3 Things to Look For In a Weight Loss Protein Shake

By: Dzhingarov

Have you been working on your body and slaving away at the gym?  Do you feel like you are putting in the time, but just need a boost to get the results that you are looking for?  Sure you’ve been eating healthy, getting the fruits and vegetables that you need, but maybe you just need that extra something to help you reach your goals.  It’s time to add protein shakes to you diet.

Protein is a necessity to any kind of muscle growth and recovery.  Whether you are trying to slim down and get lean or trying to bulk up, protein shakes can help catapult you towards that fabulous body you are working so hard to achieve.  There are a few things to look for when shopping for a shake that will be the most effective.  There are three times in the day where drinking a weight loss protein shake will be most effective for your diet plan.


Vanilla Cherry protein shake
By VegaTeam under CC BY 2.0


Pre-workout Shakes

There are a few key things you want to look for when choosing your pre-workout shake.  This particular shake should have the ingredients to give you that extra burst of energy you are looking for so that you can go H.A.M. (hard as a mo-fo) during your workout.  Nothing feels better than walking away from a workout knowing that you gave it everything you got.  Pre-workout shakes should be low in fat, high in protein, and have a reasonable amount of carbs.  Carbs can be looked down on in many diet plans, but they are your fuel do not overlook there importance.  Your shake should contain enough carbs to help mobilize your energy, but should still be low enough that they will be burned off during your workout.

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Pre-workout shakes are best consumed between half an hour to an hour before you start your workout.  Your body will want to use that energy and you won’t want to waste it, so make sure you plan the timing of this energy boosting shake correctly.

Post Workout Shake

With a post workout shake you are looking for something that will focus the nutrients to go directly to your muscle tissue, helping them recover faster and also reducing the amount of soreness you will feel afterwards.  This shake will help that dreaded feeling of not being able to walk like a normal human because you lost the battle of leg day by giving your muscles the tools they need to repair themselves quickly.

There is also a time and place for fat, and after your workout is neither the time nor the place.  You’ll want to choose a shake that is very low in fat, high in protein, 20 to 30 grams is great, and fairly low in carbs.  People tend to look at carbs as the enemy, but they are necessary because they catalyze the insulin spike in your body and this actually helps the nutrients move more quickly into your muscle tissue. The main focus of a post workout shake is to help your body repair the muscles.

The last thing you’ll want to check when looking for you post shake is the type of protein it contains.  The best ones contain whey protein.  It is the fastest digesting protein and is known for its speed on getting straight to work on your muscles. Remember… Repair, repair, repair.

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Before Bed 

You’re ready to hit the sack and looking for the best option to help your body keep working to become lean while sleeping.  A casein shake is the athletes’ night cap of choice.  Here’s how it works.  The protein in a casein shake is slow digesting, whereas whey protein is rapid.  This slower form of digestion allows casein to deliver a steady supply of BCAAs into your bloodstream (the building blocks of muscle tissue), as opposed to one large spike (which whey delivers).  Your body will be fueled with protein and amino acids slowly while you sleep.  This prevents a catabolic state while you catch those much needed Z’s and allows your body to continue working towards your lean muscle goal.

When it comes to losing weight, nothing is better than the good ol fashion proper exercise and eating healthy.  The preparation for eating the necessary nutrients for weight loss can be time consuming and found to be a challenge by many of us.  Protein shakes can be that extra shot of energy or those extra grams of protein your body needs.  Help your body be the best it can be by adding these delicious options into your diet plan.  They are fast, simple, and a great way to excel towards your dieting goals.

By Susana Rosales