Do Protein Shakes Work?
Our lack of knowledge about protein shakes can lead us to associate this beverage with professional bodybuilders. The truth is, that while yes, these professionals do consume protein shakes, the shakes are not the reason that they are full of muscle mass. In fact, protein shakes serve many other purposes.
What are protein shakes and what are they for?
Protein shakes are food supplements, that is, powdered foods, but they stand out mainly for their high protein content and low fat levels. When you exercise, your muscles suffer a series of tears and need to regenerate. This is done with protein.
When might you need protein shakes? The main problem that could lead you to consume protein shakes is when you combine exercise with a hypocaloric diet, that does not meet your daily caloric requirement. This can make your muscles disappear because they will try to feed on other nutrients that will not allow them to develop.
It is estimated that we should consume around 8 grams of protein, per kilo of our body weight. However, this amount might be too small if you exercise regularly or want to gain muscle mass. This is true not just for men who want to build muscles, but also for women who wish to tone their bodies.
Protein shakes are excellent in order to make up for the protein that your regular diet might not provide. It has actually been shown that our bodies receive these protein drinks much better and digest them much faster.
However, this does not mean that you should replace your food with these shakes. Far from it, in fact. They should only serve as a complement that will provide your body with the nutrients it requires, and help to accelerate your metabolism.
When to consume protein shakes
There are two times of the day when your body will require a higher than normal dose of protein: in the morning after getting up, and after exercising. In the morning, after several hours of rest and without eating, your body has been subsisting on whatever it has found. Of course, if you practice a healthy diet, your body won’t have found fats and sugars. Instead, it would have found and used protein.
If you are one of those people who have no problem with eating breakfast in the morning and can just get up and get your protein intake by eating turkey, cheese, eggs, or tuna then protein shakes are not necessary. However, the shakes are a good way to have a liquid breakfast for people who have no time or desire to consume a full meal. You can accompany the shake with banana, oatmeal, or both.
The other moment of the day when your body needs a lot of protein is right after exercise. As we said before, your muscles will require a greater amount of protein in order to regenerate, and the shakes can provide it. In addition, if you want to lose weight, the shakes have a satiating effect and will reduce the feeling of hunger after exercise.
If you workout at night, and therefore drink protein shakes at night, you do not need to drink it in the morning, because the dose will be enough. If at any time of the day you do not have much of an appetite, you can substitute a meal for one of these shakes and it will give you the necessary energy. However, you must make sure not to make this a common occurrence. Do not play around with your health, it is the most important thing!
Which protein shakes to choose
On the market, there are different brands and flavors of shakes. Everything will depend on your tastes, needs, and budget. The most important thing to keep in mind is what the amount of protein shake will provide you with, per dose. The shakes that are made from whey are the most complete, because they can reach up to 90 per cent protein.
Keep in mind that in order for a shake to be effective, it should not exceed five grams of carbohydrates per hundred grams of shake. You must also take special care with fats, because since the protein basically comes from the milk whey, it is possible that you may end up consuming more fat than you should. As with carbohydrates, the amount of fats should not exceed five grams per hundred.
Yes, protein shakes do work, but they are not miraculous and you should not use them incorrectly or as a quick diet to lose weight. Seeing the results from taking protein shakes is a long-term process.
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