Wednesday, 15 January 2014

The big P

I wanted to do a little blog on protein shakes to share why I use them and which ones I use, as it is a question I get asked about a lot from friends. I also hear different things from people like, 'I was having shakes and they made me put on weight', or that they don’t agree with them and feel they have their place but with professional athletes rather than us every day folk.

Here are the main reasons I have them (no particular order):

  1. Convenient
  2. Help me get the amounts of protein I need (more on that in a min) that I know I couldn’t get through eating alone.
  3. Good for recovery post gym
  4. Stops cravings and genuinely keeps me full until lunch time.

The convenience aspect, that’s obvious. I have two children to feed in the morning, my routine is that I run down, put the kettle on for Adam’s bottle/porridge, while that’s going on sort Isabelle’s breakfast and get her sat down. I then quickly mix the shake 2 scoops, 200ml of water, shake, BOOM done). While I’m then feeding Adam I can drink the shake. The rest of the morning then continues with non-stop running around. Now I don’t do this every day. There are days when I will have greek yoghurt (actual greek yoghurt, not ‘greek style’), muesli and honey once the kids are fed and sorted.

The rule I follow for the amount of protein is to aim to eat around 130g a day. (Approx 2g per kg bodyweight). I personally would struggle to eat that amount, so the shakes help me get what I need.

Protein is the key to muscle recovery (and that just isn’t in workout terms, after having Isabelle and Adam (I won’t go into the full details) my body wasn't healing as it should, so my midwife recommended protein shakes and upping my intake of protein to assist). Although, can I just say, even if the midwife does say you can use a shake with green tea and guarana in it while you are breastfeeding, you can’t, unless you want your baby buzzing (poor Adam).
Anyway, back to post workout... after a workout is one of the best time to get protein into the body so that the protein can be delivered to your muscles, to begin healing the micro tears (very small tears in the muscle tissue, caused by intense contraction of the muscle during workout) in the muscle. Solid food takes more time to digest, break down the protein and send it to the muscles whereas a shake can take less time (about 30 minutes to reach the muscle after ingestion), therefore helping to heal the muscle sooner.

The last reason about cravings is totally proven for me. I have had porridge in the morning and I have had greek yoghurt with muesli and none of them, keep me full until lunch like a protein shake does, not even porridge. I have a shake and I don’t think about food until lunchtime, whereas with the other breakfasts, I’m looking around for something else about 10.30am. I also don't crave sweet things (and those who know me know what a sweet addict I am, in fact I got asked the other day if I could only eat one food for the rest of my life what would it be, I said Jelly tots... at least they would offer flavour variation... see, not so silly now :))

So which shakes do I use? I have tried a few different ones and obviously everybody’s tastes are different. The one I find best for taste and consistency (ie didn’t make me gag, and a few have) is MyProtein Elle True Diet. This is the one I have in my house all the time. The one I use for when I am out and about is USN protein fuel 50 550ml bottles ready made in strawberry flavour. The My protein shake has added green tea, Guarana and caffeine for that extra boost.

Obviously shakes aren’t for everybody so protein can be found in the following foods:
Nuts and seeds
Lean red meat
White meat
Oily Fish

With everything that is included in this blog, I am not an expert and just telling you what I do and what I know. The world of protein and indeed protein shakes is a big one and there are lots of different ones out there. Do your research and always consult a professional if unsure about anything.

Hope that helps a little and if you have any questions let me know.

I’ll be back tomorrow with my weekly update and pics…. Its fair to say, as I am writing this I am seriously aching. It’s been a busy ol week and Esther has been pushing me to my limits.


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