The benefits of drinking protein shakes
Protein shakes are a convenient way to increase your intake of protein, which is needed to support muscle growth and a host of other bodily functions.
Protein plays an essential role in muscle growth, repair and normal function, forming enzymes and hormones, transmitting nerve impulses throughout the body and protecting immune function.
During exercise, stress placed on the body results in protein breakdown. Replacing protein after exercise allows muscles to rebuild and recover.
What are the benefits of protein powder?
Whey, casein and milk-based protein powders are essentially the best parts of milk, with carbohydrates and fats removed. They allow you to increase your protein intake without vastly increasing your intake of other macronutrients, which can help to boost athletic performance, improve muscle tone and increase overall health
What are the different types of protein?
Whey protein: The most commonly used type of protein in protein powders. It is absorbed by the body very quickly and easily and is ideal to be drunk post-workout.
Casein Protein: Rich in glutamine, an amino acid that aids recovery, and the slowest to digest, making it ideal before bed as it can deliver essential nutrients throughout the night.
Soy Protein: Contains all essential amino acids and is a great alternative for vegetarians or vegans.
Egg Protein: Is a lactose and dairy-free protein powder that has a medium speed digestion rate, and offers high levels of the essential amino acid lysine.
Pea Protein: If you’re following a vegan diet or just trying to cut down on animal foods, pea protein is a great option. The protein quality of one pea is actually similar to that of eggs and soy, which are considered complete sources. Pea protein is also a really good source of arginine, an amino acid your body requires in order to build muscle.
Hemp Protein: Also great for vegans, or anyone who suffers from dairy allergies like lactose intolerance that may stop them drinking whey or casein. Hemp is one of the few plant-based proteins to contain all eight essential amino acids, too. It’s packed with live enzymes, Essential Fatty Acids, vitamins, minerals and other co-factors to aid absorption and digestion.
Without adequate protein, training hard will leave your muscles with a deficit of the building blocks they need to recover, which means you’ll never build new fibres.
There’s a lot of debate as to the ideal amount of protein to consume on a daily basis; each individual needs to work out their body’s specific need.
How much protein should I consume?
The traditional recommendation for muscle building is 0.7 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day.
This would mean the average man of, say, 170lbs (rounded down to 12 stone) needs 119 grams of protein per day if he is to undertake a heavy weights program with the aim of gaining muscle.
That’s the equivalent of:
Chicken Breast x 2 (60g) Egg x 3 (18g) Steak (6oz): 40g
Why use protein shakes?
Protein shakes are a helpful, convenient solution and best used as part of your overall health and fitness efforts, which will include planning the correct training phases, training intensity, consistency, adequate rest periods, and, of course, a nutritional program matched to your current goals.