Protein Shakes are excellent nutritional supplements for who want to improve their athletic performance and physical shape
In this article, we want to talk about everything you need to know about this practical supplement. Because, even though it may look quite simple, there is a complex and interesting universe behind this type of supplements.
- 1 What are Proteins?
- 2 What are Protein Shakes?
- 3 Who Can Benefit from Protein Shakes?
- 4 Why should we Take Protein Shakes?
- 5 Benefits of Protein Shakes
- 6 Types of Protein Shakes
- 7 How can we Combine a Protein Shake?
- 8 Features of Protein Shakes
- 9 How to take Protein Shakes?
- 10 When should we Drink Protein Shakes?
- 11 Most Frequently Asked Questions about Protein Shakes
- 12 How Much Does Protein Shakes Cost?
- 13 Where Can I Buy Protein Shakes?
What are Proteins?
Proteins are macrostructures made up of amino acids bound with peptides. The body uses them once they are broken down in the stomach and small bowel. Then, they become molecules used to build and regenerate the muscle and bone tissues, antibodies and hormones, etc.
Proteins are the base of any nutritional and sport program focused on increasing the muscle mass, improve the recovery, or preserve muscle mass.
What are Protein Shakes?
To put it briefly, protein shakes are a product with a high percentage of these macromolecules. These elements meant to enable the development of muscle tissues in the body.
You can choose from different sources (milk, meat, egg, soy…), flavors (chocolate, strawberry, vanilla…), absorption rates, biological value, filtration process, ready-to-drink, powder format… There are many different protein shakes that available in the world of sport nutrition.
Who Can Benefit from Protein Shakes?
Anyone. Protein shakes are a source of this nutrient. They help to meet our protein requirements, it does not matter if you are an athlete; you want to follow a planned diet; or you have problems to absorb nutrients properly.
Protein shakes have become the start sport drink due to its high protein and low fat content, easy preparation, and variety of delicious flavors
Why should we Take Protein Shakes?
Protein shakes support the meals you eat throughout the day. In fact, they make it easier to meet the necessary daily amount of proteins.
They will support any diet regardless of the level of physical activity. They provide essential quality nutrients for many functions within the organism
Benefits of Protein Shakes
- This product provides a high essential amino acids content, mainly branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s). These are used to preserve and repair the muscle tissue.
- Protein shakes stimulate the post-workout muscle protein synthesis (thanks to leucine) to reduce the muscle damage and improve the resistance.
- Their high biological value means that they are a perfect protein source to preserve the muscle mass.
- They supply a high percentage of a conditionally essential amino acid called Glutamine. We can suffer a deficiency of this amino acid during times of physical stress or calorie restriction.
- They are a fast, comfortable and practical way of taking proteins.
- Protein shakes help to prevent the loss of muscle mass.
- They provide an additional energy source, recharging the glycogen deposits and improving the muscle recovery.
- This product supports athletes to maintain a positive nitrogen balance in order to reduce the muscle breakdown as much as possible.
- The body uses more energy to digest protein than other nutrients. This is known as a thermogenic effect which enhances the fat-burning processes after a protein rich meal.
- Protein shakes are low in calories, fat and sugar which helps to prevent a weight increase. Moreover, they improve our physical shape if we follow a hypocaloric diet.
- Protein produces satiety, reducing cravings between meals.
- Whey protein can help to control the blood glucose, lowering the insulin resistance.
- They are a source of BCAA’s, leucine and bioactive components that increase fat loss and encourage the maintenance of muscle tissues.
- Whey Protein Isolate provides the Protein Fractions that enhance the immune system. Moreover, the provide anti-viral and anti-bacterial protection, support the transport and absorption of iron, as well as the functioning of the nervous, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems.
- They help to increase the glutathione tissue levels, which is the best antioxidant agent of the organism. This is due to the fact that it helps to protect the cells against the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals.
- They improve the cardiovascular health by reducing the blood pressure and cardiometabolic risk factors.
Types of Protein Shakes
Nowadays, you just need to have a look at our online store to see that there is a great variety of protein shakes available.
However, if you feel overwhelmed by all this information and you do not know which one you should choose, do not worry! We are going to help you choose the one that is best for you by explaining the features of the main types of proteins
It is, without any doubt, the king of proteins and possibly the most consumed one. This is mainly due to the fact that the proteins from whey are digested very easily and fast. They have the highest biological value as well as an excellent aminogram that is rich in essential amino acids, including a high percentage of BCAA’s and Glutamine.
There are mainly 3 types: Whey Protein Concentrate or WPC, Whey Protein Isolate or WPI, and Hydrolyzed Whey Protein.
Unlike whey, casein is a protein fraction from milk which has a very slow digestion rate. It can maintain an amino acid discharge in the blood for 6 or 7 hours. Its main utility is to serve as a food for long periods without eating, like nighttime or during the day, when there are several hours between the meals.
These are combinations of several and different protein sources, like mixing whey + casein for example. In this way, there will be several absorption stages, which will produce amino acids “peaks” in the blood. They tend to give very good results and they can be consumed at any time of the day.
Egg protein is known as albumin and it has a “medium” absorption rate. It is the second best source of proteins after whey in terms of biological value. Even though it is not as used as this one, egg protein is starting to become more and more used to make shakes and even to elaborate time released proteins.
This type of protein is a lactose-free source. If we compare it with whey protein they are quite similar, since they offer a high percentage of proteins per serving.
Those who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet can also enjoy the benefits of protein shakes. In this sense, the sources that are available are: rice, soy, pea, or hemp. All of them provide an excellent protein percentage, becoming a very useful element for this type of diets.
How can we Combine a Protein Shake?
Protein shakes can be drunk alone or combined with other products. Here you have the 3 most common supplements that are combined with protein.
They are macronutrients that maintain the glycogen deposits high, which will be our main “fuel” when it comes to performing a physical activity. One of the best ways of combining them is a Protein and Carbs Shake before and after training, in order to perform and improve the post-workout energy recharge.
Glutamine is not a protein but an amino acid. However, it is the most abundant one in our muscles, since its purpose is to provide them with the energy they need to work. That is why taking shakes with this element will help you avoid an excessive physical wear if you execute intense workouts, which will also reduce the risk of suffering an injury.
Creatine is a substance that is obtained by combining 3 amino acids (arginine, glycine, and methionine). Its positive effects on physical performance are backed up with scientific evidence. Adding this element to a protein shake after the workout will improve our muscle recovery and it can also lead to strength and lean muscle mass gains.
Features of Protein Shakes
Each protein type can have a series of different features, but these are the most common ones:
- Dissolution: How easy it is to mix it with any liquid without leaving any lumps.
- Flavor: Nowadays, the flavors are very convincing with truly spectacular results. In general, protein concentrates tend to be the ones with the best flavor, even though some isolates are also quite good. It will also depend on the flavor, since vanilla tends to be less intense than chocolate for example.
- Texture: The texture will differ depending on the protein. So, a hydrolyzed protein will be very similar to water, while casein would be exactly the opposite, since it has a creamy texture, similar to a yogurt.
- Aminogram: It indicates the amount of amino acids per serving and/or 100g of product, both essential and non-essential.
- Composition: How many calories it has, what is its protein percentage, how has it been obtained (CFM) or what raw ingredient has been used.
Each type of protein has a certain texture
How to take Protein Shakes?
Protein powder is ready to mix with any liquid of our choice, usually cold water, although you can also use milk, juices, or isotonic drinks… We should take the shake once it is mixed.
Some people prepare the shake before training, and once they are done they drink it, but it is not the best thing to do.
On the other hand, protein powder can be used to cook fitness recipes
When should we Drink Protein Shakes?
In the morning
According to research, consuming proteins for breakfast will create a feeling of satiety during the rest of the morning, since the levels of ghrelin will drop, which is the hormone in charge of controlling the appetite. If we are late and in a hurry, a protein shake will be an excellent choice.
When we carry out a demanding physical activity, we need to make the most of that session, specially if it is weight training and hypertrophy in which performance plays an important role. In this way, consuming some protein with an easy and fast absorption like WPI or Whey Protein Isolate before the workout can reduce the breakdown of proteins during the effort, by providing key nutrients (amino acids, and more specifically BCAAs), which has been proven in this study.
During the Workout
Another advanced strategy is to take protein while training. In this case it is important to use a hydrolyzed protein, since it is pre-digested, which means that it will barely require to be digested, keeping the blood flow in the peripheral members.
Taking a post-workout shake is a perfect moment to drink a protein shake. Any source of protein would be fine, however, we are going to take a determining factor into account, at least it tends to be among most athletes, who prefer a liquid meal instead of a solid one.
If we have not met our protein requirements, we can take a casein shake since it also has a sequential release that will discharge amino acids throughout the night, which will contribute to the recovery.
Taking a protein shake between meals is also a valid choice
Most Frequently Asked Questions about Protein Shakes
Should I use water or milk for my protein shake?
You can mix it with any liquid. Obviously, water will not provide more calories or nutrients. On the other hand, milk has a nutritional profile. The choice will depend on your objectives.
Can I take protein shakes if I am lactose intolerant?
Whey protein is obtained from milk. It undergoes a filtration process in order to reduce the fat and carb content considerably. Lactose is the sugar from milk. An isolate or hydrolyzed is a great choice, or any protein from a non-dairy source, even though they may contain this allergen due to cross contamination. You can see if the product has allergens very easily in our website.
If I drink a protein shakes do I have to eat anything afterwards?
A protein shake is digested and absorbed faster than a meal since some types are practically digested, like in the case of hydrolyzed proteins. In this sense, we may experience hunger after taking a post-workout protein shake, after 30-60 minutes approximately. Then, we will be able to eat the next meal from our diet.
What is the difference between a protein shake and a mass gainer?
Both provide protein, however, the protein shake will exclusively provide these nutrients, while the mass gainer will provide a high percentage of carbohydrates a some proteins which will enrich the amount of calories of the final product. If you have problems to gain weight and you have already tried eating more foods without any results, you can use a mass gainer to gain some extra calories. It can also be useful for those who do not manage to eat a meal during the day, or for those who have high energy demands.
Should I drink a casein shake before sleeping?
As we have seen, the role of casein consists on providing protein when we spend a long time without eating. According to this, one of the best moments would be at night. If we decide to use casein, we will have to adjust the protein requirements, and create a new distribution for this macronutrient.
When will I start to experience the result of taking protein shakes?
The results will depend on several factors: type of training, nutrition or diet, experience… Protein shakes will help you meet your protein requirements. However, you will have to commit and follow a nutritional plan and workout routine if you want to make the most of taking protein shakes.
Does taking protein shakes damage the kidneys?
This is a myth. Protein produces the same effects on our organism, either if it is a solid food or a shake. Moreover, it has been proven that high protein diets do not damage the renal function.
How Much Does Protein Shakes Cost?
In general, people believe that sport supplementation is expensive, which is far from truth. In this sense, following a diet that is rich in protein foods is not usually affordable, while powder protein helps to save a lot of money while being a really effective source.
Where Can I Buy Protein Shakes?
So, if you are willing and ready to get the body that you have always dreamt of, or if you just simply want to improve the recovery, do not hesitate and include them in your diet. We guarantee that the sport supplements that will find at HSNstore have undergone the most rigorous quality controls and they are not harmful for human beings. On the contrary, they do just the opposite 🙂
We hope that this article has clarified some of the doubts regarding Protein Shakes. Nevertheless, we will remain at your disposal for any further ones.