You will often see protein powder being recommend to take as a supplement around your workout. The question is why? What does it do?
Protein has numerous roles in the body, and is essential for your basic health and survival. Training increases the need for protein even more. A protein shake is just a convenient way of getting more protein into your diet, and being able to take it in a quick to digest form immediately after your workout.
There is nothing inherently special about protein shakes, they are just convenient. It’s a lot easier to drink a shake than it is to eat a chicken breast, as you walk out of the gym changing rooms.
So, what does protein do in the body?
Muscle repair – protein is the building blocks that your body is made from. When we train, we break down our muscle tissue and they grow back a little bit stronger. We need protein as the base material for our muscles to restore and regrow. This is why training increases your need for protein.
Cell growth – It is not just muscles that rely on protein. It is all of our cells, that includes our immune system, our hair, nails, skin. Protein is an essential part of the human diet for everybody.
You need to make sure you are consuming enough protein, preferably from whole food sources, but without consuming too many calories. This is when a protein shake can really come into its own, as a low-calorie source of pure protein.
Other good protein sources include eggs, lean meats, and fish. Be sure to include a protein source with every main meal, to reach your protein requirements for the day.