If you are fond of working out and building a physique, you know just how important proteins are for you. Proteins are considered the building blocks for your perfect physique. Muscle growth is directly dependent on the amount of proteins you consume. Protein shakes have become the most convenient form of consuming protein, and for good reason also. The real question is – when to drink protein shakes? Before a workout, or after it? The question of when to drink protein shakes has sparked great debate over the years. Here, we try our best to give our two cents on the matter.
HOW DO PROTEINS WORK?
Protein is best known as a building block of muscle tissue, repairing, protecting and expanding any type of tissue. But proteins have many more functions: they transport substances, catalyze reactions, regulate processes, transmit signals and fight against pathogens. In simple terms, proteins are a series of amino acids – organic compounds that are based on carbon as is the case with fats and carbohydrates. Although there are innumerable amino acids in nature and thus in our body, only 20 of them can build proteins or peptides.
Our body disassembles protein, which we ingest with food, with the help of enzymes in its components, namely the amino acids, and releases them through the intestinal wall. They are compounded to those proteins. While our bodies produce most of the amino acids themselves by altering other substances, they can not produce. They are essential or semi-essential amino acids and must be absorbed through the diet.
The process of protein assembly and disassembly leads to muscle growth. When to drink protein shakes are consume this protein will be discussed a little later.
BEST SOURCES OF PROTEIN
Beef and chicken must be a staple for your muscle building process to work. Loaded with protein, meat is also a great source of iron, zinc and vitamin B that help in blood production. They are also excellent sources of amino acids that work with insulin to digest proteins and improve muscle growth.
Eggs are the simplest forms of protein you need for muscle growth, especially for those on a tight budget. Egg Whites is cheap and easily available everywhere. It contains all the essential amino acids that contribute to the rapid conversion of proteins.
Also Read: How To Make Protein Cookies At Home
While cheese is harmful to those looking for their cholesterol intake, it is also good for those trying to gain weight. Cheese, especially cottage cheese, is filled with pure proteins that are slowly digested by the body, helping to maintain muscle size and muscle tone. Milk works similarly. In addition to your fluid intake, it provides protein in the form of casein and whey. Eating cheese and drinking two glasses of milk a day would do wonders for you.
HOW MUCH PROTEIN YOU REALLY NEED
A daily intake of about 0.7 g per kilogram of body weight should be sought. Active people are even suggested to have a daily intake of 1.7 g per kilogram of body weight. In a man weighing 75 kg, this corresponds to 127.5 g protein per day. Your protein intake depends on your fitness goals. If its a buffed up physique you desire, you should stick religiously to the 0.7 g per kilogram of body weight mantra. If not, consume a nominal amount everyday, and you’ll still be looking great. At the same time, make sure that you do not over do it.
Amounts greater than 3 g protein per kilogram of body weight should be avoided, both temporarily and long term, as they may cause stomach pain, flatulence or blemishes. Also note that when metabolized by protein, uric acid is a by-product that is broken down by the kidneys. Make sure you supplement protein intake with drinking lots of water. You wouldn’t want to have bad knees, would you?
WHEN TO DRINK PROTEIN SHAKES
The question of when to drink protein shakes is paramount to a lot of gym enthusiasts. This is primarily because progress and results are what every gym goer wants his efforts to culminate in. Also, the hefty cost associated with incorporating protein shakes in your diet makes when to drink protein shakes an even more important question.
Protein shakes can be very heavy, and can make you feel bloated. This is why for some people, consuming it after working out is desirable. At the same time, there are some who feel they are aptly energized for the rigors of the workout, resulting in heavier lifts and better workouts. So when really is the best time to drink protein shakes?
Well, so far, there has been one recognized study conducted in the US on the matter. In the study, subjects were given protein shakes both before and after working out, and their progress was tracked.
There were a total of twenty one subjects, divided into two groups. They were made to go through the same workout, three times a week, for ten weeks. One group was given protein shakes consisting of 25 grams of protein after the workout, and one was given immediately before working out.
Interestingly, the study found that there were no significant differences in the muscle growth and size of all twenty-one subjects. The study thus provides great insight into the question of when to drink protein shakes. The study shows that it does not matter when you drink protein shakes, but if you drink protein shakes. This means that your overall protein intake throughout the day should sufficiently support muscle growth.
ARE PROTEIN SHAKES EVEN NECESSARY?
Now that the question of when to drink protein shakes is answered, the next question is just as pertinent. Protein shakes have transformed the fitness industry since their introduction all those years back. This is primarily because of their sheer convenience. To consume 25 grams of protein, you’d have to eat around ten egg whites, one large piece of beef steak, and a sizable amount of chicken and vegetables. On the contrary, you just have to put in a scoop of whey in the blender and add milk/water to consume the same amount.
Protein shakes are absolutely not necessary, but are still recommended. They are convenient to take and down right delicious. At the same time, protein shakes can be an expensive proposition, and their overuse can lead to several health issues.
If you make sure you consume a healthy amount everyday, drink lots of water with its consumption, you’d be putting on muscle and looking your meanest in no time!