Are Protein Shakes a Necessary Part of Working Out?
Everyone needs to take in adequate amounts of protein, but it is especially important for people who work out a lot. It’s not just for professional bodybuilders who need to pay attention to their protein intake although you may picture them eating lots of eggs and or gulping down whey protein. If you exercise for more than 30 minutes, run, lift weights or play sports, you will need more protein than people who are sedentary. However, there are varying opinions on whether you really need more than what you can get from food. Many athletes choose to purchase protein powders that taste good and shakes are an integral part of their regimen. If you’re wondering if you really need protein shakes or bars, this article is for you.
What is Protein and How Does it Affect the Body
Protein is one of the basic nutrients we need to maintain a healthy body. It is an important component of every cell in our bodies. Protein makes up our hair and nails, builds and repairs tissues, and helps to build bones, cartilage, and blood. It also supports our immune system and generally contributes to our wellbeing. Essentially, we need protein to survive.
However, you may need additional protein if you’re engaging in strenuous exercise. That’s because exercise involves tearing muscle fibers apart and repairing them. That repair work requires protein. Much of your day to day requirements will come from food like meat, beans, milk, cheese, eggs, and vegetables.
Still, many people find it helpful to boost their intake with protein powders, bars or shakes. Protein helps to boost the impact of exercise but some high-performance athletes find it difficult to eat the amounts of protein-rich foods they believe they require. They may also want a quick boost in protein after a workout but not have enough time to get a meal. However, whether shakes are absolutely necessary is still up for debate. According to one article published on the website of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, while protein supplements are convenient, they are necessary even more for high performing athletes.
If you’re wondering if shakes are right for you, consider whether you feel like you’re not building muscle even though you are engaging in lots of strength training exercises. You may also need additional protein if you feel low on energy when you exercise.
Things to Remember when Using Protein Shakes
It is important to note that protein shakes should not be used to replace actual food. They are supplements and they should be used in addition to a well-balanced diet. In fact, protein shakes need to be mixed with carbohydrates for proper absorption if you want to boost muscle mass. Despite what you may have heard, they aren’t some kind of magic potion. You need to eat foods rich in various vitamins and minerals if you want to see the result from your workouts.
Some people are convinced that protein shakes are necessary if you work a lot but not everyone feels the same way. What is certain is that you need to take in adequate proteins. If you find it difficult to get enough protein from food, you may want to give shakes a try.