One of the most important aspects of living a healthy lifestyle is diet. Sound nutrition can truly make such a difference in your daily energy levels, disease prevention, health, and improving the results of your hard work in exercise.
Protein, along with carbohydrates and fat is what is known as a “macronutrient,” this simply means the body needs large amounts of it as compared to micronutrients, which include, vitamins and minerals and are needed in lesser quantities.
In contrast to micronutrients, the body doesn’t store protein to draw on when it needs it, so it should be an important part of your daily diet.
The Power of Protein
• Protein is an essential component of every cell in the body.
• The nails and hair are made mostly from it.
• The body uses protein for vital internal functions, such as, to repair and build tissue.
• It is the building block of bones, cartilage, skin, blood and muscles.
• Protein also makes hormones, enzymes and other vital chemicals in the body.
Benefits Of Protein For Workouts
Along with the vital benefits of protein mentioned before, ingesting protein after a workout, especially after doing strength and muscle work is one of the most important times to get protein into the body.
This is because it will go to the muscles where it can begin the healing and recovery of the “micro tears,” which, are small tears in muscle tissue caused by intense contractions of lifting weights.
The key to supplying and nourishing the body with protein is to choose the right forms.
When it comes to eating animal protein for example, it is best to choose lean varieties most of the time, such as, chicken and turkey.
And, then there is the highly efficient, convenient and fun protein powder and all that it can do to improve the efficiency of your workouts and nutritional stability.
Protein Powder Smoothies And Shakes
It is a fact that the best way to get the needed benefits of protein is through solid food, but, this is not always possible or convenient, as people are busy, and have hectic lives. Hitting your protein macronutrient goals day by day can be a really difficult task. This is how protein shakes can be of great use.
By enjoying delicious protein powder smoothies you can enjoy what you’re consuming while reaching your goals.
Because solid food takes more time to digest and to break down the protein and send it to the muscles, it can be best to take a protein shake immediately following a workout, since it will reach the muscle within 30 minutes of ingestion. Definitely, we can see the advantage to taking a protein shake in this instance.
Protein, alike any other macro nutrient is essential to make sure that you get everything out of your workout. Being dehydrated before a workout can be detrimental to your performance and cause a significant lack in strength and focus.
Protein smoothies, as well as, water, are an excellent way to keep hydrated before a workout!
Unlike standard protein powder shakes (typically mixed with water or milk) protein powder smoothies not only provide essential protein to reach daily goals, but, they are also an excellent source of energy from the natural sugar within the fruits that you include.
This means that with a single protein powder shake you can stay hydrated, reach your protein goals, enjoy a nice tasting drink, as well as, benefit from an increase in energy levels!
What could be better?
Does The Brand Of Protein Powder Matter?
Some people think of protein powders as a “magic solution” to building muscle. This is not the case. Protein powder is simply a convenient way of consuming grams of protein. A gram of protein from a chicken breast is identical to a gram of protein from powders.
Make sure you read the label when purchasing your protein powders. Typically, a solid protein powder will contain 20 grams of protein for every 25 grams powder. Some cheap protein powders are full of sugary carbs and little protein content. Always choose all natural products without unnecessary added artificial ingredients.
4 Protein Powder Smoothie Recipes
1. Banana-Oat Protein Smoothie
Bananas are essential sources of potassium that aids calcium absorption and protects the heart. This is the ideal drink before a strenuous workout – it will sustain your blood sugar and prevent muscle cramps.
1-2 scoops / 25-50 grams (depending on your protein goals) of protein powder
2 scoops / 50 grams of oats / Instant Oats
1 & ½ half bananas
1 & 1/2 half cups of low or non-fat milk
2. Blueberry Blast
With the various micro nutrients packed into blueberries it means that not only are you benefitting from all the pro’s already outlined but you are also becoming healthier all at the same time.
1 cup vanilla almond milk (unsweetened)
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup blueberries
1 scoop protein powder (unflavored or vanilla flavor, but, watch the sugar content on the package)
3. Tropical Breeze
With a range of healthy fruits the tropical breeze is a healthy nutrient and protein filled smoothie that will provide excellent results when consumed.
1 cup vanilla almond milk (unsweetened)
1 cup pineapple
1 teaspoon fresh shredded coconut (no sugar added) or coconut milk
1/2 cup blueberries (get frozen when out of season)
1 scoop of protein powder (unflavored or vanilla flavored)
4. Banana Bread Shake
Another excellent source of energy and potassium from the bananas along with the slow release energy from the oatmeal and bran flakes to keep you going throughout your workout and your entire day!
1- 2 Scoops / 25-50 grams (depending on your protein goals) of protein powder
½ cup of Oatmeal
3/4 cup bran flakes
1 bottle of water
Sweetener to add taste
Best Times To Drink Protein Smoothies?
Some people like to consume their smoothie in the morning. This can be a great idea if you generally don’t feel hungry in the mornings. A protein smoothie can provide a boost of energy to get you started for the day if you also feel tired.
Generally, a smoothie that is consumed pre-workout (before the workout) can generate the best results due to the high amount of natural sugar carbs and fast release energy that can increase performance during workouts.
And, of course, a protein shake can be great after workouts to aid in muscle recovery.