Often marketed towards athletes and bodybuilders, protein shakes can actually benefit anyone with an active lifestyle or those looking to boost their fitness routine. Humans are fueled by protein, as it makes up almost every part of our bodies and is essential to the muscle recovery process. If you work out regularly, drinking protein shakes in the morning can improve your stamina and speed up the process of rebuilding your muscles.
For those looking to lose weight, it’s important to implement a strict exercise routine, but drinking protein shakes for breakfast can cut down your daily calorie count. Get yourself a reliable protein shaker and begin implementing these guidelines for adding protein shakes into your morning routine.
How Much Protein Do You Need Per Day?
Before replacing your normal morning meal with protein shakes, it’s important to understand how much protein your body needs every day. The general rule of thumb for protein intake is to multiple 0.36 grams of protein by your body weight. For example, if you weigh 185, you should be ingesting 66.6 grams each day. Typically, the average sedentary man should consume 56 grams per day and women should have 46 grams.
However, if you live an active lifestyle, you should be consuming more protein to help with muscle recovery and provide extra energy to power you through your exercise. Depending on your fitness goals, you may want to consume closer to 0.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight, particularly for those looking to build muscle mass.
Determine the purpose of your fitness routine (building muscle, losing weight, etc.) and then calculate your recommended daily protein intake based on your activity level and current body weight. Another way to figure out how much protein you should be consuming is to keep your protein intake to about 20 to 30 percent of your overall calorie intake.
Calorie intake also depends on your body weight and fitness goals. For those trying to lose weight, you’ll want to burn more calories than you consume, which may entail cutting your overall daily calorie intake. However, you still need to meet a minimum number of calories per day to ensure that your body is receiving enough nutrients.
Do Use Protein Shakes for Breakfast if You’re Trying to Lose Weight
Replacing your morning meal with a protein shake is a great idea if you’re trying to drop extra pounds. Most protein powders recommend using one scoop of protein per shake, which is usually equal to about 25 grams of protein. If your daily recommended protein intake is 56 grams, this shake could contribute nearly half the necessary protein for the day.
For those trying to lose weight, having a protein shake for breakfast will provide a high level of protein while keeping your breakfast calorie count low. Because you must burn more calories than you consume, this is a good opportunity to cut your calorie intake. Coffee drinkers can also try replacing their morning cup of coffee with a nutritious coffee protein powder for an extra boost of energy in their shake.
Don’t Overload on Calories During Other Meals
Protein shakes for breakfast can help you fuel up without packing on calories, but you should still make sure that you’re paying attention to how many calories you consume during other meals. It’s easy to accidentally binge during lunch or dinner and take in more calories than necessary. Don’t ignore your body’s nutritional needs, but also take care not to overconsume.
Do Drink Protein Shakes if You Work Out in the Morning
Many fitness gurus recommend drinking a protein shake before exercising if you’re trying to build muscle. Protein shakes for breakfast can help provide extra strength to push you through a workout and build more muscle. However, it’s also important to consume carbohydrates before a workout as carbs are converted to glycogen, which is essential to powering your body. While many people are tempted to try carb-free diets to lose weight, this can be detrimental to your overall health because of your body’s need for glycogen. Avoid so-called “empty carbs” like white bread and foods with refined sugars, opting instead for nutritious carbs found in wheat bread, quinoa or sweet potatoes.
Don’t Neglect Your Nutritional Needs Post-Morning Workout
If you decide to drink your protein shake for breakfast before a morning workout, it’s important to also fuel your body after exercising. Many fitness experts recommend post-workout protein shakes because it can quicken the process of muscle recovery. You should avoid relying on protein powder as a main source of protein. If you’re using protein shakes as breakfast, you should consume some high-protein food after hitting the gym.