Smart Protein Shake Recipes
People drink protein shake for multiple reasons, including muscle gain, weight loss, and injury recovery.
While many foods provide you with a lot of protein — such as eggs, meat, poultry, milk, and legumes — protein shakes and powders have become a popular, high-quality source of this nutrient.
If you wonder whether these shakes will give you the results you want, you’re not alone.
This article focuses on the effectiveness of protein shakes for muscle gain and weight loss.
The routine of taking protein powder can become quite monotonous, especially considering most of us can only afford to buy one flavor at a time. There’s no need to hold your nose every time you drink a protein shake, though – it just takes a little creativity to turn your protein powder into a tasty treat. On this page you’ll find plenty of recipes as well as suggestions for ingredients in case you want to freestyle it.
Pre-Workout Protein Shake
Protein is necessary for muscle repair and growth.
For this reason, many people consume protein supplements in the form of shakes along with their workouts.
However, the optimal time to have a protein shake is a hotly debated topic.
Some believe it’s best to drink a protein shake before a workout, whereas others argue that after a workout is ideal.
This article explains whether it’s best to have a protein shake before or after your workout.
To date, only one study has compared the effects of consuming protein either before or after a workout on muscle strength and size.
The researchers split 21 men into two groups, both of which received a protein shake containing 25 grams of protein. One group received it immediately before their workout, while the other group received it immediately after.
Everyone completed a whole-body workout three times per week for 10 weeks.
Interestingly, the study found no significant differences in muscle strength or size between the groups. These results suggest that as long as you consume protein around your workout, it doesn’t matter if it’s before or after training.
Therefore, you can choose which time you prefer or is most convenient for you.
Choosing the Right Protein
Both animal- and plant-based foods contain protein and can help you meet your daily protein goal.
Meat, poultry, dairy and fish are high-quality animal sources of protein. Meanwhile, nuts, beans, legumes and soy are good sources of plant-based protein.
Research suggests that animal-based protein is superior to plant-based protein for building muscle, but it’s beneficial to consume a combination of both.
Protein shakes can also be a convenient way to increase your protein intake, especially when you cannot get enough through food alone.
The most common types of protein powders on the market include:
- Whey protein: Whey protein is a milk protein that is quickly absorbed by the body, making it useful before or after your workout. It also contains bioactive proteins that may offer other health benefits.
- Casein protein: Casein is the other milk protein that digests much slower than whey, making it ideal during periods of fasting like sleep. What’s more, some brands of casein protein offer up to 60% of your RDA for calcium per scoop.
- Egg protein: Egg protein powders are made with pure egg white protein. They digest at a medium rate and are one of the most expensive protein supplements on the market.
- Soy protein: Soy protein is one of the few plant proteins that contains all of the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source for vegetarians.
- Rice and pea protein: Rice and pea proteins do not contain all of the essential amino acids, but combining them makes them a complete protein. They are low-allergenic, making them appealing to those with egg, dairy or soy allergies.
MY FAVORITE PROTEIN SHAKE RECIPES
Protein plays an important role in repairing and rebuilding your muscles after exercise, and many people use protein shakes after their workouts to aid this process.
However, research suggests it doesn’t matter whether you drink a protein shake before or after your workout. Interestingly, your total daily protein intake is what matters most.
While protein shakes around workouts and between meals are helpful, make sure you’re getting enough throughout the day. Both foods and supplements can help you meet your goals.
For healthy people, there are little or no health risks associated with using protein shakes while following a high-protein diet.