Protein is an important part of the muscle building process. Having an adequate intake of protein is proven to be one of the keys to changing your body. Whey proteins are very quickly absorbed into the body, and contain a high amount of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAS) which are used to fuel working muscles and stimulate protein synthesis.
One way of getting more protein in to your diet is through supplementing with protein shakes. With so much information and marketing out there regarding protein shakes, many women are left confused about what these shakes are for.
Protein is important for recovery between workouts, maintaining/building muscle which will also help you to raise your metabolic rate and can help towards the feeling of being full after eating, which can stop you reaching for the snack cupboard!
Research published in the March/April 2014 issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition showed that whey protein, either as a supplement combined with resistance exercise or as part of a weight-loss or weight-maintenance diet, may provide women benefits related to body composition. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/275579.php
Here are some of the common questions & myths that come up, let's get through these so you can understand why you should consume protein, how much you should have, why protein shakes can be useful and what protein you should use.
How much protein do I need?
For a healthy active woman, the recommended intake ranges from 0.8g - 2g per kilogram of Bodyweight. The lower calories you are consuming, the more protein you will want to consume to help maintain muscle & to help with satiety. Some women can find it tough to consume that much protein through food only, this is where supplementing with protein shakes come in handy.
It's also convenient from a time perspective in that it only takes a minute to fill and mix your powder up. Protein powders are also very versatile, you can mix them with smoothies, yoghurt or even make some protein pancakes.
Will Protein shakes will make me bulky?
A typical whey protein shake contains around 150 calories combined with the fact a woman's body produces a very small amount of testosterone. Adding protein to your diet will not make you bulky. It will help to maintain/build muscle to help give you a toned appearance. The only way protein shakes could make you bulky is by consuming them in excessive amounts and exceeding your caloric requirements.
Which protein shake should I use?
With many different shakes on the market it can be a confusing place to shop. The marketing of supplements has a big influence on where people decide to spend their money.
Here are my tips for finding a good protein shake.
Most protein shakes will contain carbohydrates , some more than others especially if they are a meal replacement shake. Carbs should be kept below 5g per serving unless you are choosing a meal replacement shake.
Whey protein isolate will typically provide the lowest carbs/fat per serving, this does result in taste perhaps not being as good due to less ingredients/sweetners added.
If you do not tolerate dairy, don't worry you still have access to protein supplements. Sun Warrior make a good tasting rice protein that provides an adequate serving of protein per serving.
Either of these choices will provide between 20-30g protein per serving.
(Note: there is nothing wrong with carbohydrates just I prefer to have people eat their carbs rather than drink them)
Don’t worry if you don’t like drinking protein shakes, a quick search on google will bring a variety of different recipes that you can add your protein to, such as homemade protein bars, smoothies, pancakes and more.
Here are our recommendations for companies to use when buying a protein supplement:
Kinetica Whey Protein
Myprotein Whey Isolate
Optimum Nutrition Whey
Sun Warrior Rice Protein
If you have any questions or need further advice please comment below or drop us a message, we are always happy to give advice.