Anyone who regularly goes to the gym has heard about protein shakes at least once. They are the holy grail for professional athletes who use some type of shake or powder. You might be thinking, “What’s the big deal?” Do you really need a supplement shake to step up your work- out game?
Before diving into the bigger questions, let’s go over what exactly these shakes are.
What Are Protein Shakes?
Protein shakes are just like any other shake. The only difference? They are drinks made by mixing protein powder with water or milk.
These powders can accommodate any sort of dietary restrictions. There are milk-based, egg-based, and plant-based powders (vegan). All of these are water-soluble, which makes them easy to mix with other ingredients that we offer at the Embody Fitness Protein Bar such as berries, almond butter, avocado and oats.
When Should I Use Them?
There are many reasons to start incorporating protein shakes into your diet. You might just want a boost in your intake if you’re deficient in protein intake. You might be looking to build muscles.
When paired with the right workout, a shake can make all the difference.
New to the workout world? A shake-based boost will help you massively. If you’re looking to develop lean and strong muscles, a good quality shake could make things a lot easier for you.
Maybe you’re recovering from a sports injury? Protein works to help heal the injury faster than normal. This is a natural way to speed up recovery without straining your body.
Any diet change, such as going vegan, requires maintaining your macronutrients. Protein shakes are a great way to stabilize your protein levels while transitioning in diet.
How Should I Use Them?
Let’s get into some stats quickly. The average adult needs 0.8 grams per kg of bodyweight of protein daily. If you aren’t working out, you should be able to get that amount easily through a normal diet. Supplements like shakes aren’t a necessity.
If you’re a casual athlete, you need 1.1 to 1.4 grams daily. That could leave room for one shake. Competitive athletes need about 1.2 to 1.4 daily, and if you want to build muscle, you need 1.5 to 2.0 grams a day.
It’s easy to misuse shakes. There is a common over-emphasis on the importance of protein. Although, it is one of the three macronutrients, it is not more important than carbohydrates or fats. Getting too much protein is surprisingly easy to do.
Limit yourself to one to two shakes per day (even that is stretching it sometimes). Afterall, you should be able to get enough protein from natural sources (lean meats, beans, soy, etc.).
Give your Protein Shakes a Boost
There are a few additional supplements we recommend adding to your protein shakes to ensure they’re extra effective. Try these:
- Glutamine: This amino acid bolsters the immune system and is an important component of protein. Studies have shown that taking glutamine supplements can reduce muscle soreness after workouts and speed up recovery time after exercise. If you eat a plant based diet, protein and glutamine supplements are recommended, especially if you intend to intensely exercise. Glutamine supplements can be bought in powdered form – simply add the recommended dose to your protein shake and enjoy!
- Creatine: This supplement has great effects on metabolism, muscle building, stamina and recovery, making it a must-have for avid gym-goers. It’s perfectly safe and even recommended to mix some creatine powder into your protein shake. Stick to serving size guidelines on the packet. While creatine is safe to use with protein powder, it could react with other supplements. Do some research or ask your trainer before mixing it with other substances.
With the basics of protein shakes in hand, you’re ready to dive in headfirst. Remember, when you are a member of the Embody Fitness community, you get a free post work-out protein shake after every work-out!
For any protein related questions, don’t be afraid to ask our team for help.