One of the most common things you might hear at the gym is the rattling of blender bottles as people slush up their protein shakes and guzzle them down after a workout. Also infamously known as brotein shakes to bodybuilders, this drink is a combination of protein powder and water consumed after and sometimes before a workout. Nowadays, you can find a wide array of protein drinks spread across shelves at any grocery store. Chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, organic, low-fat, you name it, they’ve got it. But why are protein shakes so important to athletes? Keep reading to find out!
What Does Protein Do?
Proteins are amino acids, which are essential for the human body. According to MedlinePlus, “you need protein in your diet to help your body repair cells and make new ones.” This is very important for athletes because protein aids in muscle recovery after exercise. This is why many people drink protein shakes immediately after working out. They also help keep you full and reach your calorie intake if you are dieting. Many protein powders are vegan, which are great for vegetarians whom do not receive proteins from meat.
Should I Drink Protein if I’m Just Doing Cardio?
This is definitely something I’ve wondered on rest days where I’m not doing strength training. Protein seems so good for your body, should you drink it regularly? Yes and no. As mentioned above, protein can help keep you full if you’re dieting. However, if you are not counting calories and eating your normal day’s worth of food, a protein shake might just be extra calories. According to SF Gate, “if you drink protein shakes along with a low-calorie diet, the shakes may also help you attain a better body composition.” It is true that protein is great after any workout, strength or cardiovascular, but strength training is more effective for building muscle. If you’re planning on just doing cardio and eating a normal day’s diet, it might be better to skip the shake.