I know when many women decide they want to start working out and are starting from square one, supplements can be an intimidating factor. For most, they decide to just stay away. Protein seems to have a semi-bad rep among beginner females. All of these big scary macho men in the gym walk around with their big shaker bottles, shaking their protein and lifting their man sized weights. Shake. Sip. Lift. Scare. Repeat. No wonder girls don’t want to take them. No female wants pecs and Thor looking muscles. Subconsciously we are men being taught they are for men. Protein powders are one of the many supplements that can be extremely beneficial if used the proper way.
First off, what is whey? Whey is made from the byproduct of the cheese making process. It is the liquid that comes from it. There is a small amount of whey in milk but that is the only food source and it is minimal. After the whey is separated it is processed and dried into a powder using various processes.
Say it for the people in the back. Weight loss. Every woman’s dream right?! Many women tend to have the misconception that protein shakes will either make them fat or bulky. The truth is it can actually aid in losing weight when used properly. Our bodies use protein to build muscle and as a source of energy. If we aren’t consuming enough protein our bodies will start using our lean muscle instead of our fat. Meaning all those pounds that are disappearing from the scale are likely muscle not fat. Taking protein shakes and eating protein in our diets helps keep our lean muscle and helps our bodies use our fat stores for energy instead. Higher lean muscle amounts mean our body is burning more calories because muscle burns more fat! Combine that with a calorie deficient diet equals weight loss! Adding a protein shake for breakfast or instead of missing lunch can be a great way to keep you on track with your weight loss goals.
Whey protein shakes can increase your bodies immune system. Whey is known as a complete protein. Meaning whey protein contains all of the essential amino acids and many other nutrients which help build our immune systems. For example, the nutrient lacoferrin in whey helps the body produce more immune cells. Studies have shown the addition of whey protein into the diet has increased the protection against many cancers, shown an increase in the successful treatment of patients with cancer, improved asthma in children, lowers the bodies stress levels and even aided in cardiovascular health. We are going into flu and cold and all the other gross illnesses season so it’s a great time to start sipping whey with our morning coffees!
If you are wanting to gain muscle, whey protein should be your go to helper! It is recommended to drink a whey protein shake as close to the end of your workout as possible to reap the most benefit. Whey protein is the most digestible and fastest source, making it the ideal source of protein to replenish and build muscle. The recommended timeframe is usually within 30 minutes but as close to the end is best. If you can’t get it until after you pick up the kids or groceries just take it when you can! More lean muscle mass makes your bones stronger and that decreases the risks of osteoporosis. So drink up ladies and gents!
A few things to consider before taking protein, however. When it comes to cost, you get what you pay for. If you buy cheap you are probably getting cheap protein. The problem with that it is usually mass produced and highly processed. The manufacturers use high heats to dry the protein which denatures the protein. Also, protein powders are not well regulated by the FDA and have no real standards for their production. Denatured protein means gas and stomach pain and your body doesn’t absorb the protein as well. So for this splurge a little. I have my recommendation for my favorite at the bottom of the page!
Not to suggest that whey is basically a superfood but its basically a superfood. It has so many amazing benefits and can help all ages of people. But, before taking any supplements or exercising be sure to check with your doctor. Although whey is a mild protein and is usually well tolerated. It isn’t as scary as suggested so go to the store grab a cute shaker cup in your favorite color and get to sipping! I have faith in you!
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