Protein Shakes | Strength in a Bottle?
Protein shakes are a common beverage in any gym across the country. What exactly is it that they love about this magical, protein-filled drink?
If you've hung around the gym for quite some time, you might have noticed several people carrying a tumbler full of protein shake. Most of us would probably associate protein shakes with people who take fitness too seriously. Some of us may even believe that protein shakes and exercise alone are what make you more muscular.
With so many misconceptions about this beverage, let's dive deeper into what protein shakes are all about, and what exactly their place should be in your diet.
What are Protein Shakes?
Protein shakes are liquid drinks made by mixing protein powder and water. It is typically composed of whey, casein, or soy, as well as artificial flavors such as chocolate, vanilla — or for the more adventurous palettes, strawberry. Protein shakes typically act as an alternative for people who have a limited source of high-quality protein to consume.
After all, a single burger or steak alone won't account for all of your protein needs, let alone the fast-food versions of them.
What are the benefits of Protein Shakes?
A protein shake is a healthy option between your meals — either as a snack or around your workout. They are consumed for a variety of purposes and reasons.
Easy Addition to Diet
Unlike other protein-rich foods that have to be prepared or processed, protein shakes are much more convenient to add to your diet. Of course, it's no replacement for protein from food, but it will help you acquire the necessary RDI (Reference Daily Intake) of protein for your body.
Protein has been shown to be effective at curbing one's hunger. High amounts of protein during and after meals can significantly reduce the number of calories you consume.
Protein also has a pronounced effect on weight loss. Due to the decreased appetite and increased nutrition to the muscles, you will have an easier time losing weight.
Protein shakes can help your muscles burn calories faster and more efficiently. This is because protein is a complex compound — your body needs more energy to break them down for your muscles to use.
Stops Muscle Degeneration
Even if you miss a day or two of exercise, protein shakes will help prevent muscle degeneration. Even on these days off, the extra protein toughens the muscles.
Best Way to Drink
Protein shakes are called supplements for a reason. They exist to supplement your diet, not to be responsible for all of it all on their own. Therefore, make sure to eat your regular meals and the correct portion sizes.
For best results, protein shakes should be consumed after a workout. Some experts suggest drinking within 30 minutes of your post-workout period.
To prepare a protein shake, simply get pour cold water into your container and follow the instructions for your particular brand of protein shake. Using cold water is better than hot water because it tends to make protein powder clump together.
Make sure though, that it is from a reputable brand, as some off-brand protein shakes have been shown to have a near-zero effect on muscle growth.
Ultimately, protein shakes are not magical strength potions that will instantly give you muscles. A daily, disciplined effort is still essential if you want to see the results of all that extra protein you're packing into your diet!