Picture this, you’ve been working on your fitness for a while but you aren’t seeing the results you want. You wake up put on your gym clothes and head for the kitchen and eat breakfast. You take out your protein powder and scoop some into your shaker bottle. As you finish prepping, you look at your bottle and think huh does this actually work? If you’re unsure if you’re protein powder is working or looking for ways to get the most bang for your buck (because it can get pricey) look no further. Protein is a key part of any fitness journey as it is beneficial to the body. It aids in muscle growth and muscle repair. However, if you aren’t using it correctly then you won’t reap the benefits. Here are three tips you can start using today so you can make your protein powder work better for you.
How and When to Consume Your Protein Powder
Protein shakes can extend the time that muscle protein is synthesized and reduce the amount of muscle breakdown after a workout. It’s better to drink your protein shake when taking your meal rather than between meals. A protein powder that contains all of the essential amino acids takes more effort to prepare. However, when using your supplement as the major source in your meal, you will enjoy it more without having been frustrated during the preparation period. In addition, this strategy works better than eating protein in between meals. Therefore, make sure to prep your protein shake and meal at the same time so you take them together after you are finished cooking.
A recent systematic study evaluating the benefits of drinking protein shakes with meals vs. in between meals on people who do regular resistance training found that those who drank protein shakes with meals had a 4% higher lean body mass and a 28% lower fat mass.
Different people have different opinions on when to have your protein shake; some believe you should have it before an exercise, while others think it should be after your workout session. There’s a debate on “anabolic window,” which refers to eating protein 20 minutes or even an hour after a workout to benefit from resistance training.
Victoria University undertook a 10-week study to evaluate this protein timing idea. They compared trained individuals who received a 32-gram protein supplement before and after an exercise to another group with the same capability who consumed the same amount of protein intake in the morning and evening.
The results showed that those who ingested the shakes around workout time saw more significant gains in muscle growth, increased strength while bench pressing, squatting, deadlifting, and lower body fat percentages. As a result, it is better to consume your protein powder around the time of your training session.
The Type of Protein Powder to Consume
When it comes to protein supplements, there are several options to be considered. Soy protein is made up of soy, one of the few plant-based, with complete proteins available. For individuals who want a more plant-based diet, this is better than whey or casein proteins. This protein source reduces total cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins (LDL), and triglycerides, which are all good for your heart.
Pea protein, like soy, is one of the few plant-based, complete protein sources on the market. It contains many amino acids, including Lysine, which is good for your immune system. Carnitine is known for its capacity to convert fatty acids into energy and is a precursor of Lysine. Another advantage of this protein is that it has a high iron content. For vegetarian women, especially during their menstrual cycles, a high iron level will be beneficial.
Casein protein is white as it comes from milk. This protein is difficult to break down in the body. In comparison to other dairy protein sources, it supplies nutrients over a more extended period. Additionally, casein protein is high in phosphorus and calcium, both of which are beneficial to your bones.
With so many available options, it might be difficult to choose the right one for you. You may easily select a protein supplement that will be beneficial to you by visiting an online store where you can receive help from a variety of well-curated options.
How to Prepare Your Protein Shake
While getting your protein shake ready, be sure to start by giving the powder a good shake or using a fork to break to ensure no clumps. Before adding the powder to your smoothie, ensure to sift it. Therefore, do not dispose of it when you get clumps in your powder.
Additionally, the viscosity of your protein powder is prone to heat and moisture. It may take some trial and error to find the perfect consistency, but you will get the hang of it with practice.
Most protein and pre-workout powders are prone to clumping when stored for extended periods. Ensure you store your powder somewhere cool and dry. For additional storage information, check and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Using protein powder is a key part of your fitness journey. It can help you build muscle and repair muscles. Make sure you are getting the most out of your investment by doing research and making changes so your protein powder works for you. When you take your protein powder, what type you choose to take, and how you prepare your protein powder matter and can affect your results. Now that you have this knowledge go out and kill that workout!