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WHEN TO DRINK PROTEIN SHAKES?

Dr, Donna Restivo

Posted on March 23 2020

protein-shakes

If you’re trying to navigate the wild world of protein supplements, we know it isn’t easy. With so many products and enormous amounts of information out there, I’m sure you are asking yourself questions like, “what type of protein powder would be the best for me?” or “when shall I drink a protein shake?” We are happy to step up and share our expert advice to  help you understand how protein shakes can help produce your desired health and fitness results.

Like we paused last time at what protein supplement is best for what requirement, today we take this topic further by discussing what is the best time of the day to consume protein shakes.

 Best time to drink protein shakes

Protein shakes can be helpful if you are not able to meet your minimum protein requirement through food on a daily basis. The best time to drink protein shakes depends on your lifestyle, habits and unique wellness goals. For instance, if you are juggling kids and your commute to work in the morning, or if your stomach churns just thinking about eating before your morning workout, a protein shake may be right for you. Another instance where drinking protein shake may prove useful is when there is a lot of time between your meals and your workout.

With all that said, to get the best results and ensure you are getting all the nutrients you need, we recommend having meals and snacks made up of whole foods — fruits, vegetables, low glycemic carbs, lean protein and healthy fats. To keep your metabolism running and your energy high, we suggest aiming for 12 ounces of  protein per day, 2 fruits and low starch vegetables as your ideal diet plan. Have a balanced diet, with regular nutrient supplies of all. Also, remember to stay hydrated by drinking 50% of your body weight in water per day to help your body function to the best of its ability and can help it filter out extra waste.

Here are some scenarios when a protein shake can come in handy during the course of a day:

Breakfast

Whether or not breakfast is a morning must is still up for debate. It all depends on what your body is used to and what works best for you. Also, as you might have an inkling, there is a big difference between eating sugar-coated cereal or juice-forward smoothies and eggs with whole grain toast. After an entire night of sleep, your body quickly absorbs simple and refined carbs, leading to a spike and eventual crash in blood sugar. To avoid this crash, it’s best to eat a balanced meal with complex carbs, healthy fats and protein. Protein in the morning is linked to appetite control and more sustained energy. If you don’t have an appetite when you first wake up or don’t have any time for a meal, try a protein shake.

Pre-workout and post-workout protein shakes

When we are fasting and avoid eating for long periods of time, our glucose levels deplete. To get the energy our body needs, it starts to break down muscle reserves. Therefore, if you haven’t eaten in a while and are about to train intensely, it’s a good idea to have some quick-absorbing fuel or a protein shake to get the most out of your workout.

If your goal is to lose weight and your planned workout isn’t intense, you never have to worry about immediate pre- and post-workout fuel. Forget the protein shake and instead focus on eating balanced meals throughout the day — including a complete meal two to four hours before working out plus by a snack or main after the workout.

If you are doing intense, long workouts (i.e. 45 minutes or longer) or your goal is to gain muscle, preparing your body correctly can help prevent muscle tissue loss, decrease your recovery time, and give you extra energy during your workout. Whole foods are always the best option, but depending on how much time you have before a workout, protein shakes may be your best - and only -option.

Point to note: The shake gives your body branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), which help maintain your muscle energy stores.

Throughout the day

Recent studies show that the total amount of protein and carbohydrates you eat over the course of the day is more impactful on performance than the exact time you consume the macronutrient. That means drinking a protein shake immediately before or after a workout never really matter. Remember, one of protein’s primary functions is to give you energy. To stay energized all day, space out your meals and snacks and be sure to include protein with all them.

If you have a particularly active day or you train regularly, you’ll need more carbohydrates to sustain your energy levels. Add in an extra snack or a protein shake to your normal meal plan.

by Dr. Restivo has a range of flavored protein shakes as per your requirement. Click here to have a look at what is available.

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