Benefits of Protein Shakes For Your Health And Fitness
While no supplement can replace a diet of whole, natural, unprocessed foods, protein shakes can come in handy when you feel you are on a tight schedule, enjoy a go-easy lifestyle and probably lost the motivation to prepare whole meals.
An overview of protein shakes
Protein shakes refer to some form of protein powder (most commonly, whey protein powder) that is combined with liquid and often other ingredients, then blended into a drink and consumed after a workout or as a meal replacement.
Over the years, it has become a household name among bodybuilders and fitness experts who take pride in alluding to its ability to enhance their exercise and diet goals.
This, however, goes without saying that protein shakes are quite beneficial in a number of ways.
Let’s quickly have a rundown of some of them below.
Benefits of Protein Shakes
Whether you are an athlete, a bodybuilder or someone simply looking to supplement his diet or even enhance strength during exercise regimen. Below are some of the benefits of taking protein shakes.
- Benefits to bodybuilders
Protein Shakes has grown very popular among body builders and this goes without gainsaying that the benefits are enormous.
Protein is used for the production of muscles. Without an adequate amount of protein our muscles wouldn't heal up as quickly and could therefore lead to overtraining your muscle which could lead to injury.
Proteins are also used to manufacture hormones, enzymes, cellular messengers, nucleic acids, and immune-system components.
Without adequate protein, your body can't put together the structures that make up every cell, tissue, and organ, nor can it generate the biochemical substances needed for cardiovascular function, muscle contraction, growth, and healing.
Following an intense workout, it can be best to take a protein shake. This would require less time to digest and break down the proteins into amino acids and finally send it to the muscles, where the enormous benefits are felt.
- · Weight loss Benefits
Protein shakes can indeed be used for muscle gain and for weight loss. The best protein shakes for weight loss are low fat and carbohydrate shakes.
Consuming a protein shake for breakfast and one after training each day along with a healthy diet aimed at losing weight will help with weight loss and having better body composition.
Mixing your protein powder with water as opposed to milk with reduce calories and fat from your daily diet.
- Weight Control and management
Protein shakes are sometimes used as a meal replacement because it contains high amounts of protein that are most beneficial to your body.
Protein shakes are enable you to control your fat and calorie intake, which is beneficial to weight management.
In a medical journal article published in a 2010 issue of “Diabetes/Metabolism Research & Review”, researchers presented evidence that showed obese subjects who drank high-protein meal replacements as part of a low-calorie diet lost more weight in a year than subjects who followed the diet without the replacements.
- Muscle Building and Fat Loss
Taking any form of protein is great for you especially if you workout regularly. This is because during your exercise routines, muscle tissues are torn in the process and must be rebuilt for your muscles to develop and avoid consequent injuries.
This is where protein shakes come in, aiding the rebuilding process, and improving your overall health.
While this is true, you would also find this interesting to know that protein shakes can significantly reduce your body fat according a study conducted by researchers in Minesota, where those who were given whey protein lost about 6.1 percent of body fat while preserving their muscles.
- Increase Size and Strength
Whenever you workout, you feel exhausted in the process, after hitting it hard at the gym.
One surefire whey (pun intended) to increase muscle strength as well as reduce your body fat significantly is by taking enough protein to see you through the day according to Researchers at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
- Reduce Hunger
Protein generally fills you up quicker. Whey protein could help you reduce hunger and avoid and subside your cravings that could lead you to putting on more weight.
While you are considering eating junk foods and snacks because they are really accessible, you should choose protein shake instead and work your whey (again, pun intended) up to a healthy start.
- Fight Cancer
Cancer is a serious medical condition that continued to affect many lives even up to this day.
Various studies have also concluded that whey protein may help in the fight against some common forms of cancer including prostate and colon.
This is why you need to always consult your doctor for regular checkups whenever you feel any slight changes in your body, to know the specific type of cancer that may be causing you any harm and know the best way to cure them.
- Stress relief
Whey protein has been found to greatly improve your health by relieving you of that awkward moment when you feel stressed and depressed.
So, taking drowning a glass of protein shakes is a much better and healthier alternative when compare to taking liquor as a stress reliever.
Associated health benefits include the following:
- Assist in cancer treatment
- Increase in glutathione levels (your body’s main water-based anti-oxidant)
- Decrease in HIV symptoms
- Decrease in triglycerides
- Decrease in total cholesterol while increasing HDL (good cholesterol)
- Increase in immune system function
- Decreased recovery time and symptoms of over-training
Few things to consider when buying protein shakes
When buying a protein shake, look for one that’s as close to pure protein as possible.
Always read the label and avoid shakes that have a lot of unnecessary ingredients, including artificial sweeteners, E-numbers, Trans fats, MSG and high-fructose corn syrup.
Pros of PS
While exercising and bodybuilding are important, what you take before, during and after your workout are equally as important.
Protein shakes, being famous for the numerous health benefits it brings to the fore, has some advantages as listed below.
Protein Shake is faster, easier and very convenient when compared to a whole balanced meal.
It’s also healthier to drink one instead of skip a meal or have another quick, but less nutritious, alternative, such as a fatty burger at a fast food joint or a bag of chips from the vending machine.
- Nutrient intake
One of the main benefits of making and consuming protein shakes is that you can add a multitude of other nutrients to the protein powder.
In one drink, you can enjoy the benefits of protein, frozen berries, flaxseed oil, aloe-Vera gel, coconut oil, natural peanut butter, plus any other foods or supplements you may want.
However, you should try experimenting with the shakes in order not to find it unpalatable.
Who wouldn’t see a good deal and take a fast hold of it? One of the major advantages of protein shakes is its cost-effectiveness.
It is typically cheaper to have a protein shake than it is to get your protein from a piece of steak or a chicken breast.
Cons of PS
While there are the good sides of protein shakes consumption, there are just a few disadvantages. Below are some of them.
Protein shakes are limited in what they can do for you and your body.
Even with shakes, you won’t lose weight if you don’t reduce your net calorie intake, and you won’t tone and develop your muscles if you don’t regularly exercise and strength train.
The best way to use shakes is to include them as part of a comprehensive, physician-approved plan that will help you reach and maintain your fitness and health goals for the long term.
- Incomplete Nutrition
Protein shakes are designed to be heavy on protein, but that means they often fail at providing significant amounts of carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats.
Whole foods always have the benefit over supplement products such as shakes, because they contain naturally occurring fiber, antioxidants, phytochemicals and other protective substances that can’t be reproduced.
- Sustainability Issues
You may develop nutrient deficiencies if you replace too many meals with protein shakes or you could regain the weight you had lost after you return to your previous eating habits.
Bottom line, the benefits become viable if consistency is allowed.
Some people would not like some of the tastes of most Protein shake supplements in the market.
Depending on the flavor you choose, you might actually find some with an unpleasant taste. To avoid buying such, you should read reviews online about some of them to enable you effectively make a decision.
Protein shakes have quite a number of immense benefits. They are a great companion for bodybuilders and athletes providing them with the strength they need to enjoy an intense workout.
With that being said, if you’re getting good quality workouts in and sticking to a diet full of, fiber- and vitamin-rich veggies and fruits, and still not getting the most out of it, then whey protein will help you gain greater results.