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Top 10 Health Benefits Of Protein Shakes

Written by Jane Summerfield
  • Who doesn’t want to look ripped?
  • Who doesn’t want people to envy their chiseled physique; admire their toned beach bods?

Of course, we do. And some people are willing to spend hours in the gym toward that end.

To get ripped even further, many people will tell you without hesitation that a protein shake diet helped them along tremendously. 

Look at the 7-day protein diet here. After all, protein supplements including whey protein are known to promote muscle mass without causing any nutrient imbalances in your diet.

There is no doubt about it – not only is protein supplementation excellent for helping you lose weight, but people use them to fill in any nutrient gaps they might have.

In fact, the world of high-quality protein supplement businesses is huge in the health and wellness industry.

It makes sense, though, because they come with so many health benefits – people want protein shakes and protein powders on demand.

What Happens When You Drink Protein?

From A Cure For Illness To A Muscle-building Essential For Bodybuilders

Protein dietary supplements started as a cure for illness and grew to be a muscle-building essential for bodybuilders and athletes.

Protein powders and shakes are big business, as we said above.

Even recently, just prior to the pandemic, it was estimated that consumers in the USA alone, spent billions of dollars on protein supplements [1].

Look around you, you will find protein-enriched foods and pre-made protein shakes available in airports, grocery stores, chemists, and vending machines.

It’s not an unusual sight to see someone sporting a protein shaker in hand.

Thing is, it’s not the gym rats using them exclusively anymore. No, it’s everyone.

All kinds of people are taking them as they literally fill up their protein-deficient diets literally on the go!

They are one of the easiest ways of increasing your protein intake with not much effort.

When Protein Powder Came

Actually, the popularity of protein supplements like the whey protein supplement only emerged in the mid-twentieth century.

In fact, the first protein powder wasn’t intended for the fitness industry at all.

They were designed for hospital use, to help patients recover from being undernourished and weak.

There – that’s already an excellent reason to take protein shakes and powders, isn’t it?

Back in the late 19th century, a dried milk-powder treatment known as Plasmon was created in Germany, for hospital use.

Soon it was being used as a cure for the sick to being a booster for modern bodybuilders.

Plasmon was described as ‘the albumen of pure fresh milk in the form of a dry, soluble granulated, cream-white powder.’ It became a wonder substance.

By 1914 it was an athletic aid.

A man called Eugene Sandow became known as being the world’s most perfectly developed man and one of the strongest men in the world.

What was the reason for that? He used Plasmon.

Use For Its Muscle Protein Synthesis Benefits

Soon weightlifters and bodybuilders began to noticeably increase in strength and size.

There were claims that it was protein powders that were responsible for these incredulous improvements.

Nobody knew of anabolic steroids yet.

So when the creator of protein powders claimed the amazing benefits of taking protein powder, many believed whole-heartedly.

Bob Hoffman and others began claiming that it was their soy protein powders that were responsible for these improvements.

At the same time, none of the average gym-goers knew much about the world of anabolic steroids or their effects 

When Bob Hoffman and some others claimed that their protein powder was responsible for weightlifters and bodybuilders’ rapid growth in size and strength, many believed them [2].

The ‘magical’ powders were highly coveted by bodybuilders and weightlifters back in the 1960s.

Hoffman, who changed his name to Blair, was one of the first manufacturers of fitness products since the days of Plasmon.

He mixed his protein powders with raw milk and sometimes even organic cream, claiming that his protein powder supplements were responsible for producing the anabolic effects that many associated with anabolic steroids.

Adverts about Blair’s protein powders spoke of people gaining 20-30-pound muscle growth in a short period of time.

This was just from using his protein! In actual fact, some people claimed that Blair’s protein powders were even more effective than anabolic steroids.

For sure, anabolic steroids might have been just as important back then, but so was this ‘golden age’ of American bodybuilding and protein powders.

They started in the 1960s and continued well into the 1970s!

Fast forward to the present and let’s see what the 2022 benefits of protein powders are

Actually, protein shakers became very popular in the 1970s and 1980s. Consumers as well as manufacturers wanted to make shakes a very easy experience.

The increased popularity of protein powders to introduce shakes increased their popularity and demand even more.

Today, this business has made protein shakes so exciting and enticing.

The shakes come in a variety of protein types such as;

  • Vegan shakes, plant-based protein powders
  • Protein shakes for weight loss, which of course, are still in high demand,
  • Protein shakes for the bodybuilders and fitness people. 

Looking back, you could that that it was only around the mid to late twentieth century that protein powders became very popular and continued to remain popular.

It was the combination of steroids, sales tactics, and a huge interest in nutrition that helped to make them the power powders they are today – they have literally influenced the entire fitness world!

The Benefits of Protein Shakes in 2022

1) Protein powder shakes define and maintain muscle mass

You will find you get ripped after some intense bodybuilding workouts when you start replacing your carb intakes with protein intakes.

Essential amino acids are the perfect solution to do this.

2) Serves As Meal Replacement

They are sought after because they provide plenty of protein when you don’t have time to prepare meals.

Opening up a protein shake any time of the day even on the go is why they are so popular.

You can meet your protein demands in a matter of seconds!

They should not be a replacement for eating whole, nutritious food.

3) Protein Builds Muscle

Not only does protein define and maintain your muscle mass, but it actually builds muscle. Proteins are needed for the building and manufacturing of your enzyme, hormones, cells, and much more.

If you don’t have sufficient protein, all these parts of the body that are so imperative can’t work together.

Your muscles would be unable to heal quickly after using them. You could end up with over-trained muscles, which could lead to injury.

4) Healing The Tears in Muscle

As soon as your workout is done, you need protein to start the process of healing the small tears that might have been caused to the muscle.

Protein supplements are an excellent way to deal with this. You could take protein food to do this job.

But solid food will take more time to digest and break down the protein and send it to the muscles.

A protein shake, for instance, takes a mere 30 minutes or so to reach your muscles after it has been ingested. 

5) Helps Meet Your Body’s Amino Acids Need

If you are eating a protein breakfast and other protein snacks in the day, but you are still not making your protein intake, there is nothing better than a protein shake to complete your protein requirements for the day.

If you are out of reach of a protein meal, a couple of shakes on hand could be just what the doctor ordered!

6) Weight Loss Benefits

Protein shakes are known for their weight loss benefits.

One study of 40 men following a high protein diet lost more fat mass and increased muscle mass when they added some strength and cardio training compared to the other group who did not [3].

7) Helps You Avoid Unhealthy Snacks

What is so useful about protein snacks, aside from all the nutrients and minerals, is that they make you so full and satisfied.

So whether you are trying to lose weight or trying to be extra healthy, protein shakes do that for you.  

Because they make you feel fuller for longer, you will find you don’t need to reach out for unhealthy snacks.

Studies show that diets that are high in protein seem to stimulate PYY and GLP-1, both hunger-reducing hormones.

After each meal, both PYY and GLP-1 hormones are stimulated to put their weight-reducing action into practice [4] [5].

Protein is also thought to reduce levels of ghrelin, which is a hormone that stimulates the appetite.

 8) Metabolism is boosted

Protein shakes also increase your energy expenditure.

They burn the calories in a couple of ways. Firstly, your body burns more calories when it metabolizes protein – more so than it does with carbs or fat.

This metabolism and response to food are known as diet-induced thermogenesis.

The second one is that high protein intake will stimulate gluconeogenesis.

What is gluconeogenesis?

Well, it’s the process of the body producing glucose from proteins or fats when there are no carbs – extra calories get burned up in the process of gluconeogenesis.

 9) Away with belly fat

When you start incorporating more protein into your diet, you will be promoting fat loss and fat oxidation.

Research shows that ingesting plenty of quality protein is associated with loss of belly fat – known also as visceral or abdominal fat [6].

And that’s a huge benefit, because when visceral fat increases, chronic inflammation sets in [7], and that’s an unhealthy state to be in!

This has been linked to heart disease and insulin resistance.

In one study of 37 women, those who consumed an extra 40 grams of whey protein per day showed a small reduction in abdominal fat compared with those who received a lower protein-quality supplement [8].

Another study that lasted 23 weeks showed that those who ate 56 grams of whey protein each day showed lower body weight by as much as 4 pounds and lower body fat by as much as 5 pounds compared to those who ate less protein. 

10) Whey Protein is great for wound healing

It is the amino acids in whey protein that are known to help repair tissue and skin from surgery and wounds [9].

Amino acids that do such a wonderful job are particularly glycine, arginine, leucine, isoleucine, and valine.

These amino acids are all essential when it comes to promoting the healing of bones, muscle tissue, and skin.

After all, amino acids are known as the building blocks of protein.

Amino acids are used in every cell of the body, building the proteins that are so needed for survival.

Many amino acids have the important role of building and repairing body tissue – This is critical for wound healing. 

Conclusion

Protein supplements today serve quite a few purposes.

Some are designed to simply supplement the diet with protein; some are used as meals for those who battle to eat whole foods; for people that are ill.

Other people use them for losing weight and developing muscles.

And when you prepare your own shake using healthy protein nutrients or buy your ready-made protein shake, you are ingesting an easily prepared, balanced, and healthy meal.

Some protein powder drinks are made with whey protein, others with soy protein, and others again with pea – in other words, you can find them in animal-based products or plant-based products.

Protein shakes are certainly packed with plenty of vitamins and minerals. And the benefits are numerous, as you have seen.

They simply and quickly meet nutrient needs; they are available in a variety of flavors, and they are so easy to track your calorie intake for the day.

The fact of the matter is, whether your choice is vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, or all the flavors in-between, what you get with protein shakes is endless options – protein shakes are a versatile choice, simply, for people who are searching for on-the-go nutrition that keeps them on top of their game, period.

References
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