Do you need to gain some weight or to provide your body with calories and nutrients, particularly protein, to build muscles? Protein shakes have a lot of benefits compared to other protein-rich foods. Knowing a few recipes, you can make healthy cocktails at home for just 5 or 10 minutes.
Protein is an organic compound directly related to metabolism. Therefore, it’s vital because protein is a building material for the body, actively participating in cell regeneration1E. M. Green, R. T. Lee. (2013 January). Proteins and Small Molecules for Cellular Regenerative Medicine. Physiology review. DOI:10.1152/physrev.00005.2012.
Eat tasty food and lose weight with Unimeal app!
Take a Quiz – Get personal meal plan – Achieve your weight goals!Start Quiz
Protein shakes, indeed, are nothing more than carefully selected sets of food ingredients containing protein.
The product has a low-calorie content: the body quickly absorbs it without increasing fat levels.
Clinically proven2M. S. Westerterp-Plantenga, N. Luscombe-Marsh, M. P. G. M. Lejeune, et al. (2006, November). Dietary protein, metabolism, and body-weight regulation: dose–response effects. International journal of obesity. DOI:10.1038/sj.ijo.0803487 that protein shakes speed up metabolism and help drive away unwanted things faster.
Together with physical activity, the drink may cause significant muscle gain due to the active participation of protein in muscle contraction. In simple words, a combination of exercise and a protein diet will provide you with maximum results.
What are the benefits of protein shakes? Let's take a look at the two main functions of the product: gaining muscle mass and losing weight.
Gaining muscle mass. Scientists3R. Jäger, C. M. Kerksick, B. I. Campbell, et al. (2017, June 20). International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: protein and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. DOI:10.1186/s12970-017-0177-8 recommended drinking protein shakes before and after exercise. A pre-workout glass helps the body stock up on the total amount of protein needed to build muscle and reduce body fat. After the training, a serving of protein drink is also a great way to recharge and get enough nutrients and energy for the day.
Note: recommended minimal number of proteins per 1 pound is 0.36 (0.8 per 1 kg). The American College of Sports Medicine states that the minimum threshold for the amount of protein you need to take to build muscle is 0.6–0.9 grams per pound (1.5–2 grams of protein per 1 kilogram) of total body weight.
Weight control. After losing weight or gaining muscle mass, it is pretty challenging to maintain the desired values. To do this, you have to monitor your diet strictly and exclude harmful products from it. However, protein levels should still be high.
Often people try to gain weight if they suffer from a fast metabolism. In that case, weight control may be an extremely challenging task.
For this purpose, you can use special protein bars to provide the body with the necessary amount of nutrients and prevent overeating. Shakes can also be a good aid in weight management.
For people with a high workload, protein shakes will help satisfy the feeling of hunger and have a tasty snack without disrupting the function of the gut. Just store the product in a thermos: it will retain its beneficial elements for 3 hours at room temperature.
Any high-protein food (meat/poultry/fish, eggs, dairy products) provides the necessary "fuel” for your body. The benefit of shakes is convenience; they may be better tolerated in the morning if you do not prefer or have time to eat breakfast.
Protein consumption will be helpful not only for weight gain. Proteins from amino acids are also responsible for the functions of the digestive system, the delivery of nutrients and trace elements to the tissues of the body, strengthening the immune system4P. Li, Y.-L. Yin, D. Li et al. (2007, April 3). Amino acids and immune function. The British Journal of nutrition DOI:10.1017/s000711450769936x, and restoring hormonal levels.
Among other benefits of high protein shakes are their abilities to:
Protein Powder is a concentrated dry mix that contains standard food products: milk, eggs, and legumes. It uses the same amino acids6F. Naclerio, E. Larumbe-Zabala. (2015, September 24). Effects of Whey Protein Alone or as Part of a Multi-ingredient Formulation on Strength, Fat-Free Mass, or Lean Body Mass in Resistance-Trained Individuals: A Meta-analysis. Sports Medicine. DOI:10.1007/s40279-015-0403-y as regular food, and few carbohydrates and fats. In this form, protein absorption makes it easy to keep within the calorie norm.
And protein powder is actually cheap. Many people use it as a quick way to dry out their bodies.
Yet, despite the high protein content of the powder, it isn’t the perfect match for a healthy diet. It doesn’t contain many of the other vitamins and minerals found in food shakes. Any nutritionist will tell you it can be an excellent addition to a complete diet but shouldn't totally replace food products.
So, if your goal is to increase weight healthily, then gainers or protein bars are the obvious choices. Protein supplements should be in second place as complementary to a healthy diet.
While protein is all you need right now, it has several features to consider when composing your diet.
Protein for muscle growth has practically no pronounced contraindications. For example, excessive consumption of protein foods can cause problems in the functioning of the kidneys and liver.
Still, it's pretty easy to avoid: the main thing is to carefully monitor the The correct balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates in a balanced diet.
Another danger from protein can be an allergy. Protein allergy is a pathological condition in which the body's cells sensitize to protein compounds that have entered the bloodstream through food.
In other words, the immune system exhibits increased sensitivity to protein molecules, marking them as potentially dangerous substances.
In any case, it is best to make sure in advance whether you have a protein intolerance and how much of it will be optimal for your weight.
There are tons of protein shake recipes. They use protein products - fruits, berries, nuts, dairy, and fermented milk products. They are all delicious and vitamin-rich.
Your protein shake can also include condiments, spices, grains, nuts, coffee, cocoa, and even ice cream.
By the way, often, bodybuilders and weight gainers use skimmed milk instead of shakes. It does have the same effect. But cocktails benefit from their fruity fragrance.
So, we decided to select the top 10 homemade shakes for you. Now check them out!
(28 g protein, 288 kcal)
(39.5 g protein, 633 kcal)
(19 g protein, 529 kcal)
(30 g protein, 412kcal)
(23 g protein, 557 kcal)
(22.4 g protein, 196 kcal)
(19.5 g of protein, 198 kcal)
(26 g protein, 362 kcal)
(17 g protein, 200 kcal)
(25.6 g protein, 470 kcal)
As you can see, the principle of making such shakes is very simple. So you can safely experiment and come up with recipes on your own.
A person weighing 70 kg needs 84-112 g of protein per day. These are 200 g of boiled chicken breast, 2 eggs, 100 g of cottage cheese, and 100 g of redfish.
And these are the highest protein foods. If you don't include them in your diet, it will be even harder to get your protein intake.
Even more - skipping meals containing protein, or replacing it with a protein shake, will give you the opposite effect: weight loss7D. H. Pesta, V. T. Samuel. (2014, November 19). A high-protein diet for reducing body fat: mechanisms and possible caveats. Nutr Metab (Lond) DOI:10.1186/1743-7075-11-53. This may also be the aim of a protein diet, but then you will definitely not gain the muscle mass you need.
For this reason, combine protein shakes with something else. This way you will reach your desired protein intake and your weight goal as well.
High-calorie protein shakes:
In order to make a natural protein shake from products and without protein powder, you can use fruits, berries, seeds, and natural sweeteners. Sour cream, cottage cheese, eggs, milk, juices, and yogurts are great as well.
Homemade protein shakes compensate for the deficiency of protein and valuable trace elements. Unlike protein powder, they do not lose the necessary vitamins, and unlike skimmed milk, they are much tastier.
Depending on your weight and tastes, you can pick up any protein shake from our top 10 list and cook it right now.
Drink your muscle-building protein shake as a snack or before your workout. Saturation will last for 2-3 hours.
Article updated: July 12, 2022
Unimeal does not diagnose or suggest treatments. Any description of the diet, training plan or supplement should be discussed with your current physician or nutritionist. This article does not address specific conditions and is simply meant to provide general information on healthcare topics. Following any advice is at your own initiative and does not impose any responsibility on the blog authors for your health and safety.
By choosing high-quality sources, we make sure that all articles on the Unimeal blog are reliable and trustworthy. Learn more about our editorial processes.