POPSUGAR Fitness

Should I Be Drinking Protein Shakes?

May 21 2014 - 10:25am

Blending protein powder into smoothies can help boost energy levels, build endurance, and provide important nutrients you're not receiving. But do you really need a hefty dose of protein in one sitting?

The truth is, most people don't. Most powders and premade shakes offer at least 15 grams of protein per serving, and when eating a healthy and balanced diet, most women easily hit or exceed [1] the USDA's average requirement of 46 grams per day [2]. With that said, strict vegetarians [3] and vegans are encouraged to try protein powder. Animal-free eaters who have a shake for breakfast won't have to worry about how they'll find all their protein during the course of a busy day when there isn't time to cook.

Besides those who might not be hitting requirements through diet, protein powder is a good choice for extremely active individuals and endurance athletes. During endurance workouts — especially strength training — muscles are broken down, and it's protein that helps aid in the body's full repair and full recovery. After any intense strength-training workout, try to eat a snack of protein and carbs within an hour of your workout ending to help in this process.

Overall, protein powders are a helpful resource, but take a look at your lifestyle and eating habits — you've got to be honest about what your body actually needs. And beyond taking your body type and level of activity into consideration, choose a high-quality, natural protein powder, since too much protein or certain shakes [4] can be detrimental to your body's health. For folks who don't love using (or cleaning) their blender regularly, there are other options. One of these vegetarian post-workout snacks [5] or on-the-go packaged foods [6] can also help you receive your recommended amount of daily protein, no blender necessary.


Source URL
http://www.fitsugar.com/Do-I-Need-Protein-Shakes-29207839