A protein shake is a nutritional supplement that is used for supplying proteins and other essential nutrients, which a person may be unable to consume through his regular diet. The primary purpose of drinking a protein shake is to facilitate better growth of the body and tissue repair. Consumption of a protein-rich meal or snack is known to increase satiety. It induces a loss of body fat and simultaneously increases the lean mass, whilst maintaining the muscles.
Protein shakes can be taken by a person from any age group in consultation with a physician or nutritionist. They are suitable for weight gainers as well as weight losers. As the protein requirements differ from person to person, the amount of the protein shake to be taken per day and its frequency is highly individualized. The quantity varies in accordance with an individual’s age, sex, anthropometric measurements, physiological needs, and diet taken.
A basic shake is made by mixing protein powders comprising soya, whey, egg protein, or casein in a glass of milk, water, or fruit juice. Fruits, yogurt, nuts, or ice cream can be added to make the shake more tasteful and nutritious. Nowadays, these powders are also available in different flavors such as strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate. The best time to consume a protein shake is before and after exercise.
Drinking a protein shake half an hour prior to a workout will not only provide energy for sustaining vigorous activities, but will also preserve the lean body mass by decreasing the exercise-induced muscle catabolism. Post exercise, protein shakes aid in better recovery. Proteins like whey, when taken after a workout, are quickly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and are immediately utilized for lean tissue regeneration.
People who are trying to lose weight can simply replace one carbohydrate-rich meal in a day by a protein shake. Protein shakes can be beneficial, provided they are not a complete replacement for a balanced wholesome meal. Also, one should remember that they are not miracle foods. One cannot lose weight instantaneously or gain muscle overnight by drinking this tonic. Patience, hard work, and regularity are the key components of success in achieving a fitness goal.