Reasons to have a protein shake
If you work out, then you should be thinking about supplements and in particular protein or protein shakes. As soon as I mention these to any of my clients the first response I always get is ‘I don’t want to get bulky’, or ‘I don’t want to look all muscly’ .So here is a blog about why you should have these in your nutritional plan if you put your body through any kind of training regime.
Proteins are the building blocks of our bodies, from cells, to tissue, muscles and organs, you name it and it’s formed by protein, including skin, muscles, hair and nails. It has some of the most important uses in the body including enzymes for controlling the body’s reactions and hormones to control bodily functions, so it’s important for us to make sure we are getting enough, especially if we are undergoing any training. But as well as being used as building blocks there are some other great reasons to include a shake into your meal plan.
Protein supplements can actually help with fat loss; here are 4 ways it does this:
1. It helps retain lean muscle…..Now don’t read this as it BUILDS muscle. To build muscle you need to train extremely hard and take on a lot of calories as well as a large amount of protein. Having a shake after a workout will help to repair any muscle damage you have done (from the microcellular tearing training creates) which in turn improves strength and muscle tone and has been shown to aid recovery. Keeping skeletal muscle will help to increase your daily resting metabolism (therefore burning more calories on a daily basis) and help you to increase strength and fitness.
2. Protein helps to promote satiety, it makes you feel full for longer. Studies by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have shown that people consuming a protein based breakfast were fuller longer, subsequently made fewer bad food choices and snacked less after. This also makes it a good snack or small meal replacement when you are hungry or have a sweet tooth.
3. It also helps to stabilise insulin levels in the body. When eaten with or before carbs (especially in the morning when our stomachs are empty), it slows the absorption of the carbohydrates in turn preventing any insulin spike which can lead to fat storage.
4. Consuming protein shakes can promote fat loss. Protein shakes contain Leucine, a branch chain amino acid, and increased levels of consumption of this has been shown to increase fat burning (The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness)
As well as fat loss, protein shakes can also have a variety of health benefits including:
Boosting your immune system. Proteins form antibodies and help the processes of the reaction of your immune system, keeping you healthy and fighting against bacteria, disease and viruses.
Soy protein can help to improve cholesterol levels
Forming healthy hair and nails
Protein supplements can be basically broken down into 3 groups:
1. Whey Protein. This is a by-product from the cheese making process, so is a dairy derived protein. It is popular because it has a high Biological Value (BV – the proportion of protein we can incorporate into our bodies) as well as being quickly absorbed by the body, which makes it perfect for those post workout shakes.
2. Protein Blends – These are what they say on the tin, a blend of usually 2 or 3 different types of protein with different properties. Whey, Casein and egg white. Casein is another dairy sourced protein but is a slow release protein which helps in preventing muscle break down (catabolism). Egg white protein, again an extremely high BV and low fat source.
3. Soy/ vegan protein perfect for those unable to consume dairy derived protein and egg whites but want to increase protein consumption.
These different types of protein are good for different situations, but basically whey is best used directly after a workout or for an instant protein hit in the morning and a blend is best used either for breakfast (or snack/ meal replacement) as it will keep you feeling full longer, at night time to slowly release the protein while you sleep or for a pre workout shake, to drip you protein during the workout as well as an energy boost.
Protein supplements are just that… a supplement, to be used in conjunction with a healthy and protein rich diet, but they are an inexpensive, quick and easy way to get that extra protein into your diet in a convenient manner, perfect for that early source for breakfast. So don’t be put off by images of bulging muscles, vein popping biceps or women who look like they are about to explode, protein supplements are of great use to everyone.
For more details on when and how to use protein shakes, smoothie recipes, ways to add to your food or good brands to use, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul @ myfitnesspro
myfitnesspro – personal training in Epping, Theydon Bois, Loughton, Chigwell, Buckhurst Hill, Highams Park, Chingford, Woodford, South Woodford, Grange Hill, Woodford Bridge, Wanstead, Leytonstone, Walthamstow, Stratford, Bow, Mile End, Canary Wharf, Canning Town, Docklands, E1, E2, E3, E4, E5, E8, E9, E10, E11, E14, E15, E17, E18, IG7, IG8, IG9, IG10 and all areas in between