Genghis Khan and his Mongols were heavyweight players. They smashed through most of Eurasia like a gigantic fist through a balsa wood door.
One of the reasons he and his men were so combat-ready, so often, was protein shakes. Okay, they weren’t exactly drinking “Bananas ‘n Berries.” However, Khan found that by evaporating milk in the sun, the chalk-like goo could sustain his troops at a fighting level with no transport issues, or the need to build fires for cooking.
Our Protein Needs
To this day, mobile men and women seek edges in their training that will keep them in shape for either their jobs, recreations, appearance, or just to keep up with the demands of their families. Protein is the ingredient in your diet that will help you accomplish these things. The human body contains protein in every cell and organ, and it demands protein on a daily basis to both build and maintains its tissues.
Your body, however, will not store protein. Just like the rewards points at your local grocery chain, the protein will not roll over month to month. Too many people are under the mistaken notion that slamming protein drinks all day is going to help them pack on muscle and maintain optimum health, and here is where they can run into trouble with protein shakes.
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Our Mistakes With Protein Shakes
Asking if protein shakes are going to make you gain weight is akin to asking if hamburgers are going to make you fat. A hamburger will have about 24 grams of protein in it, and a protein shake averages about 30 grams.
It is what you add to the protein and what you choose to do with your protein intake that will determine any weight gain. A hamburger without a bun, cheese, bacon, and mayonnaise is not a very exciting option. It’s basically a sizzling lump of protein on a plate. Protein shakes are the same. No matter how delicious the packaging says it is, it is about as exciting as a tepid glass of chocolate milk.
Many people try to pump up their protein shakes the same way they build a hamburger. They add a few things to the blender. Ingredients such as a banana, peanut butter, an extra squirt of chocolate syrup or a scoop of malt flavoring. Even tossing in a handful of toasted wheat germ will add almost 100 calories to the shake.
Now you have a protein shake loaded with protein, fat, and calories. If you drink it before your workout, you likely won’t feel like hitting the gym after consuming such a concoction. If you drink it post-workout, you’re still adding additional calories and fat to what should have been simply lean protein.
Another mistake people make with protein drinks is they drink them in addition to their regular meals and snacks. A protein drink is a meal or snack. If you turn it into the beverage you drink with your breakfast, you are going to start packing on the weight.
The average 150-pound person requires about 60 grams of protein per day. That’s about two shakes, or a chicken breast and a fish fillet. If you are a serious gym rat, you will need 120 grams of protein per day. Any more protein than this will be turned into ammonia by your body. You will then, in polite terms, urinate it away.
While you aren’t trying to conquer continents, life still contains its conquests. You don’t need to load protein to deal with these things. Used properly, protein shakes won’t make you heavy, but they could help make you a heavyweight player.