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Ask anyone who has ever tried to lose or gain weight, and they’re likely to tell you the same thing: diet is a tricky topic, and finding the right balance of nutrients that works for you can be tough. It doesn’t help that fad diets tend to dominate the conversation. Between well-known movements like the paleo and Atkins diets, it can be tempting to leave your dietary decisions up to a preset plan that promises fast results. One such plan that has gained something of a following relies on liquid supplements, such as protein shakes, to fulfill your body’s nutritional needs. But can a person truly survive on protein shakes, or is this actually a bad idea? Keep reading as the specialists at ENU address this point in greater detail.
Why Protein is Important for Your Health and Body
Protein is an important component of a healthy diet, along with the other two macronutrients, fats and carbohydrates. Its dietary value is even, in some circles, considered superior to its brethren; while many websites and blogs denigrate the effects of fats and carbs on your body, protein is almost universally beloved by the fitness- and health-conscious among us. So what does protein do, exactly?
Many people think that protein shakes for athletes and bodybuilders are the only options on the market. The reason for this is simple: protein is essential to the recovery and growth of muscles after intense physical activity. Without it, your muscles could not replenish themselves and become stronger, and workouts would become largely ineffective. It should be noted, however, that this increased strength does not result from simply eating more protein, but from a combination of protein and regular exercise.
And the effects of protein on the body extend well past simple strength augmentation. This macronutrient is a key element in the synthesis of some important biological components, including various enzymes, hormones, and neurotransmitters. It is also essential to the body’s healing processes everywhere, not just in the muscles; patients on diets for recovering from illness, such as diets for cancer patients, or patients on weight gain diets would do well to maintain their protein intake through their ordeal. The simple fact is that we are all indebted to protein for sustaining and repairing our body’s processes, though some lifestyles certainly rely on it more than others.
What Are Protein Shakes Used For?
For those whose declining health or high level of physical activity requires significant amounts of protein each day, protein shakes can be a vital source. The ingredients in nutritional shakes like this supplemental beverages contain 15 to 40 grams of protein, depending on the brand, typically derived from natural sources like milk whey or soybeans. The ideal use of a protein shake is to provide an effective protein supplement that is both tasty and easy for your body to absorb. Because liquids are processed more quickly by the body than solids, ingesting protein in a liquid form means it will be put to use that much faster by the digestive system; it also has the added benefit of being less strenuous on sensitive gastrointestinal tracts.
Typically, these drinks are used by athletes immediately after finishing a workout. The first half hour or so after exercise is the most crucial time to drink a protein shake because it’s the time window when your muscles are seeking to restore themselves with glycogen and amino acids, which come from carbs and protein respectively. When using a protein shake for this purpose, try to select one that includes simple and complex carbs in its formula to provide your body with energy and facilitate a more complete recovery from your exercise.
Is It Healthy to Only Drink Protein Shakes?
Though a diet that is high in protein can be beneficial for a number of reasons, it is unhealthy to rely solely on protein shakes, or any prepackaged food product, for all your dietary needs. Even in instances where a beverage contains a wide variety of ingredients and nutrients, conventional wisdom says that a person should instead rely on solid foods. Not only is the act of chewing your food helpful for creating a sense of satiation, but any solid matter you eat will stay in your stomach longer and allow you to fend off hunger throughout the day.
Additionally, any dietary professional worth their salt will tell you to vary your diet to ensure that you are receiving a broad mix of nutritional elements each day. Only drinking protein shakes can significantly limit the range of resources with which you provide your body, eventually leading to a lack of some nutrients and an overabundance of others. That being said, one or even two protein shakes per day can complement a balanced diet of healthy, varied dishes, by adding extra protein to the mix.
Well-Rounded Meal Replacement Shakes Available to Anyone
If you have been looking for a healthy, balanced nutrition shake, ENU has a product that is sure to pique your interest. Each of our meal replacement shakes include 20 grams of protein from whey and soy isolates; simple and complex carbs from brown rice, quinoa, and tapioca; healthy, unsaturated fats from coconut and sunflower oils; and a mix of more than 20 vitamins and minerals. Each of our shakes is gluten-free, lactose-free, and non-GMO, plus there’s no corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. To learn more about all of our products and how they can help you reach your health and fitness goals, visit us online or call (855) 266-6733 today.