If given 3 options to choose as an answer to this question, what would your answer be? and how would you justify your answer?
1. Yes, Protein Shakes can be consumed on off days too.
2. No, Protein Shakes need not be consumed on off days.
3. Not sure.
You may have heard a lot about protein and even got sufficient knowledge on the importance of it, yet certain questions on protein make you pick an unsure answer, proving that your knowledge is limited.
Don’t worry! By the end of this article, you’ll shift your answer from unsure to yes, we need to consume Protein Shake on off days too.
Ok, let’s go ahead and justify the answer.
If Protein Shakes are prepared from protein powder, it would make sense to start by defining protein at the beginning.
What Is a Protein?
Protein is simple terms means a molecule made up of amino acids. Amino acids, being the building blocks of protein, are compounds which play a vital role in our body. There are 20 different amino acids, which are classified as essential amino acids and non-essential amino acids.
Not all the amino acids can be synthesized in the body. There are certain amino acids which need to be consumed through the diet. Such amino acids are termed as essential amino acids.
Non-essential amino acids are synthesized in the body itself and hence it is optional to obtain them through diet.
What Are Protein Shakes?
Protein is a vital macronutrient on which our body is dependent to perform major functions in the body. While there are numerous ways to meet the protein demand, Protein Shakes are just one of them. Basic Protein Shakes are generally drinks made by mixing protein powder with water, of course, you can enhance the nutritional value of the shake by adding fruits, nuts and other ingredients to it.
Protein Shakes are a simple and convenient way to help you fill the nutritional gaps throughout the day.
Coming to the main topic of discussion today, what I feel is, sometimes the best way to find an answer to a question would be through another question. In this case, ask yourself a question, Are Protein Shakes meant only for bodybuilders? If you can answer this, then you are halfway through the answer to the main topic.
Protein Shakes Are Not Meant Only For Bodybuilders
The way Protein Powders/Shakes have been idolized in the fitness world has led certain people to believe that Protein Powders are more than what they are. It’s wrong to simply associate a Protein Powder as a pre/post-workout supplement. After all, Protein Powders/Shakes are designed to fill in the nutritional gaps, so they can be consumed by all, irrespective of your workout regime.
Although Protein Shakes are mostly recognized for their role in muscle development and repair, we must also keep in mind that they perform varied roles in our body.
Protein plays a role in synthesizing hormones, enzyme production, fat metabolism, immune function, energy regulation, absorption of calcium, stimulate muscle growth and regeneration, stimulate wound healing, promote satiety, perform as neurotransmitters and so on.
A Requirement for Protein Exists At All Time
Upon considering the incredible role played by protein, you now understand that the requirement of protein exists at all time. It is recommended to consume protein at the rate of 0.8g-1g per Kilogram of body weight daily. Your protein intake shouldn’t differ on the days you work out and on days you rest. Protein need exists for everyone depends on age, gender, weight and work intensity. Instead of associating Protein as a workout-friendly supplement, you must look at it in a health and fitness perspective. Professional bodybuilders keep their daily amounts of protein consistent.
Keep Your Protein Intake The Same All Day
Just because you are not lifting or running doesn’t mean your body is not synthesizing muscles. Muscles continue to build for up to 24-48hrs after a resistance exercise. Protein or any nutrient consumed during this time affect muscle hypertrophy1.
In order to build muscle, you must be in a positive nitrogen balance. Positive nitrogen balance means that your body is retaining the dietary protein and using it to synthesize new tissue. If more nitrogen is excreted than was consumed, your body is in negative nitrogen balance. Your body has lost nitrogen means it has lost protein. This isn’t what you need. If you want to keep your body in a positive nitrogen balance, keep your protein intake the same, regardless of your workout.