Protein shakes are a quick, convenient, and delicious way to fuel your body while staying within the guidelines of a healthy lifestyle. In addition to being an easy way to make sure you’re giving your body the nutrition you need, adding protein shakes to your diet may help you lose excess weight faster and keep it off, without jeopardizing your health. Supporting your body with proper portions of protein slows down the transit time of food in the digestive tract, which prevents overeating. Protein also aids in the weight loss process by curbing cravings, boosting metabolism, and promoting satiety, the feeling of being full. Another role of protein is helping in the building, repairing, and maintaining lean muscle mass, making protein shakes a perfect treat for those trying to lose weight and those trying to gain muscle.
There are many ways to give your body the benefits of protein through protein shakes during your journey to a healthier you. Use them as a pre-meal appetite suppressant, as a between meal snack, or even as an occasional meal replacement when you’re busy and on the go.
Since not all protein powders are alike it’s important to read the label before buying. You’ll want to boost your body with the best protein shake for you so pay close attention to the quality of ingredients. To select the right protein powder look for a product that has the proper portion of protein, vitamins, minerals, not too many calories, and ingredients that help you reach your goals.
Once you’ve weighed out your options and selected the best protein shake for you, keep in mind the significance of what is in your protein powder is equally important to when you drink your shake. So when are the best times to have a protein shake? We’re glad you asked. The best time of day to add a protein powder to your diet is based on your own individual goals and schedule. The following information will help you narrow down when would be your individualized, ideal time to enjoy a protein shake:
When Are the Best Times to Have a Protein Shake?
- In the morning before exercise
Drinking a protein shake prior to morning exercise is recommended for those in a weight training program. It will help prevent muscle catabolism, which otherwise might happen when the body is exercising on an empty stomach and needs fuel to sustain the exercise. Losing weight or gaining muscle can be stressful for your body. By starting your day with a protein powder that is fortified with a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals, you are giving your body key nutrients to keep it functioning at an optimal level during your morning exercise routine and throughout the day.
- As an in-between meal, snack
It is common for people on a reduced calorie diet to feel hungry between meals. Having a protein shake to soothe that hunger is a much better choice than reaching for a high-calorie snack you may later regret. Plus protein powders such as COMPLETE LIFESTYLE, are naturally sweetened with ingredients like Stevia and Luo Han Guo, which have zero Calories and are low glycemic. You will feel like you’re treating yourself while taking care of yourself and have more willpower to pass on those day old office doughnuts in the break room.
- As a meal replacement
On occasion, consider having a protein shake as a replacement for lunch or dinner, especially when you are on the road or don’t have time for a regular meal. Calorie content and nutrients should be equivalent to a meal on the GRID DIET. Be aware that some protein powders are high in calories and can do more harm than good when used as a meal replacement too often. You will want to make sure you’re getting enough nutrition and energy comparable to the healthy meal you’re replacing.
You can find a quality whey protein that are good examples of what to look for when selecting a Vanilla or Chocolate protein powder that is perfect for a meal replacement by CLICKING HERE. These protein powders are balanced and complement the GRID DIET!
- Between 30 and 60 minutes before lunch or dinner
By drinking a protein shake before a meal, you’ll most likely eat less and enjoy your lunch or dinner without overdoing it. If you know you will be in a place where a lot of food is being served (like a party, buffet, or restaurant with a prix fixe menu), have a protein shake 30-60 minutes beforehand, just before you leave the house. This is an excellent strategy to help you resist the temptation to overeat at the event. In fact, a study in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Metabolism found that young men who were given a beverage containing whey or soy protein an hour before being given pizza consumed less pizza than the control group given water to drink instead. So when you want to have a meal you love (like pizza, everyone loves pizza), drink a protein shake 30 to 60 minutes before so that you can enjoy your meal without the gluttonous guilt or sluggish food hangover afterward.
- Before sleep—Only for those in a strength training program
This is the one time of day when it is advisable to take a casein protein shake rather than a whey protein shake. The reason is that whey protein spikes insulin levels, which isn’t the best for your body right before bed. For those trying to lose weight, as you may have learned from our Step-by-Step Guide to Weightloss it’s best to let your leptin reset by not eating at least two hours before you go to bed. By skipping snacking after dinner time you help decrease nightly cravings and aid your body in getting back into balance before bedtime. That’s why if you’re trying to lose weight, the late evening probably isn’t the best time of day for you to enjoy a protein shake.
Shake it Up
Of course, the healthiest diets contain multiple sources of protein as well as plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, and both healthy fats (primarily monounsaturated fats) and carbohydrates (mostly low glycemic carbohydrates) in moderation. Using protein powder daily as part of a balanced diet ensures receiving all of the macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates) in the proper ratio as well as essential vitamins and minerals, along with health-promoting fiber and phytonutrients. In addition to protein shakes, you can also add protein powder to various recipes such as smoothies, pancake mix, energy balls, etc. Shake and mix things up by adding protein powder to other meals to make sure you’re getting a wide variety of nutrients and flavors. Here are some of our favorite recipes that make using protein powder daily convenient and tasty:
This Complete Lifestyle Recipe is a sweet, quick way to get energized and ready for anything that comes your way!
COMPLETE Lifestyle Protein: Creamy Vanilla
6 dates, pitted
3/4 cup walnuts
2 tbsp. flaxseed
1/2 tbsp. coconut
1/2 tbsp. almond butter
Start with chopping up flaxseeds in a food processor. Blend half of the walnuts in a food processor with the flaxseeds then add Complete Lifestyle Vanilla Whey Protein Powder and pulse. Pit dates and add to the food processor and pulse until broken up into a sticky mixture with walnuts and protein powder. Add almond butter and coconut oil, then pulse until blended into the dates. Add remaining walnuts and pulse. Scoop out mixture into tablespoon portions and roll into balls. Place on parchment paper and chill in the refrigerator. Once the mixture firms up, arrange into an airtight container and keep in the fridge for those times you need a little pop of energy or your sweet tooth needs a treat!
There are many fantastic ways to make chia seed pudding with protein powder! To name a few ways you can put a twist on Chia Seed Pudding, in our Recipe Database you’ll find a chia pudding fruit parfait with homemade granola, chia seed pudding bursting with blueberry flavor, and a cozy, warm cinnamon chia seed pudding perfect for a winter’s night! Our favorite is Chia Seed Pudding with chocolate shavings, banana slices, and a drizzle of honey. To see the nutrition facts and more recipe details, CLICK HERE
1/2 scoop COMPLETE LIFESTYLE Vanilla Protein
1/4 scoop COMPLETE LIFESTYLE Chocolate Protein
3 tbsp. chia seeds
1 cup of almond milk
1/4 tbsp. chocolate chips, chopped finely
1/4 tbsp. honey
In a bowl, mix COMPLETE LIFESTYLE chocolate and vanilla protein powder and chia seeds. Add almond milk, whisk together with protein powder and chia seeds. Set bowl aside for 10 minutes to allow pudding to thicken. You can add the toppings and eat right away or store in a container in the refrigerator overnight and serve as a breakfast dish.
On a cutting board, finely chop chocolate chips. Sprinkle chocolate shavings on top of the pudding along with banana slices and a drizzle of honey.
Make breakfast a smash with strawberries, figs, and chia seeds over a rich and tasty COMPLETE Lifestyle, protein-packed green smoothie bowl!
2 cups spinach
1/2 cup kale
2 frozen bananas
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup frozen strawberries
1 1/2 cups almond milk
1 1/2 scoops Vanilla COMPLETE Lifestyle Whey Protein
A handful of sliced strawberries
1 fig, sliced
A spoonful of chia seeds
A sprinkle of granola
A few pumpkin seeds to sprinkle on top
A sprinkle of sliced almonds for a finishing touch
Add all smoothie ingredients together in a blender and blend until smooth. Add more almond milk if needed.
Pour smoothie into 2 bowls and top with some of your favorite breakfast ingredients!
Harvard School of Public Health. (2017). The Nutrition Source: What Should I Eat? Retrieved from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/protein/
Poliquin Group. (March 5, 2014). “Twelve Amazing Benefits of Protein—the Most Important Food for Fat Loss!” Retrieved from http://main.poliquingroup.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/1133/Twelve_Amazing_Benefits_of_ProteinThe_Most_Importa.aspx
Sidhu, P. (2017). “When to Drink Protein Shakes for Effective Weight Loss.” Retrieved from http://correct-weight-loss.net/when-to-drink-protein-shakes/