Are Protein shakes good for you?
There’re no adverse effect to drinking protein shakes if you’re healthy.
Protein shakes can have a place on your diet especially if you live an active lifestyle.
This vanilla strawberry protein shake for muscle gain is suitable to drink before or after your workout. Using this protein shake to increase your protein intake will help you recover faster and avoid muscle soreness after exercise.
When is the best time to drink protein shakes for muscle gain? Honestly, it doesn’t really matter weather you drink protein shakes before or after your workout.
Regardless of timing, making a homemade protein shake is an effective way to boost your daily protein intake which contributes to muscle growth.
This article covers everything you need to know about using protein shake to build some muscle.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of making a homemade protein shake, I think it’s important to know what is protein.
Below I’ll explain simply the role protein plays in your body, health and how important it is to achieving your fitness goals.
What Is Protein?
Protein is an essential nutrient in the building of muscle mass and contributes to the optimal function of your body.
Protein is the building blocks of your body. Protein makes up your bones, muscles, organs, hair, skin and nails. Besides water, most of your body is made up of protein.
Protein isn’t a standalone nutrient. It is part of a nutrient group called Macronutrients and made up of carbohydrate, fat and protein. When you exercise, protein is the nutrient responsible for repairing damaged muscle fibres and at the same time initiating muscle growth.
Your body needs protein to maintain and repair tissues. If you live an active lifestyle, it’s important to prioritise getting enough quality protein daily from your diet.
It can be difficult to get enough quality protein from your diet daily. This is why protein shakes should be utilised alongside a good based diet.
What Is A Protein Shake?
Whenever you utilise protein powder to increase the protein content of any drink, that’s a protein shake.
Protein shakes are used before or after workout for enhancing muscle recovery and growth.
This vanilla strawberry protein shake will be effective in helping you increase your daily total protein intake, as well as calories.
Protein should be prioritised in your diet first, before you think about supplementing with a protein shake. Also, consider your overall daily calories first before supplementing with protein shakes.
At the end of the day, calories matters most because if you don’t consume enough calories, you won’t get enough protein to achieve your health or fitness goals.
That said, make sure you’re consuming enough protein your body requires everyday. Which brings me to my next point..
How Much Protein Do You Need Daily?
Daily protein requirement is a science and it is different for everyone.
The subject of protein requirement has been debated for a while now, especially in the fitness industry. People are more active than ever which means the demands for protein has increased.
But, I still think it is dependent on each individual. Let me explain…
The protein requirement for a professional sports player will be different to the needs of you and I.
According to British Nutrition Foundation, “The Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) is set at 0.75g of protein per kilogram bodyweight per day in adults. This equates to approximately 56g/day and 45g/day for men and women aged 19-50 years respectively.”
Ultimately, your protein requirement depends on your age and activity level, especially if you’re a gym goer.
The protein recommendations above are set for the general public and isn’t set in stone. If you’re a gym trainer and you live an active lifestyle, your protein needs are different and should be more than the average person.
For example, I used this protein calculator to determine how much protein I should eat daily.
For me as an active gym goer, I multiplied the RDA(Recommended Daily Amount) of protein for a strenght athlete which is 1.6-2.2g by my weight (78g). This adds up to around 125g of protein daily.
Even though it says I have to consume that much protein, for me I eat around 80-100g of high quality protein daily.
This is because the quality of protein matters. So one thing to consider is to make sure you eat foods that are a source of complete protein and eat from a variety of protein sources.
For example, complete protein foods contains the key amino acid responsible for initiating muscle growth. Leucine is the key amino acid responsible for initiating protein synthesis for muscle growth and it is part of BCAAs (Branch Chain Amino Acid).
BCAAs are the three essential amino acids that can’t be produced by the body and must be obtained from food. These amino acids are leucine, isoleucine and valine and they help you build muscles and reduce muscle soreness after your workout. source
Most athletes take BCAAs in a supplement form because they’ve been proved to help build muscles and play a key role for optimal post-workout recovery.
Here is an example of foods that are sources of complete protein: Quinoa, Eggs, Milk, Fish, Meat, Pork, Poultry, Chia seeds, Soy, Hemp seeds, and Buckwheat are all foods you can include in your diet daily.
You can also combine foods to get a complete protein meal, eg eating rice and beans will make the food a complete protein food source even though it’s plant based.
To know your daily protein requirement, use the protein calculator above to accurately calculate how much protein you should eat daily.
Then you’d be smart to combine complete protein sources from both animal and plant based foods and protein powder, in the form of protein shakes to build and retain muscle mass.
At this moment, if you’re still wondering what all these means for you, if you want more convincing, keep reading.
Are Protein Shakes Good For You?
Protein shakes are mostly healthy and great for you. Protein shakes have no known side effects if you’re healthy at the time of consumption.
In fact if you’re healthy, making a homemade protein shake to increase your protein intake shouldn’t be a problem.
But, if you have a kidney problem or any health issues, you should speak to your doctor before drinking protein shakes.
The quality of your protein shake will largely depend on the protein powder you use in your shake. If you care about the taste of your protein shake, I have included the best protein powders for you to check out below.
Choosing The Best Protein Powder For Your Protein Shake
Many protein powders are made with similar ingredients and contain roughly the same amount of protein per scoop (20-29g).
I can vouch for their quality because I have been using them for years. You won’t be disappointed if you choose any of the two or both.
Bare in mind, there are many forms of protein powders on the market that you can buy. The choices are endless because there’re so many good protein powders to pick from.
Here’s a list of really good protein powders to buy..
- Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein Powder (24g / scoop)
- Optimum Nutrition Plant Protein Powder (24g / scoop)
- Vivo Life Perform – Raw Vegan Protein Powder (20g / scoop)
- My Protein Impact Whey Protein Powder (20g / scoop)
The protein powders mentioned are really the best tasting protein powders I have ever tried. Choose one that resonates with your lifestyle and see if you like it.
Also, another important reason to use protein powder is because it contains a very important amino acid profile for initiating muscle protein synthesis. Let me explain.
Why Drink A Protein Shake For Muscle Gain?
Many protein powders contain a group of three essential amino acids called BCAAs. This is why many trainers take BCAA supplements. BCAAs are known as Branched-Chain Amino Acid and consists of leucine, isoleucine and valine.
As I mentioned earlier, Leucine, one of the BCAAs plays a key role in initiating protein synthesis for muscle growth. To adequately initiate protein muscle synthesis, you’ll need to consume about 3g of Leucine per day.
To do this, including the food sources of complete protein I mentioned earlier in your diet is your best bet.
Utilising protein powder in the form of protein shakes gives you an advantage to get your leucine threshold for the day and promotes faster muscle growth.
Also, using a protein powder is an effective way to increase your overall protein intake each day.
If you’re eating high quality protein foods alongside 1 scoop of the optimum nutrition plant protein powder which gives you 4g of BCAAs, you’ll build muscles as long as you keep lifting weights.
If you’d like to know more about the role BCAAs plays in muscle growth, read more on NCBI.
Protein Shake For Weight Loss
Can protein shakes help you lose weight?
It’s not uncommon to drink a protein shake for weight loss. But I should inform you that relying solely on protein shakes for weight loss isn’t the proper way to lose weight long term.
Eating a high protein diet due to the added protein from drinking protein shakes will help, but ultimately calories in = calories out. Losing weight is based on the overall calories you consume and burn daily.
To lose weight, focus on being in a calorie deficit. Calorie deficit is the foundation of weight loss.
If you eat healthy, and eat fewer calories than you burn on an ongoing basis, you’ll lose weight. If you want a meal plan for weight loss, get my 6 weeks fat loss meal plan.
Lastly, you can drink protein shakes as part of a weight loss (calorie deficit) diet, but don’t expect protein shakes to help you lose weight on it’s own. That’s impossible.
Learn How To Eat Better, Lose Weight and Start Working Out To Build Some Muscle Now.
The Best Protein Shakes for Muscle Gain
If you’re convinced about how effective protein shakes can be for helping you achieve your fitness goals.
Here are some of my favourite and best protein shake recipes for muscle gain.
Vanilla Strawberry Protein Shake Ingredients
- Strawberries: Strawberries contain antioxidants known as anthocyanins. These compounds may reduce inflammation and boost immunity. Also, it’s a great source of vitamin C and fibre.
- Banana: Banana is used to sweeten this protein shake. It provides essential minerals like potassium and magnesium.
- Optimum Nutrition Plant Protein Powder: This protein powder supplies a whooping 24g of quality protein for this protein shake. And it’s all from plant sources.
- Almond milk: Almond milk adds extra creaminess to this protein shake. A great source of vitamin E for skin health and calcium for healthy bones.
How To Make This Easy Vanilla Protein Shake
This protein shake is healthy for you and it’s a good way to increase your protein intake daily.
You can make this protein shake before or after your workout and meal prep the ingredients so it’s ready for the week.
- Freeze your strawberries in advance so they’re ready to be thrown into the blender when you feel like making this protein shake.
- Before making this protein shake, make sure you know how much your daily calorie intake is, so you can incorporate it into your diet without affecting your goals.
- Also, for meal prep, just make sure to have the strawberries in the freezer and ready to be thrown into the blender for each day of the week. Use a storage bag that is freezer safe and it’ll keep your strawberries fresher for longer.
- Finally, check the recipe card below for how to make this protein shake.
Vanilla Strawberry Protein ShakeCourse: Breakfast, Protein, SnacksCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
This protein shake is healthy for you and it’s a good way to increase your protein intake daily. You can make this protein shake before or after your workout and meal prep the ingredients so it’s ready for the week.
100g frozen Strawberries
1medium ripe Banana
1scoop ON plant Protein powder
100ml Almond milk
- Freeze 100g strawberry overnight.
- Pop the strawberries, banana, protein powder, almond milk and water into a blender. Blend until smooth.
- Serve and enjoy.
- Suitable for vegans. You can drink this Vanilla Strawberry Protein Shake before or after your workout. Also, with or without food.
1 servings per container
- Amount Per ServingCalories297
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat 0.8g 4%
- Sodium 56.8mg 3%
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber 2.4g 10%
- Sugars 29.1g
- Protein 26.5g 53%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
This post contains affiliate links to products on amazon. This means I will make a small commission if you purchase through the links of products listed in the post. These products are recommended because I personally use and trust them.
As mentioned earlier, utilising protein shakes is good for you and will help you increase your overall daily protein intake.
But before you start drinking protein shakes like its water, make sure you’re getting enough high quality protein from your diet first.
If you like this vanilla strawberry protein shake, and you want more options, try this banana protein shake. It doesn’t use any protein powder or milk.
For this homemade protein shake, decide on which protein powder to choose from and make this protein shake to help you refuel after your workout and to prevent muscle fatigue.
Do you like this vanilla strawberry protein shake? Tell me in the comments.
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