You may or may not know that packing on muscle to build a lean and chiseled look requires plenty of protein in order help build and repair damaged muscles.
Protein plays a pivotal role when you are striving for optimal muscle growth, it is very important you deliver your body a constant supply of the the muscle building macronutrient!
Protein is made up of amino acids, these are the building blocks of your muscles and body. Without the presence of amino acids it would be impossible to build, repair or even maintain muscle tissue.
Protein is made up of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. Getting enough protein will put you in an anabolic state (positive nitrogen balance). If you are in this state, it will allow you to build muscle!
Protein has become a big business in the past few decades, and for good reason as protein snacks and shakes are a convenient way to help hit your daily protein targets. We now see most gym goers opting to neck a post workout shake rather than opting for nutrient dense foods.
Are shakes worth it? Or is better to better hit your protein targets through nutrient rich foods? Let us share our thoughts so you can come to your own conclusion…
Let’s talk Whey Protein!
So whey protein is the most common protein shake blend on the market, people often choose whey to help improve muscle protein synthesis and promote lean muscle mass. What it s it and how does it help you?
Whey is a byproduct of the cheese making process and is considered a complete protein as it contains the 9 essential amino acids.
Whey is very cheap and easy to make making it a very convenient source of protein for busy or lazy people.
Shakes can be absorbed by the body very quickly after exercise in comparison to a meal. Your body will need to breakdown and digest your meal, this means it will take longer to reach your damaged muscles.
Downsides to Whey Protein
Dairy is one of the most common food allergens, being a byproduct of cheese and also containing lactose this may present a problem for some people.
Symptoms may include bloating and unwanted gas! Now there are other dairy free and lactose free shake options but can be considerably more expensive as the process to making them is complex.
Protein shakes are convenient however there is a trade off, they lack other important nutrients and vitamins that the body need to be healthy that can be found in meat, fish, or whole grains.
What is your favourite flavour?
Most if not all flavours in your protein shake come from added artificial sweeteners, they help to reduce costs and have a low calorie content. Artificial sweeteners never taste as good as the real thing and won’t satisfy your taste buds like a macro meal will!
Finally, consuming large amounts of protein can put extra strain on your kidneys and liver, if you have any pre existing problems you should consult your doctor.
Do we need shakes to reach our fitness goals?
Before you start supplementing your diet with protein shakes, familiarise yourself with your recommended daily protein allowance (RDA).
If you are getting enough for your goals through nutrient dense foods like chicken, beef, eggs, spinach or beans then supplementing with whey will have little effect. If you over consume on whey it can lead to bloating, digestive problems, nausea and weight gain!
There is little evidence to confirm that too much protein is harmful, however if your diet is made up of just protein shakes then you are missing out on essential nutrients the body needs!
If you find you are constantly falling short of your protein targets then shakes are a fantastic option and we highly recommend supplementing them into your diet.
Notice the word supplementation, your diet should be varied, balanced and occasionally topped up with supplements that can help you reach your goals.