Are Protein Shakes Good for You?
If you are on a quest to get more from a workout or lose unwanted weight, chances are you have heard of or been told about multiple products to help you achieve the desired outcome. While there are a number of products that would prove beneficial, protein shakes are considered one of the best. Of course, as with any product, it would be important to research different brands and learn how protein shakes benefit the body.
What are Protein Shakes?
We wanted to start by talking briefly about what protein shakes are. Although most people have a decent understanding of protein shakes, others are simply not sure what these drinks are and why they are such a big deal. In simple terms, these shakes offer a source of protein in powder form needed by the body.
Multiple companies manufacture protein shakes. They are made with different types and levels of nutrients, and they are sold in a nice variety of flavors. However, you could choose non-flavored protein powder and mix it with milk, water, or juice, or if preferred, this powdered protein can be blended with fresh fruits and/or vegetables along with a little liquid of choice.
How do Protein Shakes Work?
There are different types of protein used but whey is by far the most preferred. This type of product can be purchased at drug stores, health food stores, and supplement stores found locally or ordered from any number of online resources, adding to the level of convenience. Additionally, protein shakes are considered “bioavailable”, which makes them much easier to digest but even more importantly, be absorbed by the body.
Protein that you would consume from food sources takes time to be processed by the body. In fact, it is estimated that if you were to eat food rich in protein, it would take your body slightly under two hours to process. However, when drinking protein shakes, digestion and absorption would occur in about 30 minutes. This means the protein would go to work faster so that ultimately, your goals are met quicker.
In truth, fast digestion and absorption are the greatest benefit that protein shakes offer. Let us say that you wanted to drink shakes as part of your workout regimen. As you go through each exercise, demand placed on the muscles causes them to break down but with protein, muscles are built back up stronger than before. The key to success is getting protein into the body within a very short window of opportunity.
The injury associated with muscle breakdown must be addressed within this time frame or all the time you spend in the gym would not produce the desired muscles. Healing of injured muscle starts immediately after the injury took place. In other words, once you perform a specific exercise that puts great demand on the muscles, they break down, followed by the healing process starting.
If this opportunity were missed, the value of the workout would be seriously compromised. Because of this, the goal is to introduce protein into the body as quickly after a workout possible. Because it would be nearly impossible for you to eat protein-rich food immediately after a hard workout, protein shakes should be considered. Obviously, mixing protein powder with liquid could be done shortly after pushing the muscles to perform.
Remember, protein shakes are easy to digest and quick to absorb, which means there would be no problem in getting nutrition into the body during the limited amount of time after a workout. The body would also tolerate liquid protein over a heavy meal so again, are protein shakes good for you? Yes, especially when used to build lean muscle in coordination with time spent in the gym.
As far as using protein shakes to lose weight, there are some products on the market that could be used in place of two meals with the third more conventional meal consisting of low calorie food. Now, if you wanted to drop weight this way, it would be highly recommended being under the care of a doctor since consuming too few calories could pose some health risks.