Regardless of what you’ve heard about protein shakes, I wanted to set the record straight and help you get started with how you choose what to buy, when to drink them, and how to make them taste great! Look, I’ve been drinking various protein shakes for the past 30 years and have tried pretty much every flavor and type under the sun. I gotta tell ya, you have it easy these days! In my formative years you had to choke down chalky protein that left your mouth dry and innards a sweet mess. It certainly helps when you have an option like Propello Life, which is more like eating an artesian dessert that completes a piece of the healthy lifestyle puzzle (you also have to train properly and eat right to get results).
To start, there is a huge misconception that as long as you take your protein within a half hour post-workout, you’re going to reap the full benefits and ‘get swoll’, right? While protein uptake is fast-tracked immediately after your workout, the window for muscle protein synthesis stays open for roughly 24 hours, according to a 2012 meta-analysis in Nutrition & Metabolism. That means you need to focus on ingesting enough of the macronutrient all day, every day. Yes, that half-hour window is heavily influential but there are 23.5 other hours in the day to consider. Don’t get me wrong; while it IS important, overall supplemental success does NOT come down to a single post-workout window. I can’t stress enough just how important it is consuming sufficient protein each and every day, both workout and rest days, evenly distributed across multiple meals to help optimize repair and growth.
One recent meta-analysis of 22 studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that protein supplementation improves lean body mass and muscle strength, which we know. However, because most of the studies asked participants to consume protein around exercise, researchers concluded that the meta-analysis found that timing does in fact lead to bigger muscle gains. Though, interesting enough, the average protein intake of the participants was low for an active person (about 0.5 grams per pound of body weight) while overall protein supplementation brought that intake up to maximal levels (about 0.9 grams per pound of body weight). Not to discourage, but I conclude that it may be just that consuming more protein over 24 hrs. is what helps, not so much a 20 minute window.
Depending on how much food you are looking to eat every day eating all of that food can get quite expensive. In addition to that, constantly prepping and eating and cleaning up a ton of meals can be a real pain in the butt, which is where Propello Life protein shakes come in! All jokes aside, while I’m a wellness consultant and former professional athlete, the following advice comes from personal experience and suggestions from respected professionals that I trust.
Things to keep in mind when buying a protein powder, in my humble opinion:
To start out, buy 100% whey protein. There are other kinds of protein powders out there– egg protein, hemp protein, but for now, keep it simple and try Propello Life’s amazing Whey Protein!
When buying protein powders, you want to try and buy a product with minimal other ‘stuff.’ What separates Propello Life, in my opinion, is the grade of product it uses, - such as, low carbs, low sugar, low sodium, low calories, low fat, etc. and it tastes delicious! If you’re somebody that just wants to be told WHAT to buy, trust me, grass-fed whey is a great start: (Benefits of grass-fed Whey: https://www.propellolife.com/blogs/news/what-makes-a-great-whey-protein)
Here are three truths you need to know about protein timing:
1. The “magic window” is longer than you think.
Some experts say that you should consume protein 20 minutes post-exercise, while others claim an hour. The reality: You’ve got longer. Recent studies show muscles’ elevated sensitivity to protein lasts at least 24 hours. In fact, one 2012 review study by McMaster University reveals that muscle protein synthesis may continue for 24-48 hours post-workout. According to this same study, the effect is higher immediately after exercise and diminishes over time, but that certainly doesn’t imply a magical window closes after an hour. That means, theoretically, you would want to eat protein right away, but because there’s not a huge post-exercise drop off in muscle protein synthesis, you don’t have to stress and geek-out to go pound a protein shake.
2. Total protein intake matters more
For the average active individual looking to be healthy and lose weight, protein timing won’t make a difference if you don’t meet other nutritional needs first. Researchers note that moderate amounts may more effectively stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Along with consistent workouts, you need to consume an ample amount of protein during the day. Spacing out protein intake maximizes its effects. A 2012 study published in Nutrition & Metabolism found that consuming 20 grams of protein every three hours four times a day was better at helping men build lean body mass than eating protein more often (10 grams of protein eight times a day) or less frequently (40 grams of protein twice a day).
3. Eating before a workout
Though research is mixed, one study in Endocrinology and Metabolism found that consuming 20 grams of whey protein before exercise was just as effective as taking it one hour after exercise. Depending on the size of a meal, amino acid, glucose, and insulin levels in your blood peak anywhere from one to three hours after eating, your muscles’ “absorptive state” where they’re most receptive to protein. After that, it takes 3 to 6 hours for those blood levels to fall back down to baseline. That’s a big window. So if it’s more convenient, you can eat a protein-rich meal within 1 or 2 hours pre-workout and benefit. If your schedule doesn’t allow for eating pre-workout or you avoid it because it hurts your stomach, it’s not a big deal, just make sure you eat something after.
For some really good recipes on tasty protein shakes, visit www.propellolife.com, visit @propello_life on Instagram, or visit @propellolife on Facebook!
About the Author:
Bestselling Author & Consultant
Founder & CEO of MIND BODY LIFE