Protein Shakes Explained
Most simply put, protein shakes are a combination of protein powder and liquid. Protein shakes contain amino acids that are easily absorbed by your body and were first consumed by athletes to increase their muscle mass. They are a quick and easy way to increase your protein intake. Protein shakes can be considered a dietary supplement, as according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), dietary supplements include any products that contain a dietary ingredient, such as vitamins, minerals, or amino acids.
Some shakes are designed to supplement protein, while others can be used as a meal replacement. The two most common types of protein powder are whey and casein. Whey protein is dairy based and quickly absorbed, whereas Casein protein is slowly absorbed. Casein and whey are both proteins found in milk. Casein makes up 80% of the protein in milk, while whey makes up 20%. Casein has a slower absorption rate in the gut, so it provides your cells with small amounts of amino acids over a prolonged period of time. Whey is best for taking straight after a workout, as it is considered better for muscle building, whereas casein is better for preventing muscle breakdown.
Whey protein powder comes in three different forms, isolate, concentrate and hydrolysate. Concentrate usually has slightly less protein but more fats and carbs, while isolate and hydrolysate have higher levels of protein. There are also plant based protein powders available, such as soy, pea and hemp powder.
Proteins are assembled from amino acids, and while some are produced by your body’s cells, others are supplied by the food you consume. Proteins that supply all the nine essential amino acids are considered to be the best. The recommended daily intake of protein for people aged 19 years and over is 46g for women and 56g for men. Protein powder can be a great solution for those who struggle to get enough protein in their diet, particularly those who eat a plant-based diet. If you do decide to give protein powder a go, you’ve got the perfect place to store it in one of our core shakers!
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