How to pick out a protein shake
Protein powders are a quick way to help ensure that your body is nourished and satisfied. People use them for a variety of reasons — to lose weight, to improve sports performance and build muscle mass, and for overall wellness. However, the market is so saturated that how do you know you are picking the right product for you. To the untrained eye they are all the same if the taste is good. Sometimes the good tasting ones, have the wrong ingredients and sometimes the not so good tasting ones have the right ingredients. My Choice of protein product is at the end of the article
Why do I need a protein shake?
Most people don’t intake enough protein a day to calibrate a good fat loss. Not too mention over time we lose muscle if we don’t have enough protein sources through food. Protein shakes are a good quick way to get a snack and to up your protein intake for the day. Each time you ingest protein that is a 30% increase in your metabolism. You can’t beat that, its basically a freebie for eating. So why wouldn’t you want a good protein shake?
How do you know which protein powder is best to meet your personal health goals? It’s important to know the difference between available protein powders as well as how they stack up against whole food protein sources.
Is your main goal muscle building or fat loss?
It’s important that you’re taking the time to match your protein powder selection to your goal. If you’re looking for purely fat loss with your training, then you’re going to want to find a protein powder that is low in calories and 100% straight protein.
These varieties will usually contain between 90 and 110 calories and provide somewhere between 22 and 26 grams of protein per scoop. This enables you to get the protein you need for fat loss without adding additional calories from carbs or fat to your daily intake.
When you’re really trying to get to your absolute leanest, every calorie counts so it will make a difference.
If, on the other hand, you’re gearing your efforts in the gym towards building muscle, you may want to consider a protein powder that has a bit more of a calorie punch to it. There is a wide selection of ‘weight gainer’ protein powders available for this purpose.
When choosing one of these varieties, the biggest factor to consider is time of day. If you’re using it as a during the day shake, selecting one that has some dietary fat to it will be fine – even beneficial.
If you’re using it just before or after a workout, then you’ll want one that is strictly protein and carbs since fat during this time is something to avoid since it slows down the amino acid and glucose release in the body.
Sometimes during the day weight gainer shakes are referred to as meal replacement shakes, so if you’re searching for this variety, be aware it can be called this as well.
Protein types and uses
Whey protein is one of the most commonly used proteins and is best for day-to-day use. It contains all of the essential amino acids and is easily digested. It helps boost energy and can reduce stress levels. Whey isolates and concentrates are best to use after a workout.
If you’re planning to use the protein powder as a meal throughout the day, then you want to go with a casein protein powder since it will take longer to digest and provide the body with a slow release of amino acids. These proteins will also help to keep hunger levels under control so you’ll be less likely to eat between meals.
Soy protein is another common choice. It helps reduce high cholesterol and can ease symptoms of menopause for some women. It can also help with osteoporosis by helping build bone mass.
Other types of protein include:
Egg protein, released more slowly than whey, can be taken throughout the day.
Milk proteins help support immune function and enhance muscle growth.
Rice protein, which is 100 percent plant-based, is a good choice for vegetarians or for people who don’t consume dairy products. It’s also gluten-free.
Pea protein is highly digestible, hypo-allergenic and economical.
Hemp protein is also 100 percent plant-based. It’s a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Matching a powder to your needs
With so many choices, how do you decide which protein powder is best for you? Here are some general guidelines, based on the outcomes you’re looking for:
Build muscles — For muscle growth, choose a protein powder with a high biological value (a value that measures how well the body can absorb and utilize a protein). Whey protein, casein and whey isolates are your best options.
Lose weight — To lose weight, choose shakes with no added sugars or dextrins/maltodextrins (sweeteners made from starch). Don’t choose those with added branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), as they help promote muscle growth and weight gain.
Stay vegetarian or vegan — If you are vegetarian or vegan, don’t choose milk-based protein shakes (e.g., whey, milk proteins); instead use 100 percent plant proteins.
Go low-sugar with diabetes — Patients who have diabetes should choose protein shakes without added sugar (don’t choose protein powders with sugar listed as one of the first three ingredients). It’s also best to look for a shake that’s low in carbohydrates (less than 5 grams per serving).
Limit protein for kidney disease — People with kidney disease can’t tolerate a lot of protein at one time. Stick with powders that have a lower-range protein content (10-15 grams per serving).
Avoid gastrointestinal problems — Patients with irritable bowel syndrome or lactose intolerance should choose powders that don’t contain lactose sugars, artificial sweeteners or dextrins/maltodextrins. If you have a gluten allergy or sensitivity, don’t choose powders that contain gluten.
Stick to your budget — To save money, buy tubs of protein powder instead of ready-to-drink protein shakes which are more expensive because they’re convenient.
Get the most from your protein powder
Here are a few things to consider:
To recover after exercise, an athlete or avid exerciser should consume protein within 60 minutes of a workout. That’s when your muscles are most responsive to the use of protein for the repair and growth process.
To control your weight, it’s best to consume a steady supply of protein at each meal and snack to help keep you full.
Although there’s no magic number for how much protein to consume at one time, it’s best to aim for at least 3 ounces of protein per meal.
Find a great tasting product
When it comes to sticking with a weight loss protein powder you want to find one that tastes good. One of the most complaints I get is “I haven’t found one that I like the taste of.” I have tried just about every popular product on the market today. Some I liked the taste but wasn’t satisfied with the ingredients it had.
My Favorite product to recommend is Protein Milkshake bar, this is a fairly new product but it will be a household name soon enough.
Protein milkshakes products have just the right ratio of carbs to protein, just enough protein to make a metabolic punch, no GMOs and NO sweentners that can affect your metabolism. My favorite flavors are Vanilla and Cupcake batter
Author: Monica Perry
I’m a metabolic magician, nutrition nerd, exercise expert, and motivation master. I help women get fit quickly with the most food and least exercise.
♥ Holistic Nutritionist
♥ Sports Nutrition Specialist
♥ Personal Trainer
♥ Health and Weight Loss Coach
♥ Behavior Modification Specialist
I’m always researching, looking for loopholes that make losing fat easy… because I believe life is hard enough and getting fit shouldn’t be, ya feel me?
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