People turn to protein shakes for a wide range of reasons like losing weight, gaining muscle, recovering from injury, or just to get more protein into their diet. You can get protein from sources like meat, dairy, legumes, and eggs, but protein powders and shakes can also be a convenient, easy, and delicious way to consume your protein.
Protein shakes are considered a dietary supplement that can help you reach your protein target levels. Some wonder about the best time for protein shakes and if post workout protein or pre workout protein is better. Looking at the reasons for taking protein can help you answer the questions on when should you drink protein shakes.
Protein shakes got their hold in the athletic world when people started using them to increase muscle mass and improve performance in sports or at the gym. Adding protein shakes after your resistance training can help your muscles grow and help you perform better and recover faster.
Resistance training and high-quality protein both stimulate muscle protein synthesis, so using them together helps even more. Protein shakes also have amino acids which will increase the level in your bloodstream and help muscle synthesis even further.
Protein shakes may even help you gain muscle if you are also trying to lose weight with a specific diet. Adding strength and cardio training in addition to having a high protein diet can help increase muscle mass despite losing weight.
There are many different ways to lose weight, but high protein diets are one avenue to take. Protein influences the production of hormones that are involved in feeling hungry and controlling appetite.
By increasing the levels of hormones that reduce hunger, the contents of your stomach are not emptied as quickly so you feel full for longer. This in conjunction with a reduction in hormone levels that make you feel hungry mean more weight loss over time.
High protein diets also lead to an increase in energy expenditure by increasing your metabolism. Burning more calories and processing your food more effectively will help you in your weight loss goals.
A lot of people struggle to lose fat around their stomachs, but a high protein diet might help with this as well. Protein intake helps to promote fat oxidation during fat loss. Having too much fat around your midsection can lead to diabetes and heart disease, so promoting weight loss in that area is important.
When Should You Drink Protein Shakes?
When it comes to post workout protein or pre workout protein it can be hard to know the best time for protein shakes. There are some different things to consider when thinking about when to work a protein shake into your schedule. Here are some things to consider when making the choice that is best for you.
In order to have an effective workout, you need to eat one or two hours before going to the gym. If you workout on an empty stomach, you will burn fat, but it will be harder to build muscle as you will not have enough energy to push through to a harder level of workout.
While protein is important before an especially hard workout to get your muscles ready, a carb load for increased energy will actually be better. Carbs mixed with a protein source are especially good for hard workouts. Aim for 2 grams of carbs for every 1 gram of protein. A good starting point is 30-40 grams of carbs to 15-20 grams of protein. The only thing to consider is that you don’t want to eat too close to a workout or you will feel too full to put in the effort you need to see results.
Part way through your workout, you may find that you need a little pick up in your energy levels. Having something on hand to give you that boost can help you power through and keep going to the end of your workout. BCAA powders are easy to take and digest. They can help you fight fatigue and help you increase fat oxidation.
After a workout is when protein shakes are going to shine. Within a couple hours after your workout, you should have some protein intake to help your muscles recover and perform better at your next workout. It will help them take the workout you just did and turn it into muscle gains. The faster you get protein in your system, the faster you will begin to recover.
Protein shakes can help repair and rebuild muscle tissues that were broken down during your workout. They are also easier to digest than a full meal, so you will get the benefits sooner. You may not even have an appetite right after working out, so this will help you get going on that protein intake without eating. It will also help you battle dehydration which can be a problem after a workout.
Picking A Protein Shake
It is important to find a company who provides protein powder and shakes with only the best ingredients. They should leave out all the hidden bad ingredients and additives sometimes found in protein shakes. Finding a company that uses the best manufacturing processes will help you know you are getting the best for your body.
You should think about the different types of protein when considering which one to use. Whey protein is one of the most popular and is great for daily use. It has essential amino acids and is easy to digest. It can also help boost your energy levels while reducing stress levels.
Vegan protein is another common choice. It is plant based and great for anyone looking for a vegan or vegetarian option. Vegan protein is free of animal products, lactose free, and typically higher in fiber for better gut health. It will also help you build bone mass and fight osteoporosis.
Diets high in protein are shown to help build muscle, promote a lean body, and lose fat. Protein powders are a convenient and easy method to help increase your daily protein intake, and can be consumed before or after a workout when eating a meal may not be desirable.
But not all protein powders are the same quality, so it is very important to do your research to find the best option for you.