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  • Bryan Tallman

Why Protein Shakes?

MYGYM’s Juice Bar offers a variety of delicious and healthy shakes that’ll satisfy your taste buds as well as your body. Protein shakes are a great way to supply your hard working bod with the nutrition it needs to recover and build lean muscle. So how can a protein shake help me you might ask? Well, according to The American College of Sports Medicine, the metabolic basis for skeletal muscle growth is mediated through protein breakdown and protein synthesis (1). As one may expect, in order to achieve muscle growth one has to have muscular protein synthesis exceed a breakdown of the proteins. If adequate nutrition, and protein intake is not sufficient, a state of negative protein/nitrogen balance equates, thus leaving the body in a state of catabolism (breakdown.) With this said, the impact of exercise on skeletal muscle growth must be considered with nutrition taken into account. In a study by the American College of Sports Medicine, it was found that Whey protein increased amino-acid concentration and availability to the muscle, thus allowing protein synthesis to exceed breakdown. To sum it all up, dietary protein, especially following your workout, will help the body achieve a positive protein balance, thus allowing a state of protein synthesis, or a state of anabolism.

Did you know?

There is also evidence that individuals with more lean muscle can actually burn more calories! One pound of muscle burns up to ten calories a day, as opposed to a pound of fat, which only burns around three calories a day. Therefore, your BMR, (Basal Metabolic Rate) is increased for every ounce of muscle you gain and fat you lose!

Source (2)

Kinds of Proteins:

There are several different kinds of proteins available today: whey protein, casein, soy, pea, wheat, beef, and even hemp protein. That being said, with all of these proteins for you to choose from, there are a couple of questions I’m sure you’re asking: Which is going to be the best for me? Are they the same? How much protein should I consume daily?

Well, all proteins break down into amino acids; however, the variations of these proteins come in the forms of amino acid profiles that are only offered by specific protein powders. Something for additional consideration should be the digestion rate of the proteins. In a study by The American College of Sports Medicine it was noted that whey protein has an accelerated digestion rate because of the protein’s solubility in the stomach. On the other end of the spectrum, is casein protein. Casein is a much slower digesting protein because of its tendency to clot in the stomach. Casein causes elevated levels of amino acids (the building block of proteins) for up to 300 minutes after ingestion. Whey protein supplies the muscle with amino acids at a faster and higher rate (over double the concentration of amino acids in the blood!) than Casein making whey the better choice for the post-workout. Alternatively, casein can be ingested before bed, or during a period without adequate food intake. Protein sources vary in amino-acid profiles, as well as digestion rates. Vegetable protein for example, does not offer a variety of complete proteins. Animal and milk based proteins on the other hand are primarily complete proteins and therefore have varying amounts of all nine amino-acids. Incomplete proteins do not offer all nine essential amino acids.


History of Protein Shakes: The 'Why' and 'How' of The Almighty Protein Shake

Protein powders have been around for decades. According to and other various sources the first instance of protein powders to be utilized as a nutritional supplement occurred in the 1950’s and was first synthesized by a man named Rheo H. Blair in California. However, the first protein powder available was not constituted of the almighty whey, but was instead egg protein. After the protein began gaining popularity, the other forms of protein powders were created. Whey protein in particular gained popularity roughly 25 years ago when it was discovered that this byproduct of cheese production could be utilized by the body building community; whey makes up about 20% of the total amount of protein found in milk, with the remaining 80% being casein.

What Exactly Are Whey and Casein Proteins?

Both whey and casein protein are a dairy product derived from milk during the cheese making process in which the whey (the watery portion in milk) is isolated from the thick curd portion of the milk, which is then used to make casein protein. Whey is an incredibly versatile dietary supplement because not only can it be utilized by those seeking to build muscle, but it also can serve as valuable meal replacement as it’s a lower calorie, nutrient dense food that will help your body look and feel great!

Source (1) =

Kevin D. Tipton, Tabatha A. Elliott, Melanie G. Cree, Steven E. Wolf, Arthur P. Sanford, and Robert R. Wolfe

How Much Protein Should I Consume Daily?

This is an important question for any individual concerned with nutrition, and gaining lean muscle. The answer to this question varies greatly form person to person. The DRI or dietary reference intake for protein is .8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight, or .36 grams per pound of bodyweight ( For a 200lb individual this would be roughly 72 grams of protein. The National Institute of Medicine advises at least 10% of calories from protein, and no more than 35%. With that said, athletes do require a larger amount of protein, especially those seeking to build muscle. Muscles need to be recovered after exercise, and especially after weight training and endurance training in which the muscle fibers are broken down, and amino-acids are used in higher concentration, thus increasing the urea (biomarker nitrogen use/balance in the body) excretion. More protein needs to be taken in to keep the body in an “anabolic state,” with a positive nitrogen balance. According to the Journal of Sports Medicine, protein intakes on the higher end (up to at least 30% of calories) will help spare the muscle from breakdown, especially in calorie fasted states. The implications of this can be applied to anyone trying to lose weight but spare muscle mass. Higher intakes of protein can help the body spare muscle while fats are still oxidized (broken down) in calorie deficient states. All in all, protein intake varies from person to person and depending on those individuals goals. More protein, upwards of 30% at least should ne the intake for athletes, and those seeking to build muscle. Those seeking to maintain muscle in a calorie deficient state should also keep their protein at roughly 30-35% of their daily caloric intake. Remember your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) comes into play here. Your intake of protein will be lower if you require fewer calories. This will all be based on your TDEE and Basil metabolic rate.


What is the difference between a pre and a post workout shake?

The answer to this question can vary depending on one’s fitness goals, and philosophical points of view regarding nutrition. With that said, it is generally regarded that post workout nutrition should include a serving of fast digesting protein, and carbohydrates. Fast digesting protein like whey will provide amino-acids to the muscles to grow and repair. Simple sugars like those found in MYGYM’s fresh fruit will provide the body with fast digesting sugars to replenish glycogen storage in the muscles and liver.

Pre-workout nutrition can vary, some like to include protein and carbs in their pre-workout nutrition shake, thus providing nutrients to the muscles while working. Others like Speed Stack, of which provide low calorie, low sugar, and caffeine rich formula to provide the body with energy. But spare the calories. Pre-workout shakes can provide a host of ingredients such as Creatine, Citrulline Malate, Arginine, Taurine, Betaine, and other amino acids and/or their metabolites. Many of the ingredients in pre-workouts spare the macro-nutrient content in place for ingredients to increase the “pump,” as well as the focus in the gym. Macro-nutrients are spared in many pre-workouts to prevent the having to use its blood supply for digestion rather than pumping the blood into the working muscles.

Let’s Sum It Up:

Protein shakes are a great way to lower the intake of high calorie, non-nutrient dense food, and instead allow you to fuel up with a nutrient dense protein shake that can help you get one step closer to achieving tour desired body composition. You can help lower your BMI today with MYGYM’s convenient Juice Bar! Don’t miss your Anabolic Window!

Was there something in this article that you’d like us to cover further? Leave a comment below or on the MYGYM Fitness Center Facebook page! Who knows, maybe YOUR question could be the subject of our next article!

All Photos Courtesy of Ryan Manning

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