Protein is made up of amino acids. Different amino acids have different functions in the body. Complete proteins (mostly animal protein, soy, and quinoa) have all the essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are ones your body cannot synthesize. If you want to know more about individual amino acids, I have a separate blog on that! Protein is the building block to muscle building and repair. Enter, the infamous protein shake.
The protein shake has come a LONG way! They now come in various flavors, in vegan and vegetarian form, and they don't smell and taste like chalk anymore.
With the industry growing though, companies are working to make their product bigger and better. I'm going to keep it basic. There are two main types: whey isolate and casein. The difference? Digestion.
Whey digests and absorbs quickly; within 30-90 minutes of eating or drinking it. Casein digests and absorbs more slowly; usually between 4-6 hours within ingesting. This is important to know, because having both forms of this protein can help you reach your goals.
While getting your protein from healthy food sources is ideal, it's not always realistic. For example, if you are following a specific macro plan that requires 130 grams of protein a day, you may want a quick and lower calorie option than a full meal! I also have a blog about macros, if you're scratching your head. Back to the point; whey is great for quickly feeding your muscles protein and casein is great for sustaining them. Many people will have a whey isolate protein shake immediately after their workout and then a casein shake either as a meal replacement or before bed. Muscles repair while you sleep so having a steady stream of protein available while they repair is ideal.
Always read labels; you want clean protein that isn't high in sugar or calories. If you are baking with it, clean is super important! I personally use (and bake with) Slap Supplements Whey Isolate (weslap.com and use LTIPFIT for 10% off your order. Tastes delicious and bakes great!) and GNC Refeed casein (the chocolate is delish!). Find what works for you and what suits your tastes! I've found I rarely use a full scoop and I've also found some creative ways to integrate protein instead of just mixed with water or milk in a shaker bottle.
You can find my protein recipes on my ltip fitness recipe blog: ltipfitnessrecipes.blogspot.com and on my Instagram; ltip.fitness ENJOY :)
Affiliations: Slap Nutrition & Cellucor! My exclusive discount code for both is LTIPFIT so go to weslap.com or Cellucor.com for your protein and supplement needs!