Visit any gym, and you will hear guys talking about protein shakes they drink after their workout. Bars, powders, and other supplements have become embedded into the workout culture. Created by a combination of various ingredients, from soy to whey to pea, protein powder is leading the charge and has earned its place in our diets.
You are probably fond of protein shakes as these products help you regrow and repair damaged muscles. In addition to that, what else do you know about such supplements? Here are some things everyone should know about protein powder.
1. What is Protein?
Protein is important for building and maintaining muscle mass and body tissue. Along with carbohydrates and fat, protein is a macronutrient. This means that our bodies need large amounts of it. It is also an important building block of cartilage, blood, and bones. Protein also works to keep your skin, nails, and hair healthy and revitalized.
In addition to helping you feel satiated, consuming enough protein can strengthen the immune system. Protein allows your body to heal faster. It also helps men with libido problems, and women balance the production of hormones.
2. Why is it important to drink protein shakes?
Pushing through tough workouts challenges your muscles constantly. If you’re just beginning to do regular workouts, or make them more intensive, your muscles will be frequently torn because they are not used to such intensive use. Drinking protein shakes can help you reduce the regeneration time and contribute to higher muscle growth.
However, protein powder isn’t recommended only for those who are visiting the gym and working out. Here are some other situations in which drinking protein powder shakes will help you greatly.
- During the growing up process: As teenagers are growing up, their bodies require a lot of proteins for proper development. Protein shakes can easily help them reach the sufficient protein intake.
- After an injury: The recovery after an injury is never pleasant. Drinking protein shakes can help you boost your protein intake and get over with recovery faster.
- When you’re going vegan: Going vegan eliminates loads of proteins from your diet. Vegan-based protein powders are one of the best solutions to ensure sufficient protein intake.
3. Difference between high-quality and low-quality protein powder
Supplement companies care about one thing in particular – profit. Poor product regulation, mislabeling, and deceiving are common when it comes to protein powders. Check out the following things to consider to make sure you’ll buy a quality made product next time.
- Protein content
Not all protein powders include the same protein content. In fact, sometimes the numbers aren’t even close. Quality made products contain 70 – 90% protein, while the worse ones can contain as little as 30%. Low protein content means that there are more fats, carbs, and fillers in the powder.
Look for protein powder rich in natural substances. The product should also not include more than 8 – 10 ingredients. Normally, the extras are useless fillers that are added with the purpose of deceiving the buyers. They might be added in traces that add up to no significant changes.
Avoid protein powders rich in refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, and synthetic flavors and colors.
While there are exceptions, protein powders that cost more are generally of higher quality. Low priced products, often offered in bulk quantities, tend to attract customers who want to save loads of money while achieving their goals. They usually come together with deceiving labels that make you think you’re getting even more than what you paid for.
Remember that cheap products require cheap raw ingredients to be both manufactured and sold while making the profit. For example, a cheap whey protein may derive from milk gathered from cows raised on antibiotics. The better alternatives obtain milk from healthier, pasture-based cattle. Similarly, cheap soy-based protein powder may be made out of genetically modified beans on a conventional farm, while the more expensive ones might derive from an organic farm.
Nothing is certain, as some products can be overpriced regardless of their content. Nevertheless, the price is often a key factor of the quality of a product.
4. Which manufacturer to choose from?
Time on the market is an important factor when it comes to the selection of a good protein powder.
Stick to products from manufacturers that have been on the market for at least a few years. Make sure that their products were not involved in any scandals and that they have good reviews.
If you wish to try out newer products, make sure that you read the labels carefully first. Research what you’re seeing and compare the products between themselves.
5. When is it important to drink protein shakes?
A common myth told on a worldwide scale is that you only have a few minutes of time after your workout to drink your shake. Newer researchers suggest that you have around 2 hours of time to kick-off muscle recovery process after the workout.
In this time, the protein synthesis is at its max, and your body is in need of immediate proteins.
Nevertheless, it is important to get sufficient nutrients all over the day and not only in one shot. This is especially important if you have regular workouts and your body is under constant strains. If you’re not physically active, you can still drink protein shakes throughout the day. You just have to adjust the quantities to the level of your activities to prevent excess protein intake. Even innocent proteins can cause weight gain by starting to convert into fats when not used.
Protein is an essential macronutrient that is of great value to all human beings. There are various sources of protein and protein powders are one of them. They can help you recover worked-out muscles fast and are a necessity for many athletes and gym goers. Nevertheless, protein powders are not limited only to the use by physically active people. Anyone who wishes to ensure sufficient protein intake is suggested to consider protein shakes.
The market for protein powder is huge and sometimes very deceiving. A lot of caution is advised when it comes to choosing the right powder. Not all are the same at what they do and contain. Doing research is suggested to find out what ingredients they contain, what the protein content is, how the price is compared to alternatives, and how long they are on the market.
Alice Mackenzie is a professional blogger. She is an enthusiast who loves to write on several niches including fitness, health food, nutrition and health supplement .