When it comes to the world of weight loss, starting out can be very intimidating. There are diet plans, workout routines and lifestyle changes dedicated to losing and maintaining a healthy level of weight, each with their own pointers and guidelines. You’ll see many different meal plans and techniques being used, many of which may include drinking protein shakes.
In order to answer our important question, we’re going to break down the basics of protein shakes, their benefits, and their implementation into our daily diets.
What is a Protein Shake?
A protein shake can either come ready-to-buy or in the form of protein powder. It’s a health supplement that provides you with your daily dose of protein. With protein powder, you can have more customizability over your drink and can add other ingredients (like fresh fruit and vegetables) to your liking. Protein shakes help you reach your required daily protein intake if you’re having a hard time reaching it with basic foods. They’re usually additions to smoothie diets and weight loss diets that provide quicker results.
Types of Protein Shakes
This protein is dairy-based and absorbed quickly by the digestive system. It’s not recommended for a vegan diet or for those who are lactose intolerant. Whey protein provides users with all the required amino acids.
This is a plant-based protein powder which both vegetarians and vegans can enjoy. It contains all the vital amino acids, as well as some additional benefits associated with soy.
While this is also a plant-based protein powder, it doesn’t have as many amino acid benefits as soy does.
For people who suffer from allergies to soy and/or wheat, pea protein is a great option. It’s a plant-based protein powder which provides all the required amino acids.
This protein is once again a plant-based powder which has essential amino acids. It also includes omega-3 and omega-6 fats, along with a high arginine level for added health benefits.
Finally, casein protein is another dairy-based protein option. Though it has all the required amino acids that protein contains, it takes much longer to digest than whey.
Why Do We Make Protein Shakes?
Much like the reasoning behind juices and smoothies being preferred, having your required protein in a beverage form is easier to consume than the amount of food you must eat. Most people find it convenient and quicker to whip up a hearty protein shake than concoct a meal-plan every day to help them reach their nutritional goals.
Protein shakes can help people with muscle gain, weight loss or injury recovery, though there is a responsible way to use protein shakes to achieve each of these goals. It’s important to note, however, that protein shakes on their own are not the solution for anything. They should be consumed in moderation, along with a healthy diet and regular exercise to achieve best results.
Benefits of a Protein Shake
There are many benefits of incorporating protein shakes into your diet. You should keep in mind, however, that protein shakes alone do nothing to improve your health, and can even result in weight gain. You’ll ideally want to incorporate daily protein shakes into a healthy diet and active lifestyle to see the results you desire.
Protein is a great partner to people who are actively trying to lose weight. Protein consumption lowers your overall intake of calories, which is beneficial to your weight gain plan. This does not mean, however, that you should simply stop at drinking protein shakes. There is still a level of calories you gain from them, which means drinking too much will only lead to weight gain.
The best approach is to complement daily workouts with your protein shakes. Protein shakes mean you’re consuming less calories, so there are less you need to burn when working out, allowing you to reach your ideal weight quicker.
Protein also helps you burn out your calorie content quicker than carbs or fat, so you’ll have a higher metabolism which allows you to do more. Protein helps you feel fuller, so you won’t resort to binge eating to satisfy your hunger. The less you eat, the less you gain, and healthy protein shakes can keep you full and in shape.
When is the Best Time to Drink a Protein Shake?
Most of the time, you read that the best time of day is in the morning, which is correct. When you have a healthy smoothie or shake in the morning on an empty stomach, your body digests the nutrients quicker and more efficiently, giving you a much-needed health boost bright and early in the morning. It’s also best to get all your routine supplements and shakes out of the way early, so they don’t drag along during the day as pending tasks.
At the same time, many people have discovered that a great time to drink their protein shake is before they go to sleep. If your workout plan is part of your nighttime routine, then it’s better to drink your protein shake at night as well. Your body absorbs the protein better at night after the long workout, and can promote muscle growth while you’re resting.
Protein also helps your body recover naturally from a workout and excessive exertion. Drinking your protein shake before bed gives your body plenty of time to recover from your day’s worth of physical exertion. You won’t get the same results in the morning, since your protein is being digested while you’re still on the go.
Protein shakes are a great way to meet your required daily intake and improve your metabolism levels for overall better results. Having your shake at night allows for a whole 7 to 9 nine hours of recovery, weight loss and muscle growth, which you can reap the benefits of in the morning.
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