Drinking protein shakes after training is one of the most popular tips in the gym. Therefore, you might wonder if they serve to gain muscle mass or is it a waste of money.
Although, protein shakes can also be substituted for food. It is correct to say that protein shakes are used to gain muscle mass.
If vitamins and minerals also accompany them, protein shakes after training allow you to quickly meet the needs of essential nutrients that your body needs.
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Protein shakes after training.
A protein shake after training is a great way to stop catabolic processes in the body.
In a workout of more than 30-40 minutes, processes that lead to muscle breakdown begin to be triggered. Amino acids (components of muscle proteins) begin to be released into the blood.
Having a shake after training could help you stop this process. However, it is not the only thing needed to gain muscle.
Are protein shakes good for weight loss?
Another myth you’ve probably heard is that protein shakes are good for weight loss. Answering this question is a bit more complex.
Fat burning processes depend on several factors. The most important thing about losing weight is that a caloric deficit occurs.
In other words, if you drink 2, 3, or 4 shakes after training, you will not get good results in losing weight. However, if you take one serving, this can be helpful for weight loss.
- How many protein shakes to drink per day?
- How long does a protein shake last?
- Whey Protein – What is it and what is it for?
What should post-workout protein shakes have?
Before buying a protein shake for after training, you must make sure that it is good quality. Here are some things to check before choosing a post-workout shake.
Read the ingredient list. A cheap protein shake may have suspect additives, flavorings, sugar substitutes, and poor-quality thickeners. Saving on the purchase can mean fewer benefits for your muscles after training.
- Check the protein, carbohydrate, and fat content.
Some protein shakes vary substantially in carbohydrate, protein, and fat content. The most expensive shakes are usually higher in protein and the cheapest in carbohydrates or fat. Ideally, proteins and not other macros should predominate.
- Hydrolyzed or laboratory isolates
Hydrolyzed laboratory isolates tend to have better control over their production. This is important to avoid side effects and contraindications of possible impurities. Cheaper protein shakes tend to cause gas.
The anabolic window is a myth.
It was long believed that something called the anabolic or carbohydrate window opens after a training session.
The creators of this theory suggested that during 30 minutes to 2 hours, any nutrient consumed, including protein shakes, will go to the muscles and will not be transformed into fat.
This principle led to the recommendation to use a protein and carbohydrate shake (or gainers ) immediately after training. However, studies show that this is not entirely true.
Protein absorption after training increases by less than 2%. (1,2,3) So the important thing to gaining muscle mass is to reach the amount of protein your body needs during the day, not exactly after training.
Protein bars vs. protein shake
A protein bar is a product made from whey protein. Theoretically, it can replace a post-workout shake.
However, you need to ensure it doesn’t contain excess sugar or other lousy carbohydrate ingredients.
Most often, protein bars contain maltodextrin and other substances whose action is similar to sugar.
Also, the cost of a protein bar often exceeds the price of a serving of a protein shake. Sports protein bars are often a less popular version of fitness.
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Protein shakes after training is a good option for gaining muscle mass. However, they can also be substituted for food.
If you also opt for a protein shake to train for its practicality, make sure it contains low sugar, fat, and impurities.