In the world of fitness, we all use protein shakes but many times I’ve been asked by people, “Should I take supplements for better health and to achieve fitness goals?” Indirectly, people want to know about the most widely used protein supplement.
Not to mention, whey protein is one of the most common in the market and inside every gym bag, however; casein, creatine, pea protein and rice protein powders are also available.
What’s a Protein Shake?
Apparently, seems like a silly question but still many of us are unaware of what really is a protein shake.
A lot of people have the misconception of these shakes being steroids and to some extent, it’s also used as a fake marketing tactic. Beware!
A protein shake is basically a source of pure nutrients and they don’t have any direct effect on your hormones as opposed to steroids. Few people also have a confusion between mass gainer and protein shakes. Mass gainers are basically a large source of carbs delivered directly to your muscles while protein shakes deliver amino acids to your muscle cells.
Which Protein Should You Use?
One of the most common and popular protein is whey protein powder. It has all the nine essential amino acids that your muscles need to recover and grow.
There are further three types of whey protein:
- Isolate: These yield high level of protein and low levels of allergenic. Perfect for lactose intolerant.
- Hydrolysate: It’s produced in such a way that it has already been predigested. The rate of absorption is super-fast, which means more benefits.
- Concentrate: The cheapest form you’ll find in the market but has significant fat and cholesterol levels.
The serious athletes use the hydrolysate and not to mention that it’s the most expensive of all.
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How Much Protein Does Your Body Need?
If you’re on training hard, hitting the gym five, six or even seven days a week, and the protein intake is missing, you’ll only leave your muscles with a deficit of building blocks they need to recover from the damage after each workout.
Though the actual amount of protein intake is still under debate, but it highly depends on your body’s specific needs.
On average, 0.7g of protein per 453g (1lb) of bodyweight a day is recommended. So, just to give you an example, if you weigh 170 lbs, your daily intake would be 119g of protein, provided that you’re hitting the gym as well.
This is also equivalent to:
- Two pieces of 60g chicken breast
- Three 18g egg
- Steak (60z) = 40g
Eating and buying all these three ingredients daily is a big deal for your stomach and of course to your bank balance as well. This is where the protein shakes can save you a lot of time and money and you don’t necessarily have to buy every day. Most of the whey proteins available online are priced between $50-$100 and lasts for 2-3 months.
You have to understand that whey protein is basically just a food supplement and you shouldn’t expect overnight results.
However, I would definitely say that it’s the best and obvious item of your gym routine, health, and fitness and you shouldn’t be training without protein intake.
Though you can replace protein powders with whole foods and have no negative effects but they are really helpful for your body and muscles.
Once again, not a magic pill, but definitely a slow, steady wins the race ingredient that you should be consuming for long-term benefits.