When you’re trying to get lean in the New Year and watch your calorie intake, it’s easy to run out of ideas on how to get lean and stay lean. That’s why so many people are turning to protein shakes as a healthy way to get the macro and micro nutrients they need while staying on track with their diet. However, they might not be getting the full picture when it comes to protein shakes and their health benefits. Keep reading to learn more about the protein shake industry, how to find a protein shake that’s right for you, and whether or not you should be adding protein shakes to your diet.
What is a protein shake?
A protein shake is a drink that’s made with protein powder. This powder can come from a variety of sources, but most protein powders you’ll find on the shelves at the grocery store are made with soy or whey, two of the most common protein sources.
Protein shakes are meant to be a supplement to your regular diet. When you drink a protein shake, you’re trying to get all the essential macro and micro nutrients you need to stay healthy and get lean.
Why do you need to be adding protein shakes to your diet?
Because protein is a macronutrient, it’s one of the building blocks of your body. Protein is present in nearly everything you consume, so it’s essential for your body to grow and repair itself. Protein also plays a key role in energy metabolism, cognitive function, and satiety.
A lack of protein in the diet is associated with many health issues, including muscle loss, loss of bone mass, poor cognitive function, fatigue, and poor metabolic function.
The best way to stay healthy, have plenty of energy, and lose weight is to eat a balanced diet with a variety of different foods. Protein shakes aren’t meant to be a replacement for your regular meals. They’re a supplement to be consumed only as part of a healthy diet.
The benefits of a protein shake
But what about the protein shake benefits?
- Helps Build Muscle – Protein is essential for building muscle and helping you lose fat. If you don’t have enough protein in your diet, then you won’t get the building blocks to build muscle and increase your testosterone levels. These are all signs that you may be losing muscle.
- Helps Improve Metabolic Function – The more active your metabolic function, the leaner you’ll be. When you have more active metabolic function, your body will burn fat faster and be able to hold onto muscle tissue longer.
- Helps Improve Digestion – Digestion is the process through which your body breaks down food into usable nutrients. A protein shake will provide you with the necessary amino acids your body needs to digest food properly, which will help your digestion process be more efficient.
- Improves Thyroid Function – The thyroid gland plays a key role in metabolic function. When you have healthy thyroid function, your body will be able to use the nutrients you consume more efficiently, leading to a healthier you.
- Helps Improve Immune Function – The immune system is a complex system that protects your body from outside attackers. When it functions at optimal levels, you have less inflammation in your body, which means your immune function will be at its peak.
Finding a healthy protein shake
Now that you know what you’re looking for, here are a few tips on how to find a protein shake that’s right for you.
- Look for protein – The first and most important thing you need to look for when buying a protein shake is whether or not it has protein in it. If it doesn’t, then it’s not going to be very helpful to your weight loss efforts.
- Look for fiber – Fiber isn’t something that most people think about when they’re trying to lose weight. Fiber, however, is one of the most important things you can consume for weight loss. Fiber helps balance blood sugar levels and reduce your appetite.
- Look for vitamins and minerals – Vitamins and minerals are the nutrients that your body needs to be healthy, but most people don’t get enough of them in their regular diets. A good protein shake will have a vitamin or mineral supplement in it, which will help you stay healthy and get lean.
- Look for ingredients – The last thing you want to worry about when trying to find a protein shake is whether it’s healthy or not. You want to think about getting the most for your money, and a protein shake with a bunch of junk ingredients will cost you more. That’s not something you want to do.
Should You Drink Protein Shakes?
Now that you know what they are and what they can do for you, the next question is whether you should be adding protein shakes to your diet. The good news is that protein shakes are a great supplement to a clean diet, and they’re not meant to replace it. They’re meant to be consumed alongside your regular meals as a supplement to build muscle and stay healthy.
Drinking protein shakes isn’t going to make you get leaner if you don’t have the discipline or commitment to make it work. You can’t just drink a protein shake and then go out and eat everything you want. You need to fuel your body with proper meals in order for it to be successful.
Protein shakes are a great way to get all the macro and micro nutrients you need. Unfortunately, most protein shakes are filled with junk ingredients that don’t provide any real benefits, so it’s important to find a healthy protein shake. There are a few easy steps you can take to make that easier.