People they drink protein shakes for a variety of reasons: muscle gains, weight loss, and injury recovery.
Plenty of foods offer protein sources, including eggs, meat, poultry, milk, and legumes, but protein shakes have become a modern fitness staple.
Let's find out together if the protein shakes are really effective for gaining muscle mass and weight loss.
Are protein shakes a food supplement?
According to Food and Drug Administration, food supplements are products that contain a food ingredient, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids and herbs.
In the case of protein shakes, these provide amino acids, also known as the building blocks of proteins.
Food supplements are available in many forms, in powder, capsule and liquid form; in fact, it is possible to find protein supplements in liquid or powder form.
As the name suggests, food supplements are meant to help complement or improve the diet.
Protein shakes can come in handy when you don't have other high-quality protein sources available or you simply can't meet your daily protein requirement through food alone.
Animal or vegetable protein?
- protein supplements can be of animal or vegetable origin. The best known protein powders of animal origin are casein and whey, both deriving from cow's milk.
For those with allergy or lactose intolerance it is better to opt for derived proteins from the albumen. As for plant-based proteins, you can opt for soy, pea, hemp or rice proteins.
Benefits for muscle mass
Protein shakes are consumed by athletes who want increase your muscle mass and improve your performance.
The combination of protein shakes and resistance training can promote muscle growth and improve physical performance and recovery.
This happens because resistance training stimulates muscle protein synthesis, as well as a greater supply of high quality protein.
We remember, however, that it is not the protein shake itself that has this effect, but the high quality protein intake; smoothie is just a more convenient way to incorporate this macronutrient into your daily diet.
Protein shakes and weight loss
High-protein diets activate several pathways that promote weight loss, and drinking protein shakes can help:
- increase daily protein intake;
- increase the feeling of fullness: different hormones are involved in the stimulation and control of appetite and proteins seem to influence their production;
- speed up metabolism: protein diets increase energy expenditure, as the body burns more calories by metabolizing proteins than fats and carbohydrates;
- stimulate glucogenesis: protein diets stimulate glucogenesis, which is the process of producing glucose from proteins or fats in the absence of carbohydrates, which is believed to burn a lot of calories.
Un high protein intake is not enough for weight loss; Protein shakes can help you along the weight loss journey, but the key is to maintain a negative energy balance, meaning you burn more calories than you are consuming.
There are three ways to achieve this calorie deficit:
- introduce fewer calories
- consume more calories through sports
- a combination of the two previous options
A high protein intake allows you to introduce fewer calories without feeling hungry, but protein still contains calories, so eating too many can make a dent in your calorie deficit and even create a surplus.
How many protein shakes do you drink? Let us know in the comments!
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