Do you drink protein shakes? Although I have always exercised regularly, I’ve only recently started to drink protein shakes. I never really saw the point when I had a fairly high protein diet anyway, but they are actually essential when you are working out regularly. Protein is obviously well known to help with muscle growth, but please don’t read that and simply assume that I mean muscle growth in the style of ‘bulking out’. When you think of toning what is really happening is that your muscles are growing, and you are losing body fat in order to give you the more toned and lean appearance. Protein is also used to manufacture hormones, enzymes, cellular messengers, nucleic acids, and immune-system components. There are so many more benefits to drinking protein shakes than you may initially think; including that they help to balance your blood sugar. There are some misconceptions that you only need to drink protein shakes if you are a body builder; but they are actually beneficial for any type of exercising as, without adequate protein, our muscles struggle to grow and heal after a workout. Those of you who exercise regularly may be familiar with Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness (DOMS); this is the feeling of aching after a workout. The reason you ache is because your muscles are working to repair themselves, protein aids this and therefore effectively looks after your muscles.
Without enough protein your muscles won’t heal quickly enough and this could ultimately lead to injury.You may be wondering why eating a load of chicken, or any other meat, isn’t good enough though. I used to think that if I ate plenty of meat, fish and eggs that I would be consuming enough protein, but the average guideline for protein intake is that you should have 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. So if you weigh 150 pounds (68 kilograms) then you would need to consume approximately 54 grams of protein daily. Please note that this is an approximate amount, and that everybody has different requirements. This calculation was found at: http://www.livestrong.com/article/360669-how-much-protein-should-one-eat-daily/. Protein shakes are also better than simply eating large amounts of meat because the protein in the shakes is usually fast releasing, so it gets to work on your muscles, hormones etc immediately. Therefore the repair begins the minute you consume it rather than waiting for your body to take time to digest the meat. Whey protein shakes can even be absorbed into the body as quickly as half an hour! There is no need to be afraid of protein shakes. They won’t make you wake up the next morning looking like you’ve been lifting weights for years and they also won’t make you gain weight. They are simply a very convenient and proven way to aid your muscle growth and repair.