Protein shakes are an integral part of any workout regimen and the most common nutritional supplement. Protein is a natural part of your diet. It’s found in meat, eggs, fish, poultry, among other foods. Sometimes getting protein through these foods can be a burden and take up a lot of your time. Most people can’t make a meal immediately post-workout. Therefore, these ready-to-drink shakes are really your best alternative. There are many forms of protein like whey, casein, egg, soy, and other types. They all have unique benefits when it comes to muscle growth and general health. However, whey protein is perhaps the most important since it’s relativity hard to get in natural foods. Whey protein is the fastest digested protein and the protein most needed immediately after a workout. Whey protein is a by-product during the production of cheese, and it has the highest known levels of branched chain amino acids of any natural food source. Protein shakes are taken directly after a workout to give your body the nutrients to quickly recover. Protein shakes have a wide range of benefits when it comes to muscle building and general health. Consider adding protein shakes to your diet, especially whey protein. The best time to consume protein shakes are for your pre and post-workout meal. You should have one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day and consume 30-50 grams of protein during each meal.
Protein Shakes Can Help Build and Maintain Muscle
Protein is the body’s main building block for muscle. Your muscles are largely composed of protein. Your muscles are approximately 2/3 composed of water. After that, the next most plentiful component in muscle cells is protein. Protein makes up roughly 20 percent of your muscle cell composition. Thus, you’ll need a steady supply of protein in your body in order to continue to develop and build these cells and to increase muscle growth. In addition, when your exercise, you are tearing your muscle fibers. As a result, your body will attempt to repair those damaged cells so they can grow even more. When you supply your body with protein, it is better able to repair and rebuild those damaged muscle fibers stronger and bigger than before. When you finish your workout, you have about a one-hour window of opportunity for protein synthesis. The traditionally referenced Esmark et al. (2001) study showed that consuming a post workout meal just 2 hours after working out actually prevented any improvements induced by exercise. After you complete your workout, your muscles are like a sponge looking to refill its stores of protein and glucose that was used during training. Carbohydrates can be absorbed in the body rather quickly. However, protein can take much longer, which is why you need to rely on whey protein. if you wait too long, this protein may not be used properly in your muscles and can actually be converted to fat and stored.
Protein Shakes Contain Antioxidants
Whey protein is a powerful antioxidant in the body, which can boost the immune system, and clean the body of many toxins. Whey protein contains the amino acid cysteine, which can be used to make glutathione. A study published in International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, suggested that large amounts of whey protein can increase cellular glutathione levels. Glutathione is an antioxidant that defends the body against free radical damage and some toxins, and studies in animals have suggested that milk proteins might reduce the risk of cancer. Antioxidants also have healing properties, which means you are less susceptible to common injuries. In addition, these antioxidants also decrease pain or inflammation in injury prone areas.
Protein Shakes Can Suppress Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is a hormone that is linked to many different medical conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and anxiety. Whey protein is composed of the amino acid known as tryptophan. Tryptophan plays a role in producing chemical messengers in the brain, or neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, according to the Franklin Institute. These neurotransmitters are responsible for appetite, mood, sleep and relaxation, which hinder the production of cortisol.
Protein Shakes Can Control Weight Gain
Replacing certain meals with protein shakes can reduce your daily calories, which help you lose or control your weight. If you consume protein shakes on a regular basis, you will notice that your weight has become more balanced. However, you should never rely on protein shakes as the foundation of your diet but rather as a supplement. If you rely on protein shakes to replace regular meals, you can miss out on the nutritional benefits of whole foods. Nevertheless, if you replace a meal or two a day with a protein shake, you may notice that you are exceptionally leaner.