The protein shakes are food supplements commonly used by people who practice sports frequently. They are usually consumed, as their name suggests, to complement sports nutrition and provide the body with an extra dose of protein, as it is necessary for proper muscle development.
Although it is a well-known product among the sports community, there are those who still do not know how to adequately integrate them into their diet, since they are not clear about their objective or the effect they can have on them. In addition, they do not know how many protein shakes to drink before training or how they should be ingested after training.
Therefore, it is advisable to always ask a sports nutritionist before consuming them. We have spoken with EnCana, a sports nutrition specialist, CEO at the Clinical and Sports Nutrition Center and a collaborator at Fullmusculo.com , who has told us what to look for when buying a protein shake for athletes, in which cases their consumption is advised and what kind of precautions we should follow before incorporating them into our diet.
Why drink protein shakes?
After a hard day of exercise, shakes provide essential branched amino acids to the body, which helps muscle recovery, since they are a quick way to consume proteins and for the body to assimilate them.
It provides an extra energy needed when training, since its intake increases blood glucose levels, allowing the athlete to work better during the session. They also help reduce the loss of muscle mass when the user is in stages where he performs high resistance activities.
What you should keep in mind to start drinking protein shakes
The proteins are essential in the diet of any athlete. They are a set or structures of amino acids that the body breaks down when ingested and that it uses for the regeneration and maintenance of the body”s muscle tissues. When sports are practiced, the tissues need a direct “feeding”, to give the body immediate contribution of what it requires.
Here are all the things to keep in mind before drinking protein shakes for training:
What do you want to take them for?
First of all, it is important that you consider why you need to take these types of products. Keep in mind that these shakes “are indicated in cases in which there is muscle wasting due to an increase in exercises in which we use our strength more,” explains sports nutritionist EnCana, adding that: “in this case, it can we need an increase in protein in our sports diet to have a correct construction of our muscle “.
A quality protein shake should contain a higher percentage of isolated protein while the rest of the components – such as carbohydrates and fats – should make a lower contribution. On the one hand, “the amount in beginners can be in a range of 1.7-2 g / kg, since if we consume more protein than necessary, we can find adverse effects, while regarding the type of protein, we must have taken into account that some will be effective and others will be useless, causing us to spend money without obtaining visible benefits “, warns Encarni Pérez.
On the other hand, if the contribution in sugars is higher, it means that these are added and not of good quality. This point is very important, because sometimes some brands go overboard by adding products to the shake to improve its flavor, which causes a decrease in the quality of the material as it contains a greater number of calories.
Caution with excesses
Sports nutritionist Encarni Pérez advises taking up to 2.5-3 g / kg / body weight of protein per day for strength training, and between 1.8-2 g / kg / body weight for resistance training. “Everything that exceeds these levels will not present a greater improvement, but may present risks that are better to prevent, such as possible kidney damage, greater excretion of urea in the urine or accumulation of fat from putting in more energy than necessary”, Encarni explains.
Before, during or after training?
It is the star question for beginner athletes who want to start taking protein shakes, to which the sports nutritionist Encarni Pérez answers: “It is not necessary to take into account the moment in which to take the protein shake; basically having the needs of proteins distributed throughout the day according to the amounts recommended in each personal case, we guarantee that we have the necessary protein intake in our body “. However, he explains, it is convenient to make an exception with carbohydrates, which should be adapted to the time of day in which the training is carried out.
“As we are a more advanced athlete in training and muscle mass, our body is more efficient when it comes to consuming protein and it will do so in less quantity, spending less protein during training and thus being able to lower the amount of protein we take during the day in a range of 1.3-1.8 g / kg / body weight “, explains Encarni,” since also the ability to build muscle mass is lower and this would be enough “, he concludes.
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