Protein is an essential part of your daily diet and accounts for 20% of your total body weight. It is used to build, strengthen and repair muscle tissue. Protein makes antibodies for our immune system and enzymes for biochemical reactions, helps carry oxygen through blood and plays a vital role in the production of hormones. The richest sources of protein can be found in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, seeds and nuts, soy products, quorn, grains and certain vegetables. With the constant inflation of foods such as these however, the world turned to biological science in 1950 and has never looked back. Ladies and gentleman, we give you the protein shake.
Protein shakes have dramatically evolved since the 80s and what was once considered the beverage of the bodybuilder is now very much part of the amateur sports and health enthusiast’s diet. Convenience, cost efficiency and ambassadors such as big Arnie has seen the protein shake market rocket.
For those who partake in intensive exercise or have active lifestyles protein supplements can give your muscles more time to recover and even speed up their development. They could help stop muscles from aching, enable you to train an extra day, produce results quicker and generally make you want to flex in every passing reflection.
There are many different varieties of protein powders on offer, each catering to different needs. The best selling is whey isolate and whey concentrate blends. These forms come at the lowest price, are absorbed quickly and designed for beginners. Casein protein is digested over a much longer period of time, around seven hours, meaning it is the perfect bedtime shake or for those who maintain continuous levels of exercise all day.
Hydrolysate protein is for athletes more serious about bodybuilding. It is the most expensive source on the market due to its peptide profile, which helps support higher protein absorption. Soy protein is a vegetarian version that also supports a healthy cholesterol balance due to its make up of isoflavones. Milk and egg protein formulas are old school forms of protein powder and are more often used when mixed with the other powders.
The majority of protein products will be made from whey concentrate but simply turn to the ingredients label on the back of a tub to double check. The majority of protein powders also include other nutritional factors such as carbohydrates and fat. Mass gain and bulk-named protein formulas have a higher carbohydrate matrix and are designed for those who struggle to put on weight. Diet protein blends contain less calories and are often combined with extracts such as green tea to help burn fat.