Even though many people associate protein shakes with gym rats and bulky muscles, the truth is, they can be a great way to get the necessary protein for women and men to shed fat, gain lean muscle, and drive their health goals forward.
If you missed Part One, check it out because it covers weight management with protein shakes and the effect on muscle strength and health.
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Meeting the recommended ratio of carbs, fat, and protein in a healthy diet (which varies depending mostly on age and sex) is easier said than done for most people. Your weight-loss and fitness goals also become significant factors in how much protein intake you need.
For women who want to shed excess weight or gain lean and strong muscles, they will need twice the amount of the daily recommended allowance for protein - which is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, as stated by theU.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It might prove to obtain the required amount from whole foods alone, if you’re above your ideal weight or if you are a vegan/vegetarian, for example. In such cases, protein shakes are an ideal supplement as each serving is chock-full of proteins.
Protein sourced from whole foods are always the best option, and this should always be part of one’s regular diet. It’s important to remember that protein shakes should not replace whole foods in the diet.
There are circumstances, however, when supplementing with protein shakes do offer significant benefits. They provide quickly digestible and high-quality protein which is ideal during and after a workout. In cases wherein whole foods cannot provide the required protein amount for weight-loss and muscle repair and reconstruction, protein shakes can also adequately make up for the deficit.
Some of the best arguments for protein shakes are the extra benefits, beyond simply getting more protein. We’ll talk more about that in Part Three, but for now, it’s worth mentioning that the next best way to get protein is through diet. However, most vegetables that are high in protein are also low-calorie and quickly digestible, which leaves you feeling hungry 20 minutes or so after eating. Protein shakes are delicious and have staying power like meat does. That means you can have a protein shake with lunch or as a snack, and it will help prevent overeating at dinner.
Check out Part Three, where we’ll cover additional benefits, and a few myths, surrounding protein shakes.