Protein Shakes are the Key to Building Muscle

Protein Shakes are the Key to Building Muscle

While protein shakes and other supplements have been popular among professional bodybuilders and personal trainers for decades, they have only recently gained widespread popularity with amateur athletes. But to make the most out of any resistance-training workout, you need to provide your body with the protein it needs for building muscle.

After a high-intensity workout, experts say you have a 30- to 60-minute window of highest effectiveness with regard to ingesting protein. In other words, the time right after a workout is when your body most readily absorbs protein and pumps it into your muscles, making them grow and giving you that ripped look.

So what kinds of protein are the most effective for growing your muscles right after working out? While casein and soy are useful to supplement your diet, whey protein is the most effective type of protein isolate to take right after working out because it is absorbed the most quickly by the human body.

But if protein shakes and supplements are so effective in building muscle, why doesn’t everyone use them? The main reason is health concerns regarding strain on the kidneys. People are concerned about taking in too much protein because the average American already ingests more protein than he/she needs, and absorbing too much protein can lead to renal (kidney) failure. But this risk is really only present after long-term, sustained overindulgence. And while it is true that most non-athletes don’t need additional protein in their diets, those who engage in strenuous workout activities regularly often do need more protein, especially right after exercising.

So while it is important to keep a close eye on your protein intake and not consume too much, it is extremely beneficial to take protein immediately after resistance training or other strenuous exercise. Experts recommend about 1.6 grams of protein per kg of body weight for active athletes, or half that for those leading sedentary lives.

That all said, in recent years protein supplements have actually become a lot more popular. Clif bars, for example, were originally developed for rock-climbers only but have since been sold in grocery and convenience stores to all sorts of athletes and amateur exercisers internationally.

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