In the exercise world we are constantly hearing about protein. This is most likely because not only are essential amino acids the building blocks for muscles, skin, nails, and other body tissues, but research also shows it can help improve physical performance, weight management, cardiovascular health, healthy aging, and much, much more. We all know meats, lentils, and eggs are just some great foods loaded with protein, but what about powders? More specifically, what about whey protein powder? I’d say, whey is the way to go. Here are some benefits:
Post Workout Drink: Whey protein is digested and absorbed much quicker than most post workout protein supplements (such as casein in milk) and immediately provides the body with branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are the first amino acids used during physical activity. This means the first amino acids to go, are the first to be replaced so the body can begin repairing and rebuilding muscle tissues right away.
Weight Management: Cholecystokinin (CCK) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). What are those, other than ridiculously hard to pronounce? They are two appetite-suppressing hormones that whey protein helps to stimulate. This means not only does whey protein help to rebuild muscle after a hard workout, but it also suppresses those hunger pangs, which can help with weight management. Adding whey into your breakfast cereal milk or a protein shake can help stave off the hunger pangs for a bit longer, preventing guilty snacking when rummaging through the pantry like a starving child.
Aging management: No one wants to get older and weaker…so don’t. Keeping up with your protein intake can keep your muscles strong, even when aging threatens to weaken them. Adequate protein consumption will prevent muscle loss as well as bone loss.
Of course I wouldn’t leave you without a great whey protein shake to put this new knowledge to work. Here’s my refreshing recipe for a post workout reward:
FRUIT PROTEIN SMOOTHIE
-Whey Protein Powder (I use an unflavored Whey Protein Isolate)
-Spinach (try it before you gag and write it off)!
-Bolthouse Farms, Antioxidant Rich, Berry Boost Fruit Smoothie
-Oikos, 0% Fat, Vanilla, Organic Greek Yogurt
1. In a blender put in your allotment of whey protein
2. Add a dash of Berry Boost Smoothie for some liquid
3. Add in your blueberries, blackberries, and banana (and whatever other fruits you prefer).
4. Scoop in the small yogurt packet and mix together.
5. Once mixed, add a handful of spinach (you won’t taste it but it will add loads of extra nutrients). Mix again with spinach.
6. Throw in three or four ice cubes to chill it and mix those together as well.