The fitness journey is never comfortable. Whether you are trying to lose weight, get lean, or build muscle, it is always challenging. Protein, however, makes it more comfortable, especially if you are trying to build your muscles.
Your muscles are made up of protein; you create microtears in your muscles when you work out. Thus, consuming protein after a workout helps rebuild those muscles (accompanied by rest, of course). Your body can digest anywhere from 30 to 50 grams of protein per meal. It is hard to consume the amount of protein you need (which is about 1 gram per pound of lean muscle; it can be higher or lower depending on your goals) solely through food like meat, so drinking a protein shake after a workout can be beneficial.
Now comes the question, “How do I know what protein powder to look for and what works for me?” There are many different types of protein powder that you can buy. Most importantly, remember that everyone’s body is different. What works for you may not work for the next person, and so on.
There are so many different types of protein powder out there, so it may be hard to choose exactly which one is for you. Some contain soy, which is mostly all GMO and increases estrogen levels in men, so you would want to avoid those.
Whey protein isolate is another common type of protein. Whey is the protein itself, and essentially, it does as it says and isolates the protein. It removes the extra fats and lactose and is usually about 90 percent protein.
Alpha wheybolic is yet another protein but is a bit different from the others. It is a GNC line and is said to increase testosterone levels.
A new rising type of protein powder is organic or plant-based protein powder. The plant-based powder can be very beneficial to lactose-intolerant because plant-based protein does not include the sugar found in milk, unlike some regular protein powders. Both plant and whey-based proteins are just as useful.
They both also have similar effects on metabolic rates, glucose metabolism, and muscle mass production. While they are identical, some claim that plant-based protein is better for you and can help with weight loss, among other things, but be aware of the risk of pesticides being used on the plants in the powder.
There are so many different types of protein powder that benefit you in so many different ways. These are just a few of the more popular types. Once again, it all depends on your body and what you’re looking to improve. It can help you try different powders to see what works best according to your body and provide the best results.
Still, if you were to take the route of solely eating food to obtain that extra protein, you have options with foods such as eggs and tuna. One large egg, for example, is six grams of protein, while one can of tuna has about 22 grams of protein. A four-ounce serving of grilled chicken has around 35 grams of protein, three ounces of beef has approximately 21 grams, three ounces of salmon has about 22 grams, and so on. (Learn the protein amounts of different foods with the link below.)
To recap, it’s challenging to eat all the protein your body needs through food, so a protein shake after a workout may benefit your body and improve your goals.