take protein shakes every day. If your plan is to put on some weight, then you can have a shake every day, though working out will better the results.
However, if your plan is to gain muscle, drinking protein shake without exercise will do you no good. The disadvantages of drinking protein shake without exercise far outweigh the benefits.
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Builds And Preserves Muscles
Drinking a protein shake at bedtime enhances overnight Muscle Protein Synthesis , a biochemical process crucial for building muscle mass. Our muscles constantly go through a cycle of MPS and MPB , but prolonged resistance training accelerates MPB. Pre-sleep protein ingestion helps maintain a positive protein balance during this cycle, which is required for muscle building.
When you are sleeping, chances of stimulating your muscle growth may decrease, leading to MBP. However, if you have enough protein in your body before you go to bed, it improves your chances of preserving and building muscle at rest.
Amino acids present in protein are the building blocks of muscle mass. There may be a scarcity of amino acids in your body when you work out more. If you arent balancing it out with a high-protein diet, a protein shake before bed can help.
Why Protein Is So Vital
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains that there are 20 different amino acids that together make up the proteins we need for the structure of every cell, tissue and organ. Some of these can’t be made by the human body, so they are known as essential amino acids that is, it’s essential that the diet provides them.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, any time your body is growing or repairing itself, protein is needed. The nutrient also helps:
- Fight infection
- Carry fats, vitamins, minerals and oxygen around the body
- Keep body fluids in balance
- Clot blood
The British Nutrition Foundation adds that protein tends to make people feel fuller than carbohydrates or fat. Getting plenty of the nutrient may therefore make it easier to control your calorie intake.
How much is the right amount? According to the Cleveland Clinic, adults require 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight . However, very active people need more. Endurance athletes require 1.2 to 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight and strength athletes require 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
This means if you weigh 140 pounds , you could need as little as 50 grams of protein if you aren’t active, or as much as 108 grams if you pump a lot of iron.
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Can Protein Shakes Make You Bloated
Protein shakes can sometimes cause bloating, especially if you’re not used to drinking them. This is because they can cause the body to produce more gas than usual.
If you find that you’re getting bloated after drinking a protein shake, try drinking it more slowly or mixing it with water instead of milk. You can also try adding a probiotic to your shake, which can help reduce bloating.
What You Should Do
McManus says that in certain cases, chemical-free protein powders may be helpfulbut only with medical supervision. Such cases could include
- difficulty eating or an impaired appetite
- a surgical incision or a pressure wound that is not healing well
- a serious condition requiring additional calories and protein in order for you to get better .
Otherwise, get protein from whole foods: nuts, seeds, low-fat dairy products , legumes , fish, poultry, eggs, and lean meat. “You’ll find,” McManus says, “that there are many ways to get protein without turning to a powder.”
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Should You Increase Your Protein Before Or After A Workout
One study compared the effects of consuming protein either before or after a workout on muscle strength and size.
The researchers split 21 men into two groups, both of which received a protein shake containing 25 grams of protein. One group received it immediately before their workout, while the other group received it immediately after it .
Everyone completed a full-body workout 3 times per week for 10 weeks.
Interestingly, the study found no significant differences in muscle strength or size between the groups. These results suggest that as long as you consume protein around your workout, it doesnt matter whether its before or after training.
Therefore, you can choose which time you prefer or is most convenient for you.
Whether you drink a protein shake before or after your workout may not affect muscle strength or size.
When it comes to maximizing muscle and strength gains, research on the importance of consuming protein around your workouts is mixed.
Some research has questioned whether consuming protein around your workout is even necessary (
Therefore, how much protein you consume per day is likely more important than when you consume it for gaining muscle size and strength.
The total amount of protein you consume each day is more important for muscle growth and strength than the timing of your intake.
Does The Anabolic Window Matter
Many people believe drinking a protein shake within 30 minutes of exercise will maximize their results in the gym.
This 30-minute window, commonly known as the anabolic window, is a short period of time during which your muscles are like a sponge for protein.
The thought is that if you consume protein outside of the anabolic window, your body wont effectively utilize it or build muscle .
Research now suggests that this anabolic window of opportunity is much longer than 30 minutes and may not be limited to solely after exercise .
In fact, it may not matter whether you drink a protein shake before or after your workout in terms of optimizing muscle repair and growth.
It was previously believed that protein had to be consumed within 30 minutes of a workout for your body to use it. Recent research suggests that this may not be the case.
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Are Protein Shakes A Good Source Of Energy And Nutrients
A high-quality protein shake is an excellent source of energy and nutrients. The three macronutrients include fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Carbohydrates and fats are more controversial ingredients, but protein is widely regarded as an important nutrient. Research shows that protein is the most filling. You need less protein to feel full compared to the other macronutrients. Research also shows that protein increases muscle mass and strength. According to one study, for people who are losing weight, a high-protein intake can prevent muscle loss. High-protein intake boosts your metabolism and increases the calories you burn.
The ideal amount of protein for you will depend on a variety of factors. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, you have relatively low daily protein requirements: 56 grams for men and 46 grams for women. People who are trying to lose weight should aim to get at least 30% of their calories from protein. If you consume 1500 calories a day, that means that 450 of those calories should come from protein. That works out to be 112 grams of protein. There is a lack of consensus among researchers concerning the ideal amount of protein for building muscle. Consuming 0.7-1 gram per pound of body weight is recommended based on the existing research. Based on this recommendation, someone who weighs 180 pounds should eat between 126 and 180 grams of protein
What Is Whey Protein
Whey protein refers to a group of eight proteins found in milk. These proteins, in order from the biggest to smallest amounts in milk, are:
Manufacturers add enzymes to milk in the cheese-making process. The enzymes curdle the milk, which separates the liquid whey from milks solid curds. The curds, which contain most of the milks fat, are the main ingredient in cheese.
When the solid curds are removed, youre left with watery whey protein, which has varying amounts of lactose and fat. Usually, manufacturers pasteurize the whey to kill bacteria and then dry it. Voila! Whey protein powder.
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What Happens To Your Body When You Drink Protein Shakes Every Day
After a challenging workout, a protein shake almost always sounds like a good idea. It’s tasty, fuels the muscles, and leaves your body feeling satisfied. But what if you work out every single day and find yourself enjoying protein shakes just as often? Is it even healthy to drink protein shakes every day?
While there are a lot of health benefits to consuming protein shakes, we spoke with two registered dietitians about the importance of protein and what will happen to your body if you drink protein shakes every day. Or even just consume protein powders or protein-enhanced products. Here’s what they had to say, and for more healthy eating tips, check out our list of 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.
Protein Absorption: Practical Takeaways
The process of protein absorption might be complicated, but theres no need to overcomplicate your nutritional approach.
Keep these takeaways in mind, and you cant go wrong:
- Theres no upper limit to how much protein your body can absorb, and excess protein does not end up in feces.
- While researchers havent discovered a definite upper limit where per-meal protein intake maximizes muscle-growth, it may be as high as 40-70 grams, or more.
- Match your protein source to your immediate need: whey protein post-workout, versus whole food protein sources at other meals .
- 40 grams of whey protein post-workout is more effective than 20 grams, regardless of your size
- According to some researchers, 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight daily is the maximum needed for muscle growth.
- However, natural bodybuilders often use up to 1.6 grams per pound of body weight daily, and bodybuilders like Dave Henry eat up to 2.5 grams per pound of body weight daily per day.
- Consuming 1.6 grams of protein per pound of body weight each day is safe, at least for moderate durations.
Also, keep in mind that your daily calorie intake is just as important as your protein intake–whether your goal is to gain muscle or shed fat.
In other words, if youre having trouble reaching your goals, dont leave daily calories out of the equation.
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How Much Protein Do You Need Per Day
Protein is an essential macronutrient that helps with various bodily functions. For example, it helps build and repair tissues, makes enzymes and hormones, and provides the structure for our bones and muscles.
Not to mention, it also aids in satiety , making it a great nutrient to help with weight loss or maintenance. So when is the best time to drink a protein shake? Let’s find out.
There are different schools of thought when it comes to what time of day is best to consume protein. Some people believe that it’s best to eat protein first thing in the morning, while others think that post-workout is the ideal time.
Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of each time, so you can decide what works best for you.
Consuming protein first thing in the morning has been shown to help with weight loss. One study showed that those who ate protein for breakfast consumed fewer calories throughout the day.
Another study found that those who ate protein for breakfast felt fuller and had less desire to snack later in the day. If you’re trying to lose weight or cut down on snacking, eating protein in the morning may be a good option for you.
On the other hand, some people believe that consuming protein post-workout is ideal, as it helps with muscle recovery. A 2013 study found that those who drank a protein shake after their workout had greater muscle gain than those who didn’t.
So, if you’re looking to build muscle, drinking protein post-workout may be the best option for you.
What Type Of Protein Is Best
The primary types of protein powders are whey, casein, pea, rice, and soy. Casein, soy, and whey are the only complete protein sources, containing all essential amino acids. Theres little to differentiate the benefits of casein, soy, and whey, though casein is the most researched.
Choose a high-quality protein powder, ideally one that is fermented and vegetarian-based, as many people react to whey and lactose in traditional protein powders. When a protein powder is fermented it increases its digestibility and absorbability in the intestinal system, says Brittany Ford, Registered Holistic Nutritionist. Use high-quality ingredients to go with it like full-fat coconut milk, organic greens like spinach, and low-sugar fruit like berries. You can also add a scoop of protein powder to yogurt for a snack if you dont want to drink a protein shake.
Casein is commonly recommended because the body metabolizes it slowly, meaning it increases MPS for a longer period of time. It can also improve your energy and keep you satiated throughout the day. Whey, on the other hand, absorbs quickly, thus having a shorter MPS period.
Soy, pea, and rice are plant-based protein options if you are lactose intolerant, vegetarian, or vegan. However, soy is the only plant-based option containing all essential amino acids and it has a slow absorption rate.
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You Could Be Consuming Toxins And Heavy Metals
While protein shakes do help with muscle growth and can be an easy source of protein for those who aren’t getting all those amino acids, be careful: Most protein powders contain heavy toxins and metals, including lead. This is due to the way the protein is grown and manufactured, and if you consume too much, you can experience high levels of toxins in your system.
“Anyone who takes a protein powder, or any supplement, needs to do their research and choose a third-party tested supplement,” says Goodson. She recommends the NSF Certified for Sport and Informed Choice. The Clean Label Project is also a great third-party source that does frequent testing of products.
“This can help minimize the risk that protein powders and supplements are laced with other ingredients than what is on the label,” says Goodson. “While it may not be a 100% guarantee, it is very close and weeds out those supplements at higher risk.”