When to Drink Protein Shakes, And When NOT to
Whey, soy, casein, milk: the choices for protein supplement seem limitless. Grab a protein bar, or start your day with a high protein oatmeal. Better yet, mix up a protein shake. But be careful, because too much protein at the wrong time can backfire on you. In this article we will discuss health tips about when to take protein shakes, some of the best protein shakes on the market, and some possible protein shakes side effects.
When to drink a protein shake
Protein shakes are used to supplement your diet in order to help build muscle. As well, proteins will help produce hormones, enzymes, cellular messengers, nucleic acids, and components of the immune system. Protein also helps with the rebuilding and healing of muscle, which is the essential work of gaining muscular mass.
This key process of rebuilding muscle determines when to have protein shakes, because you want the extra protein boost to assist in the healing process, resulting in more muscle mass. This means that you want to take your protein shake 30 to 60 minutes after your work out.
Another recommended time for taking protein shakes is first thing in the morning. The reason for this is avoid becoming catabolic after fasting through the night. Essentially, your body will start to break down muscle for fuel, so a quick protein shake first thing in the morning can supply the nutrients your body needs. This preserves your muscle building.
On your workout day, you might take a protein shake just before your workout in order to provide more fuel for your body; however, this is in general not as effective a use as post workout.
What to look for in protein shakes
You are looking for Biological Value, the amount of body protein in grams (nitrogen) that can be replaced by 100 grams of protein in the regular adult diet. Your body can better digest, use, and retain protein with a higher Biological Value (BV).
Whey protein is known for being the most complete source of amino acids, both essential and non-essential. It also has the highest branched-chain amino acid levels. Here are some break downs of BV content in familiar foods.
- Whey: 104
- Whole egg: 100
- Whole milk: 91
- Casein: 77
- Beef: 80
- Soy: 74
- Wheat: 54
- Beans: 49
While Biological Value is held up as the main criteria for quality protein supplements, it is not the end all decision factor. Your personal choice should include factors such as your own personal gain goals, possible side effects, and overall effectiveness of the product.
Possible side effects of protein shakes
Too much protein can lead to possible side effects. Remember that protein shakes are supplementary to your regular diet. They should not replace essential foods, and they should be taken in moderation at the appropriate times.
Possible side effects of protein shakes may include:
- Kidney stones from too much calcium
- Ketosis (starvation mode)
- Dehydration from too much nitrogen
- Some protein supplements may trigger lactose intolerance
With all dietary supplements, it is wise to seek your professional health care provider’s advice. A personal trainer can also be helpful with setting up a healthy protein supplement plan. Finding the right protein shake for you means understanding your own personal body building goals, and there are several good choices for your consideration.
- Are Protein Shakes Good For You?
- Protein Shakes Side Effects
- Protein Shakes: A Great Source of Protein
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