Hi everyone hope you are all geared up for a lovely weekend I have a busy one again working tomorrow and hosting my bestie’s baby shower Sunday too!
I have been thinking about writing this post for a long time and have been gathering information together to support my ideas. I’m not a nutritionist or trained in anyway for telling people what they should and shouldn’t eat, I am just putting my own thoughts out there based on my own experiences. I get asked a lot about what I eat and when I say I add protein shakes into my diet most women look at me like I am mad. I don’t want to be a body builder like most people think when women take protein shakes, I just want to feel like I am repairing my muscles from the gym and hitting my target protein for the day in an easier way. I use protein shakes mainly as an extra added into my diet; they tend to be post gym however I do have them on occasions where I haven’t trained that day but need to feel a little fuller for longer.
Here are a few facts for you before I start waffling on…
Why take a protein shake?
You can find protein in foods such as chicken, eggs, fish, lean red meat and low fat dairy. However I haven’t always the time or willpower to want to eat these things in large quantities to get in the protein my body needs to stay lean. Protein shakes are an easier and quick way of getting protein into your body effectively. Whey protein also boosts the immune system as it contains glutathione which helps strengthen the immune function. Making it not only a good source or protein but a good way to fend off some of those annoying coughs and colds.
Why do I need more protein?
A diet in high protein helps to keep you fuller for longer. It stabilizes energy and appetite as protein takes longer to breakdown making digestion slower; therefore you feel fuller for longer. Protein is also great for the exercisers out there too. Each time you hit the gym, you break down your muscle tissue. To help repair that muscle tissue protein can help so that your muscles heal quicker therefore grow back stronger.
‘I don’t want to look muscly!’
I hear this a lot from women about protein shakes in particular. However our bodies are different to Men, we don’t create enough testosterone to bulk up like the guys. Even with the added help of protein shakes you won’t pack on muscle like a man does. Our bodies can only use so much protein the excess gets broken into amino acids to be used as energy/fuel or excreted so we never get to use too much.
How much protein should I have?
To be honest I don’t tend to count my macros; I am not that strict on it. but if you wanted to work out how much protein you need daily then I found this online. According to the Centers of Disease control and prevention our average individual intake of protein for a women is 46 grams per day and 65 grams for a man. If you are not dieting then work it so that you need 0.8-1gram of protein per pound (lb) that you weigh. if you are dieting then increase to 1-1.5g per lb. If you are decreasing calories then up your protein as you are constantly breaking down muscle tissue. Even on the days I am not dieting I use protein to help retain lean muscle and shed fat. My protein shake I use is Forever fit vanilla/chocolate. It is a soy based protein that I tend to mix with almond milk and contains around 24 grams of protein per scoops, making this a good source of protein to fill just over half my daily needs. I don’t tend to count the amount of protein I have in my diet at the moment. I know after I have had baby number two I will definitely up the amount that I do take in though to help rebuild muscle and get me back to being lean.
How to take your protein shake?
I usually take mine post workout with water or almond milk however since being pregnant I have found myself hungrier a lot more often so I have been adding protein shakes into my breakfast most days. I tend to make my shake into a smoothie by adding fruit, veggies, almond milk and a mix of extra protein and fibres such as chia seeds or milled flaxseed. Having a large breakfast and incorporating my protein shake into it also helps keep the hunger at bay so that I don’t snack on extra sugary foods during my day. They also help if I am a little achy from the exercise I have done the day before by helping to repair torn muscles from use at the gym.
Which Protein shake should I buy?
There are so many types of protein out there it can get really confusing and daunting. I tend to go with the most natural sourced protein powder I can find that is quite high in protein but low in sugars and carbs. This way I am not adding too many extra calories and refined sugars into my diet through a shake. At the moment and for the last few months I have been using the Forever Fit ultra lite protein powder in vanilla and chocolate from Forever Living. They pride there selves on everything being as natural as possible. It is a soy based protein powder and the light one contains around 17grams of protein but a lot less carbs than the regular.
I hope this gives you a little insight into why I take protein shakes on a regular basis and make them part of my diet. I do think us women should make them part of our daily source of protein especially when training and exercising they can be a real benefit to helping us achieve the bodies we long for. So get sharing some of that protein shake love that men seem to have grasped over the last few years.
Are you female and take protein shakes? Which is your favourite? Do you feel they benefit your lifestyle? Would love to hear some feedback on this one!
Have a great weekend xxx