Protein Shakes Taste Good, but Do They Work?
No matter your goals, protein shakes are a convenient and tasty way to help boost your daily protein intake. Protein is an essential nutrient, meaning your body can’t produce it on its own — but needs it to function optimally. But do protein shakes work as a way to help meet your daily protein needs?
“The amino acids in protein are the building blocks for muscles,” says dietitian Natalie Allen, RD, MS, a professor of biomedical sciences at Missouri State University. “They help build and repair tissues after a strenuous workout or game.” Protein can also help with satiety, the feeling of fullness, so it is helpful in supporting weight management. Adding a lean protein to each meal or snack is a good idea for most people.
Looking for a protein shake that’s as good for your goals as it is your taste buds? Try Openfit Plant Based Protein Shake!
Here’s a look at four facts about protein shakes — and why you might consider adding one to your daily meal plan.
4 Facts About Protein Shakes
1. Protein Shakes Can Help You Feel Full
Think about how you feel when you drink a green juice versus a protein shake. While both are tasty, which one is more satisfying? Which one helps you feel fuller longer?
A protein shake may help tide you over for longer than the juice because of protein. That may help you control how much you eat more easily and for longer periods of time. According to research, protein may increase satiety more than carbs or fat.
2. Protein Shakes Can Help You Maintain Muscle
“Protein’s main function is tissue recovery and repair,” says Samantha Coogan, MS, RD, the director of the didactic program in nutrition and dietetics at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. “While exercising, muscle tissue becomes damaged (in a good way) in order to induce hypertrophy.” (Hypertrophy = gains!)
The amino acids in protein help repair that microscopic damage in your muscles and, over time, they can help make your muscles stronger. Protein shakes (like this delicious Spiced Chocolate Almond Shake) are a handy, simple way to help the recovery process.
“Research shows that consuming a protein shake post-workout can help with recovery and enhance the results of training — but not all shakes are created equal,” says Trevor Thieme, CSCS, Fitness and Nutrition Content Director at Openfit. “We formulated Recovery with fast-digesting whey protein to optimize muscle repair and growth, and tart cherry extract to help reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness. The result: When consumed regularly post-workout, Recovery can help you reach your goals faster and may help shorten the amount of time required between tough workouts.”*
3. Protein Shakes Can Aid In Weight Management
Diets higher in protein can help with weight management, according to a 2015 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. When you consistently consume protein as part of a healthy and balanced diet, you may see positive effects on metabolism, appetite, and calorie control.
When combined with a workout plan, protein helps you maintain or gain muscle mass, “so you get the added benefit of increased caloric burn while doing nothing,” says Coogan. (The burn is small, but it adds up.)
4. Protein Shakes May Help Metabolism
Your body uses more energy to break down and digest protein than it does carbs or fat, causing a very modest increase in your metabolism. Protein’s muscle-boosting benefits also play a role here, says Coogan. “The more lean muscle mass you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate, which means you burn more calories at rest,” she explains.
Just make sure your protein shake doesn’t contain any hidden, unwanted ingredients like added sugars that could lead to weight gain. You can choose one with no added sugars, like Openfit’s Plant-Based Protein Shake.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.