Why Should I Take Protein Shakes?

“Why should I take protein shakes?”

Protein Shakes

photo credit: las – initially via photopin cc

This is a question I get multiple times a week from people starting out at the gym, whether they’re trying to lose weight or get bigger. Taking protein shakes can be beneficial for people with either goal. There are many articles out there on this topic but they are almost overwhelming & hard to understand due to all the medical jargon written in them. Let me try to simplify it to get the point across.

To those of you lifting weights [to tone up or bulk up]:

When you lift weights, you are literally tearing your muscles. Every contraction and rep especially as you get closer to failure is putting small tears throughout the muscles you’re working [hence, why you get sore]. After you finish your workout, your body is attempting to repair these tears & over-compensate by building more muscle [protein synthesis], so it is very receptive to what you take in. If you don’t consume a protein shake [preferably whey, post-workout], this process will be substantially slower because your body isn’t getting what it is craving. Taking a protein shake will make recovery much faster, which means you can be in the gym tearing up that same muscle group again sooner.

Best times to drink protein shakes: Along with breakfast, post workout, before bed [casein]

“Isn’t eating some chicken good enough?”

I always run into people who claim they get enough protein from solid food, and comments like “You should see how much protein I eat after my workouts”. The problem is that your body has to break down those whole foods & it’s just too slow of a digestion process when you have this critical time to get your body what it needs. A liquid protein will be absorbed faster and shuttled to the muscles that need it.

To those trying to lose weight:

Protein shakes will be beneficial for the same reasons of reducing soreness and healing muscles faster. But even if your main focus is dieting and you aren’t exercising much, a protein shake can be a meal replacement with many benefits. Going with a blended protein, can satisfy your hunger now and keep you full for nearly just as long as a whole food meal can. It is also a much lower calorie choice than most foods you’d reach for and almost a guaranteed lower carb choice [carbs are the enemy when dieting].

Best times to drink protein: Along with breakfast, post workout, substitute a meal if you’re in a hurry, nighttime snack, mid-day snack

 Thanks for reading!

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