With all of the buzz surrounding protein shakes and how great they are, you might be saying, “What do protein shakes do?”. The answer is that protein shakes do many things. The main benefit of protein shakes is that they are a quick and convenient way to get adequate protein intake for the day. Other than the convenience factor, there is no other benefit a protein shake has over a steak, or a piece of lean chicken.
Why do we need protein?
Amino acids are the main reasons why we want to be sure we get our protein intake. This is because they provide your body with everything it needs for just about every function such as:
- Repairing Muscle Tissue
- Preserving Muscle Mass
- Source Of Energy
- Bone Health
- Brain Function (sending and receiving information)
- Many metabolic functions such as the absorption of vitamins and minerals.
- Forming cells
- Making antibodies
- Building RNA/DNA
- Many more functions of the body
In a nutshell, we wouldn’t even exist without the amino acids we get from protein!
The Main Benefits of Protein Shakes
If you are someone who occasionally has difficulty getting enough protein in your daily meals, then you should consider consuming protein shakes to make up for the lack of protein in your diet. However, there is no substitute for real food so it would be best for you to make an effort to eat protein from whole foods instead of protein shakes. So the best advice is: in the event that you are unable to cook a protein based meal, feel free to use that secret weapon – the protein shake!
Another benefit that protein shakes provide is to those who are looking to build muscle and are on a high protein diet. For example, if you have a target of 180g of protein per day, it can be difficult to cook enough real food that adds up to this amount of protein. Having a protein shake or 2 can help you get that extra amount of protein. It is also recommended to take a protein shake immediately after your workouts because your body can immediately use it to begin repairing muscle.
Everyone has different goals and as a result, each person varies individually on how much protein they should be getting each day. Someone who is exercising regularly (especially weight training) is going to need a lot more protein than someone who doesn’t exercise.
The Different Brands Of Protein Shakes
Before deciding which is the best whey protein powder be warned, there is tons of marketing hype surrounding the supplement industry .Everyone loves to make it seem like their product is the best and theirs is better than everyone else. That’s just the nature of the competitive market. All of the hype and claims by the company can create a lot of confusion for the customer. You should not be paying an arm and a leg for a protein supplement. For example, there is no reason you should pay $10 more for a soy based protein supplement than a whey or casein blend. Also, you should not be paying $30 for a 2lb tub of protein no matter what kind of marketing claim is surrounding it. You can easily get whey protein for half that price. Just keep in mind there are many unsubstantiated claims in the supplement world.
Unless you are trying to gain weight or bulk up, I recommend choosing a protein supplement that has a little amount of carbohydrates and fat and contains all of the essential amino acids. I usually look at reviews first and buy from reputable companies to make sure the protein is good quality. Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein is always a good “go to” for protein because it is a very reputable brand and you will have the peace of mind knowing you are actually getting pure protein content and not some filled powdered substance disguised as protein powder.
So what do protein shakes do? In short, they are just there to help you along in case you can’t get enough protein from real food.