How Protein Shakes Can Help You Build Muscle and Stay Healthy

Good nutritional health requires protein as a key component and protein shakes are now popular as a quick, easy way to supplement your diet. Protein shakes come in a number of varieties, the most common being whey, soy or casein protein, which indicates the source of the protein itself. They can be a good way to balance out your eating habits or lose weight by increasing protein intake and decreasing carbohydrate consumption. You can also benefit from more consistent performance from a slow releasing, high quality form of protein, rather than from sugary energy drinks that give you a temporary, artificial boost from a combination of caffeine and sugar.

What are protein shakes?
Protein shakes deliver high quality, easily digestible protein. Protein provides the body with the components necessary to rebuild bone, muscle, cells and skin tissues. Protein shakes come in a variety of flavors, including strawberry, chocolate and vanilla. They can be purchased in ready mixed chilled cans, or in large containers of protein powder that can be mixed to your own personal preference.

Types of protein shakes
Whey protein is found in about 20% of cow’s milk. Whey is a high grade protein that is quickly and easily absorbed, usually in as little as forty minutes. This makes it the best choice as a post-workout protein source to give you a boost, providing your muscles the protein they need to recover and rebuild.

Casein protein (pronounced kay-seen) is known for its slow distribution of protein and amino acids over seven hours after consumption. The slow distribution means it is not well suited for a post-workout protein source but is excellent if you want to receive a steady energy flow through part of the day.

Soy protein is an alternative protein source for vegetarians and vegans who wish to avoid protein sources derived from animals. It is also good for people who are lactose-intolerant. Soy is known to reduce the release of excess insulin, which can help regulate sugar levels in the bloodstream and reduce good cravings.

Who uses protein shakes?
Shakes are consumed by busy people on the move who wish to add a high-quality protein source in a busy day, instead of relying on sodas that give a temporary “kick”, but wear off when the sugar rush dissipates. If using these drinks as a meal replacement, then a blend of whey protein and casein protein is a good solution because you include both fast and slow releasing energy sources in a single drink.

For people who like to use the gym for heavy workouts, especially where muscles are overly stressed or where lifting weights is part of the workout regime, a post-workout shake can help deliver much needed energy. A fast-releasing protein, like whey, can get to work supporting the muscles that have been pushed hard during an energetic workout program.

For body builders a protein shake high in amino acids drank just before and after a workout can help to reduce the breakdown of muscle (catabolism) while helping to increase the building of new muscle (anabolism). When anabolism exceeds catabolism, the result is a net gain in muscle mass. Whey protein is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream while Casein protein is digested more slowly providing a steady stream of amino acids to the muscles and more thorough absorption. A shake that combines both whey and casein protein offers the best results.

Are there any dangers to using protein shakes?
Research studies have shown the beneficial release of antioxidants and possible reduced risk of cancer from opting for a quality protein powder source. There have been no negative findings from ongoing research into the benefits of protein powders and protein shakes.

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How To Make Homemade Protein Shakes For Weight Loss?

Homemade protein shakes are very beneficial for weight loss. This is because protein is considered as one of the essential substances needed by every cell in your body. A quick and effective way of obtaining a good amount of protein and incorporate this into your weight loss is to make a shake from scratch. Protein shakes can be done right from the comfort of your own kitchen counter by having the right ingredients along with some helpful add-ins.

Steps in Making Homemade Protein Shakes

    • The first step is to purchase a protein powder. Be sure to look for a good quality protein powder. A good form of protein that can be easily digested by the body is the whey. However, if you have allergies or you are a vegan then you can have other options such as egg white, soy and rice protein.
    • The next step is to choose a liquid. This can be milk, water, juice or you can also combine any of these. Actually, this will depend on the number of calories that you want to acquire. You should also consider if you have allergies. There are also other alternative choices for regular milk such as almond, hemp, soy, rice as well as goat milk.
  • After this, you can get some fruit. The main idea of homemade protein shakes is to get a high amount of protein; however it should not be at the expense of your overall health. By adding some fruit to your shake it can give you higher fiber content and can keep you full longer at the same time it will also slow down your digestion process. All of this can result to lesser calories for the rest of the day.

Other Options for Your Homemade Protein Shakes

    • Another option is to add coconut oil into your shake. Coconut oil contains fatty acids which are actually healthy fats that can activate your body’s metabolism. This is a great combination of achieving more protein. You can use a shredded coconut or an extra virgin coconut oil.
  • You can also choose to add some yogurt into your shake. The yogurt can be frozen or regular. Yogurt contains a good amount of protein but less on the glycemic index. It also has calcium which is great in facilitating fat loss. By adding yogurt to your shake, you can have more thickness and consistency.

If you want to lower your calories then you can use the non-fat or low fat version of dairy products and you can also use the low calorie versions of fruit juices. Some of the good fruits that you can add to your shake include blueberries, raspberries, apples, bananas, strawberries and mangoes. You can choose the frozen ones so that your shake will have more thickness. If you want you can add some ice cubes into your shake. Homemade protein shakes comes in various flavors. Actually you can choose different flavors of protein powders and it all depends mostly on your personal preference.

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