Shake Things Up
Adding Protein to Your Active Lifestyle
There are so many reasons why our bodies love protein: it gives us energy, it’s essential for growth, it repairs muscle, and keeps us healthy by helping fight disease and infection. By now, you probably know that your body depends on protein, and adding protein shakes to your routine can help you keep up that active lifestyle. But when is the best time to add that extra boost of protein? There are many options, you can choose the ones that are best for you.
Break the Fast
“It’s great to get your protein in you in the morning,” says personal trainer Darrell Bradshaw, “because then our bodies can use what we need all through the day.” Starting your day with protein does so many positive things for your body. High concentrations of protein slow the release of ghrelin—a hormone that triggers feelings of hunger. At the same time, protein increases the release of hormones that make you feel satiated. See where we’re going here? Protein-filled breakfast will keep us satisfied—and less likely to reach for a snack.
Protein in the morning is especially important before a big workout. It allows your body to perform at its peak, and burn energy without dipping into your body’s stored up protein that it needs to recover after exercising.
Speaking of exercise, after a workout session is another ideal time for a protein shake. Filling up on protein will allow your body to rebuild muscle and repair cells and muscle damaged or strained by physical activity. The time period 15-60 minutes after exercise is called your anabolic window—that’s a fancy name for the period of time that some doctors say is ideal for replenishing those protein reserves.
“If you don't feed your muscles protein you can be fatigued and sore for a longer period of time,” explains Bradshaw. “Protein after your workout helps you build muscle and recover faster. Your body will love you for it!”
Having a protein-packed afternoon snack can help you eat less later in the day. In fact, one study found that people eating high-protein yogurt in the afternoon ate 100 fewer calories at dinner than those eating crackers or chocolate for a snack. This is particularly important for two reasons: 1) our bodies and metabolisms slow down at night, and 2) because eating more food-- later in the evening—can keep your body up at night, busy digesting and processing food rather than giving your body time to rest, repair, and recharge.
This is one of our favorite hacks: did you know a protein shake doubles as a flavored coffee creamer? The creamy texture paired with delicious flavors makes for a perfect addition to your morning cup of Joe. Our shakes are packed with protein, giving your morning the boost it craves, all in a cup of coffee! It probably goes without saying, but the new Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake + coffee = a perfect pairing.
Smooth Things Over
Not a coffee drinker? Switch it up by adding a protein shake to your smoothie. It’s a great way to add a punch of flavor and get that smooth, creamy texture that makes your smoothie feel decadent (even when it’s packed with nutrients!), while also getting an added dose of protein. Get your fruits, veggies, and protein, all in one glass. How’s that for multitasking?
How do you incorporate protein into your active lifestyle? Let us know on Instagram @PremierProtein.