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Have you ever wondered if using protein supplements after a workout is necessary? Many professionals will advise that you should take in protein and carbohydrates during a critical feeding window after a workout. During this window, muscles are able to absorb the nutrition and put it to use.
A study that was featured in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in August 2013 examined this very dilemma. The study entitled, “Effects of Whey Proteins and Carbohydrates on the Efficiency of Resistance Training in Elderly People,” evaluated 141 men and women between the ages of 65 and 91 over a 12-week period. These people participated in resistance training three times per week. Some then consumed 20 grams of whey protein after their workout, while a control group did not.
So what happened? As it turns out, there was no real difference in the results of both groups. All participants gained strength and saw increases in muscle mass, but didn’t show a sizeable difference from the protein supplements.
The truth is, you don’t need a ton of protein. In fact, excess protein is converted to sugar in your blood. Then insulin kicks in and can lead to weight gain. Of course you need to ensure you’re getting enough protein, as it is a building block for building muscles, but be sure to avoid consuming too much.
Instead of opting for a protein shake, consider swapping it out with other foods that contain protein and have other nutritional benefits. Think about it more holistically. There’s also a cost factor involved with protein shakes and bars, as they can get a little pricey. They may be quick and convenient, but you are essentially paying for that convenience.
While elite athletes may see a small percentage difference in using these protein supplements, the rest of us may not find that they’re worthwhile. Focus on the larger picture and get nutrition from whole foods. You’ll feel healthier and you’ll likely safe a few bucks in the process.
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