Crafting a wow-worthy physique is not as complicated as it seems. In fact, the process of building muscle boils down to two important factors: a consistent workout regimen and balanced nutrition. While sticking to a workout schedule can be a challenge from time to time, there are no surprises there. You lift, you gain.
However, things may get a bit tricky when it comes to nutrition. Knowing what your body needs before hitting the gym is crucial if you want to sculpt the physique of your dreams. On that note, protein-packed foods and snacks should be on the top of your list.
Protein shakes are the easiest, tastiest and most nutrient-dense way to keep up with a demanding nutrition regimen. They usually contain enough protein to promote muscle recovery after a tough workout plus a variety of other muscle-building nutrients to support the process.
But, besides the ingredients, there are a few other things you need to consider before you chug down a protein shake. If you want to keep those workout goals going with a protein shake in hand, you need to hear (or read) what we have to say.
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What is a Protein Shake To Go?
Think of protein shakes as a protein-packed liquid meal. Containing a variety of food combos, top-shelf protein shakes provide you with an instant boost of protein to enhance your workout goals and rebuild your damaged muscle tissues with all the necessary nutrients.
But, remember! Not all protein shakes are made equal. Some of them may carry enough added sugar to crush your fitness goals in just one sip. That’s why you should only keep an eye for the best protein shakes out there rather than chugging down every too-good-to-be-true combo that crosses your path.
Why Do Protein Shakes Deserve a Place in Your Cupboard
From biceps to hamstrings, every muscle cell in your body contains and is in desperate need of protein. As a result, this nutrient is involved in a variety of body functions, from glucose regulation and weight management to muscle growth and healthy bones.
However, unlike fats and carbs, the human body isn’t designed to store excess protein and their building blocks, amino acids. That’s why we need to make sure we get enough of the nutrient through healthy food choices.
Protein shakes can be a great addition to a balanced diet due to their high content not only in protein but also many other nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Again, just the best protein shakes can do the trick. So, make sure to watch out for the added sugars.
Fun fact: The protein hiding in your muscles breaks down bit by bit as we speak. But, if you were to let that happen, you’d end up with a severe case of muscular dystrophy. Luckily, you can make up for the loss simply by munching on some protein-packed meals.
But, what happens when you want to build more muscle? You just need to eat more protein. It’s as simple as that. Some of the best protein shakes include a hefty dose of protein that triggers muscle protein anabolism which is much needed after a strenuous workout when your muscle tissues are damaged.
Despite their name suggesting otherwise, protein shakes are not just about protein. They also contain a variety of other nutrients with fiber being one of the most important. Fiber is a nutrient that helps you control your weight by making you feel full for longer and curbing cravings.
As soon as you’re done exercising, your body is depleted of energy as well as nutrients. So, it’s no wonder you may be feeling quite hungry. At this point, protein shakes are an excellent way to not only curb your appetite but also meet your protein needs.
Restoring Electrolyte Balance
As you workout, your body’s temperature is gradually increasing. To prevent various heat-related issues, your body starts sweating. But, as you sweat, you don’t only lose a substantial amount of water, but also electrolytes such as calcium, potassium, sodium, and magnesium. Electrolytes are responsible for a variety of body functions such as hydration and anti-aging, muscle contractions and blood acidity.
So, after a sweaty workout session, your primary concern is to replenish lost fluid as well as electrolytes to allow your body to function properly. Luckily, the best protein shakes offer a quick and easy solution to this problem. Protein and fiber aside, the best protein shakes contain enough electrolytes (most of the times calcium) and water to liven up your dehydrated cells.
Timing is Everything
Now that you know WHY let’s find out WHEN is the best time to drink some protein shake.
According to research, the human body needs protein more than ever right after a workout session. In fact, there’s a 45- to 90-minute anabolic window during which protein absorption is at its peak. That’s why most experts suggest you have a post-workout snack about 45 minutes after you’re done working out.
The reason behind this large protein need is because your muscles are slightly damaged from all the hard work and need to be repaired. Protein and its components, amino acids, help you fasten the recovery process and replace the calories you torched with muscle mass.
According to experts, you should also consider drinking protein shakes right before you go to sleep. As you sleep, your body slowly runs out of protein. In fact, the longer you sleep, the less protein remains in your body. That’s why you should drink up a glass of the best protein shake (no added sugars, please) to provide your muscles with protein throughout the night.
Best Protein Shakes to Grow Some Serious Muscle
Don’t know where to start? Take a look at the two best protein shakes on the market today. These high protein drinks list will get you prepared for any busy schedule!
With just 160 calories per serving, this protein shake to go not only watches out for your waist but also carries an impressive protein punch.
- It is very affordable.
- Just one shake covers 60% of your daily recommended protein value.
- It contains a unique blend of Premier Protein which consists of calcium caseinate, whey, and milk protein concentrate.
- It is also packed with electrolytes such as potassium and sodium, serving as a nutrient-dense post-workout protein shake.
- It comes in three different flavors (chocolate, vanilla, strawberry) to match your unique taste.
This protein shake is also rich in fiber, helping you tackle any cravings throughout the day.
- A quick look at the nutrition label proves that this protein shake contains lots of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C and D as well as iron, copper, and zinc.
- It contains no traces of gluten.
- As it contains milk, this protein shake is not suitable for lactose-intolerant individuals.
- It includes sucralose which is an artificial sweetener.
If you’re looking for a tasty way to boost your fitness goals, then Pure Protein Shake is a no-brainer.
- With 35 grams in one serving, this protein shake covers almost 70% (!) of your daily protein needs.
- Pure Protein Shake is also rich in potassium, calcium, and sodium, allowing you to get your depleted electrolyte “bank” back to normal after a tough workout.
- This protein shake also contains just 170 calories helping you achieve your weight loss goals (if any) in the tastiest way possible.
- It also packs 4 grams of carbs, keeping you energized.
- It comes in seven delicious flavors, from good old chocolate to cookies and cream.
- It contains both milk and soy. So, it’s not recommended for those allergic to lactose and soy.
Who said that getting fit and sculpting the perfect physique is all about eating nothing but salads and chicken? Protein shakes offer a tasty alternative to boring protein meals without compromising your health and workout resolutions. What are you waiting for? Conquer your fitness goals one sip at a time! These are the perfect protein shakes to go for your busy schedule.