You’re a fan of fitness, in which case, you’ll already know about the benefits that protein offers in general. If you’re not so sure, however, protein enhances your ability to build muscle, potentially allowing you to look toned, and also boosting your metabolism, which in turn, helps you to slim down.
As far as many fitness-focused folks are concerned, their obsession with protein powder can be summed up like this: A scoop a day provides for a quick and easy way in which to increase protein intake and boost up your energy levels.
But what else is there on offer with respect to protein powders? It’s not merely about boosting energy levels and toning one’s body, is it?
What exactly is it, and how should it be used for best effect?
The benefits of protein powder – what are they?
Whey, milk-based, and casein protein powders offer, in essence, the very best available parts of milk, and the fats and the carbohydrates are removed. So, what this means is that you can increase your intake of protein and yet you do not have to greatly increase the intake of various other macronutrients. This can help you to boost your athletic performance, improve the tone of your muscles, and also increase your general health. A definitive winning scenario.
What type of protein powders are available?
Whey protein: This is the most commonly available and used type of protein in terms of protein powders. The body absorbs it rapidly and easily, and it’s an ideal alternative for a post-workout boost.
Casein protein: This protein powder is the richest form of glutamine, glutamine being an amino acid that aids body recovery post-workout et cetera. It’s very slow to digest, and thus it is ideal to take prior to going to bed, given that it affords essential nutrients during physical rest.
Soy protein: Soy protein consists of every essential amino acid and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans alike.
Egg protein: Egg protein is dairy- and lactose-free and offers a medium rate of digestion. It comes with high levels of certain essential amino acids such as lysine.
Pea protein: If your intention is to focus on a vegan diet or you merely wish to cut down on the amount of meat intake within your diet, pea protein is ideal. The quality of protein in a pea is similar to soy and eggs, and those are considered to be complete sources. This protein is likewise a very good source of arginine, which is an amino acid that is required by your body to build muscle bulk.
Hemp protein: Like pea protein, hemp protein is a great alternative for vegans. It’s also suited to those who suffer from dairy allergens such as lactose intolerance, in which case, you’d not be able to partake in whey or casein intake. Hemp is among the few plant-based proteins that contains all of the eight essential amino acids – those amino acids that your body cannot generate. It’s packed full of essential fatty acids, live enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and various other co-factors, which aid absorption, digestion, as well as general wellness.
When and how should protein powder be taken?
Selecting the best times to take protein will very likely impact the benefits it will have on your body.
Immediately post-workout: When you are involved in regular training sessions, the best and most important time to indulge in protein is right after your workout has ended. Your muscles will utilize the nutrition on offer for recovery and for growth.
Before a workout: Whenever you work out, it’s a good time for you to take a protein shake about 30 minutes prior to getting started. This, in effect, creates what is referred to as an “anabolic window.” An anabolic window serves to lower muscle damage during your workout. If you take your shake together with some carbs, such as a banana, you’ll gain some extra energy and exposure to muscle damage will be reduced.
Just after you rise from bed: Enjoying a protein shake just after you rise from bed in the morning represents a good way to gain essential nutrients after a lengthy period of rest. There are, of course, many ways of using protein powder other than merely focusing on creating shakes. You can use the powder to provide for a protein supply in flapjacks, pancakes, and in cookies, just for example.