Benefits of Protein Shakes

Fitness Nutrition

Many people tend to associate protein shakes with body builders, meatheads, and even gym rats. Some even, when they hear of protein powder, quickly think of the awful-tasting concoctions that flooded the market some decades ago.

First you should know that you do not need to be a body builder or a meat head to start drinking protein shakes and actually benefit from them. Two, protein shakes have come a long way since two or three decades ago. Today’s protein powders come in a variety of flavors that will blow your taste buds away.

Adding to this, there are numerous recipes involving whey protein available on the internet that are easy and quick to make, like our delicious post workout smoothie recipe. This is great news to those who have been eyeing protein shakes from afar but could never get themselves to try them again after either bad personal experiences or courtesy of all the misconceptions. That said, let’s have a look at the benefits you stand to gain enjoying protein shakes.

But before all that — what is a protein shake?

What Is A Protein Shake Anyway?

Simply put, a protein shake is a drink that is made from proteins and sugars. The drink is designed to be taken right after working out to boost the nutrients levels and help the body to recover fast.

See, during workouts — whether you strain your muscles or not — damage is done to your muscle tissue. This is how muscles grow: microscopic tears in the muscle fibers occur and then the body repairs this damage, making the muscles stronger than before. But these muscle repairs take time. To give your muscles a little boost and speed up the process, you can provide your body with tools. Protein shakes are these tools.

Benefits of Drinking a Protein Shake

Now that we know what they are, what are the benefits of protein shakes and why should you drink them?

Repair Damaged Muscle

The ‘tools’ mentioned above that the body needs to speed up the repair and healing process, are for the most part protein. Proteins, as you probably remember from your high school biology are the muscle building blocks.
If your body does not get enough protein, you will not only develop a deficiency disease but also, your body will not be able to effectively repair damaged tissue. Thus instead of growing strong, you will grow weak.
Now, protein shakes are made from whey protein which in addition to having high levels of proteins also comes with a lot of simple sugars that are digested fast and absorbed into the body to provide energy for the muscle to be repaired and the body to recover.

Boost Your Immune System

Healthy protein shakes

Whey protein (the most commonly used protein in protein shakes) has been discovered to give a boost to your immune system. Researchers have gone on record numerous times stating that whey proteins and other complimenting components play a significant role in biological functions including immunomodulation, anti-carcinogenic effects, antioxidant activity, disease protection, antibacterial, antiviral and antimicrobial effects.
In layman’s terms, protein shakes help to reduce the chances of contracting a cold.

Lose Fat

Protein shakes are known to give a feeling of being full for a longer time. They are better than fats and carbs. In addition to this, proteins, in general, have a higher thermic effect which requires the body to give off more energy to digest them than fats and carbs do.

It is these two processes and mechanisms that make people associate proteins with weight loss and specifically, loss of fat. While whey protein has been known to help people lose weight, it tends to be digested fast. Using a protein that digests slower like casein to make our shake may give even better results with regards to reducing your appetite and keeping hunger at bay for a longer period. Casein protein is especially beneficial when taken before bed, as it’ll help your body avoid going into starvation mode (and slowing your metabolism).

Build More Muscle in Your Sleep

Protein shake helps man build muscle while he sleeps

We started off by pointing out the fact that during workouts, muscle is damaged. No muscle is built when you are working out. Muscle growth and repair tends to happen when you are resting, ideally during sleep. Research conducted shows that chugging a glass of protein shake before you retire for the day will help you to increase the rate at which you build muscle. Muscle repair and recovery is different from muscle growth.

As mentioned in the previous section, casein protein is the best type of protein shake to take before bed, as it is digested more slowly, providing a steady stream of proteins to your muscles while you sleep.

Lower Cholesterol Levels

Whey protein is known to be an effective tool in reducing the levels of LDL cholesterol. While protein shakes will probably never replace blood pressure medications, complimenting them with protein shakes can be of great benefit, especially if your doctor has advised a lifestyle therapy for your treatment.

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

A study conducted showed that protein shakes resulted in a reduction of blood pressure by about 6 points. Another different and independent study showed that these blood pressure lowering effects remained even in obese persons suffering from high blood pressure. Now don’t get it twisted, protein shakes cannot completely reverse and repair elevated blood pressures, but as it turns out if you consistently take protein shakes, they can be an effective tool to helping you keep and regulate your blood pressure at normal levels.

They Are Easy To Grab While On the Move

The world has turned into a busy place. Everyone is constantly on the move hustling trying to make ends meet. Some have two or even three jobs while others balance between, work, school and family life. All parts of life that take up a large chunk of your time. When leading a busy life, it is very easy to end up surviving on chips, cookies, and high-calorie foods. While these may get rid of your hunger, they will eventually leave you irritable and tired. Even worse is the fact that the satisfaction from these foods is short-lived, probably for only 15 minutes.

Mixing up a protein shake is quick. You can do it on the spot when you need it or pre-make it and store it in your fridge. You can play around with many different recipes that do not take long to prepare. By doing this you will not only be saving time but also having a healthy diet and getting all the nutrients your body needs depending on the ingredients you use.