Many people avoid using protein shakes due to the common belief that they are essentially “steroids”. I can’t really blame people for believing this due to how they are usually marketed. They are nothing more than a nutritional supplement, which plays no part on your hormones like steroids would.
In the simplest explanation protein shakes are used for recovery after a strenuous workout in order to deliver Amino Acids directly to the muscle cells.
The amino acids in a protein shake are used to help repair the muscle cells that are effectively “torn” during strenuous workouts. As in order for muscles to grow, they need to break down and then build up again adding more cells in the process. This is called Microtrauma. When this occurs (from weight training or other strenuous activities), the body responds by overcompensating, replacing the damaged tissue and adding more, so that the risk of repeat damage is reduced.
Damage to these fibers has been theorized as the possible cause for the symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), and is why progressive overload is essential to continued improvement, as the body adapts and becomes more resistant to stress.
Providing your body with ample amounts of amino acids allow the muscles to have the resources to build up stronger and quicker.
There are many different kinds of protein shakes, which I wrote about in another article over on my old site. So check that out to find the best protein shake for what you’re looking for as some have different functions to others.
So how much protein do you actually need?
Well, this is something that has been widely debated, but I would recommend sticking to the standard 0.7g of Protein per pound of lean body mass.
As most protein shakes contain just over 20g of protein per shake, that is just less than a chicken breast which has around 26g.
There are benefits to choosing a shake, but the main advantage is the ease. Carrying around a powder that you can quickly knock up a shake when needed, definitely beats the buying, prepping, storing and eating of a chicken breast whilst on the move. Whey protein is also one of the fastest digesting proteins there is and will start getting to help repair your muscles in no time.
So there you have it. Protein shakes aren’t this special chemical that is going to make your muscles huge. It’s simply an alternative and convenient protein source to eating whole food.
If you’re looking to get your hands on a protein shake, then I would highly recommend The Protein Works. It’s who I buy all my protein supplements from and the service is absolutely top notch. You can read a review I did about them before you buy.
As an added bonus, I’ve managed to get a code to get you 250g of FREE protein when you place your first order and spend over £10. Click here to get your protein.