Supplements are absolutely massive in the fitness industry. There are so many choices, so many –ines, it can get a little bit confusing.
However protein shakes are probably the most popular, and the most talked about. But do we actually need them?
In whatever form you take it, protein powder provides an instant, fairly pure source of protein, usually around 20g+ in each scoop. It’s traditionally taken post workout, usually straight away to give the muscles an instant hit of protein to begin the muscle repairing process.
That’s the important bit. Protein is needed in order for our little muscles to become bigger muscles. So people take protein shakes immediately after they have been to the gym in order to get protein in straight away.
And it makes sense. Studies have shown that doing this has an impact in muscle repair and muscle growth, and many talk about the ‘window’ in which protein should be consumed after a workout.
But do we actually need protein shakes?
Technically speaking, if you eat a diet rich in protein you don’t need that extra from a shake. But many of us may fail to get enough in, and that’s where things like shakes are handy.
For me personally, I like having a protein shake straight after my workout because I usually then have to wait up to an hour to have my post workout meal – so getting a shake down me a) ensures I am feeding my muscles straight away and b) fills me up and keeps me going until I can actually eat something.
I don’t really think there is a window. Have enough of each macronutrient throughout the day and odds are you are doing the right thing, and your muscles will grow and repair that way.
But personally, I give a big thumbs-up to post workout protein shakes because it works for me! It’s my favourite supplement (I don’t take many!) and I would definitely recommend them.