If you have ever tried to build muscle you must have got to the point where whey protein shake supplements seemed to be your last and only hope for gaining some muscle mass...am I right?
Ok maybe it wasn't your only hope, but I am sure that somebody suggested you to take whey protein or that at least you thought about it at some point.
Before considering to supplement your diet with a daily whey protein shake you also must have researched a little bit about nutrition and what is essential to build muscle.
If you are impatient, jump to the Best Whey Protein Powders now!
Whey Protein is Essential to Build Muscle
There is no doubt that, to build muscle mass, diet plays a role that is at least as important as weight training, and that proteins are essential to recover after exercise and especially to maintain and build your muscles.
If you ask the question "How do I build muscle", most people will answer:
- Do weight lifting and strength training workout
- Eat more protein
Let me tell you some protein facts:
- When you work out your muscles actually break down under the stress of the workout
- Your body responds to this stress by trying to repair the fibres by repairing the broken muscles
- To repair and reinforce the muscles your body needs protein, because protein is the main building block of muscle
Do You Take In Enough Protein?
It is obvious that your diet can't lack proteins if you want to maintain of grow the size of your muscles.
But do you eat the right amount of protein every day in order to achieve your goals?
Or should you start drinking some whey protein shake to help?
Sometimes this can be challenging, especially if you have a fast paced lifestyle where you can't have a proper lunch break and all you can eat fast is a sandwich.
Now you're probably wondering how much protein a bodybuilder should take in...
Aim to 1-2 grams of protein per pound to maintain and build muscle
So if you weigh 150 pounds you should take in at least 150 grams of protein.
Can you do that?
If eating healthy seems already challenging at times, when it comes to building muscle it's even harder to keep track of how much protein we take in, how many carbs and fats.
Especially it's hard to take in the right amount every day.
This is the main reason why whey protein shakes are so popular in the bodybuilding world.
If you can't eat enough protein with your food, you probably want to drink a whey protein shake a day to boost your daily protein intake and metabolism.
Yes, this is another protein fact: if two persons of the same weight take in the same amount of calories a day, the one that takes in more protein has a faster metabolism and can build muscle and burn fat faster.
Whey Protein Shake Vs. Quality Food
Now this is what I could figure out during my bodybuilding experience: according to the commercials it sounds like you can't hope to build muscle without their proteins shakes, and that's why many people buy them.
But the truth is that if you can eat enough protein with your diet then you don't need any of these whey protein supplements.
Here is a list of foods that provide best protein quality:
- Lean meat
- Nuts and Beans
But of course if you've ever tried it, it's challenging to take in a minimum of 150 grams of protein just by eating tons of those foods every day.
My advice is that if you can (have the time and can afford it), eat good quality food as much as possible, but if you need extra protein then whey protein shakes is the way to go.
How and When to Take Protein Shakes
Here are a couple of questions that come natural in everybody's mind:
- How do I take a protein shake? With water or milk?
- When during the day should I take it?
Let's answer the "how to take protein shakes" first.
I strongly recommend to take your protein powder with water for a few different reasons, but mainly because it's proven that protein powder can be absorbed faster if taken with water and because it's easier for your stomach to digest.
You can take it with milk when you don't need fast absorption (like in the morning) of if it doesn't bother your stomach. I heard of many people having side effects when taking protein shake with milk.
To answer instead the question "when to take protein shake" I have two favorite times of the day:
- After workout
In the morning because that's probably the time of the day that your body is lacking protein after several hours that you haven't been eating.
After workout because you need to provide your body with the necessary building block of muscle so that it can repair it and recover fast.
You should take a whey proteins shake immediately after workout (together with amino acids) and with water so that your body can have proteins available immediately.
After all we discussed it's time to summarize and highlight pros and cons of a whey protein shake, and allow me to add something based on my personal experience.
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