Best Protein Shakes for Weight Loss and Toning

Even though we don’t necessarily say it out loud, we all want to be our best, lead healthy lifestyles, eat healthy foods, and even have a regular workout regimen that will keep us looking and feeling our best. While some of us go to certain extremes to achieve all the above things, most of us, well not so much, especially when left to our own devices. How we look from the inside may not necessarily reflect itself from the outside because you might eat right and have a workout plan in place that you stick to religiously but you never quite get the results you want. What are we talking about? Achieving a healthy weight loss.
Aside from the negative effects of eating unhealthy foods, there are other factors that contribute to weight gain, metabolic diseases and ultimately, obesity. For instance, you may be genetically predisposed to weight gain, which, no thanks to heavily processed foods designed to promote overindulgence, only leads to food addictions. Engineered junks foods also promote insulin resistance in many overweight individuals and studies show that an elevation in insulin levels causing energy to get stored in fat cells, therefore, causing weight gain.
Certain pharmaceutical drugs such as diabetes medication and antipsychotics have also been known to reduce the body’s metabolic rate because these medicines alter the function of your body and brain to increase an individual’s appetite and lead to weight gain. You may also have a leptin resistance, which is believed to play a role in weight gain and reduced leptin levels are considered to be a leading factor in the development of obesity.
You can see that achieving a healthy weight loss encompasses so much more than simply nourishing our bodies with good food; there are other powers at play including our physical make-up that greatly influence our body’s metabolic processes. Our emotions, for instance, can influence our relationship with food also when our endocrine system is out of balance can affect our hormones, and this alone can hinder weight loss.
Understanding the reason behind your weight gain can aid you in carving out a clearer path to help you achieve your goals of health and fitness. Adopting a healthy training routine is a good place to start because a good workout will have an impact on your metabolism, your fat burning capacity, your hormones, and ultimately help in toning your physique. You also need to understand the benefits of macronutrients, which comprise of proteins, carbs and fat as well as the importance of micronutrients such as minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients. These nutrients not only affect all the other functions in our body, but they are also responsible for aiding the body’s metabolic functions and processes. Enter: the role of high protein intake for weight loss.
Protein plays a very important role in the body. You will never miss some source of protein in a bodybuilder’s or dieters bag in the form of a high protein bar, protein shake, or protein supplements and for very good reasons. Protein is a macronutrient, and because the body does not store proteins, it needs fairly large amounts of it to build and repair tissues, including making enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and other body chemicals that serve important bodily functions. Being the most important and the main building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood, it’s important to get a modest amount of this vital macronutrient from various sources of protein.
You are off to a good start you are getting your sources of protein from eating foods such as meat, fish, dairy, and eggs, every day. An insufficient intake of protein, specifically for an avid gym enthusiast, deprives the body of important amino acids it needs every day to build and repair muscle, and consequently muscle growth becomes impaired. So, no muscle toning is going to be taking place any time soon. However, if muscle hypertrophy or ‘bulking up’ in layman’s terms, is your main goal, you will require a high protein intake. In this case, you need to consume up to 1.5 to 2 grams of protein per pound bodyweight, which is between 300 to 400 grams of protein per day. Now, this amount may seem enormous to eat each day, but, you can eat between 7 to 8 small meals that are high in protein depending on your activity levels throughout the day.
Regular exercising, especially weight lifting increases your body’s demand for adequate protein intake and when you eat foods that are high in protein the body breaks the protein molecules in the food down into amino acids and then uses them to build its protein reservoirs. This is not to mean that you only need to consume foods that are high-protein alone to help you build muscle, you also need a healthy source of carbs and fat. Not only is a low-carb diet useful for decreasing insulin levels and glycogen stores, ask any nutrition guru and he or she will gladly tell you that such a diet is extremely effective when it comes to burning body fat. Sources of fats such as omega-3 and monounsaturated fats are equally beneficial because they lower bad cholesterol and blood pressure, including keeping hormone levels in check and regulating blood-glucose levels and insulin response.
Now, let’s talk proteins shakes, they are, after all, the movers and shakers of the bodybuilding world. If you are having trouble building muscle, even while on a high-protein, healthy carbs and fat diet, you may want to consider supplementing with the following protein powder that can help you reach your weight loss and muscle toning goals.
Whey Protein Shake
Whey protein powder has been shown to have incredible health benefits thanks to its wide range of easily absorbable essential amino acids that are not only beneficial in helping you lose weight significantly, but they also play an important role in increasing muscle gain and strength. Since Whey protein powder is made from milk, it may not be ideal for those who are lactose intolerant. However, if you’re not, taking a Whey protein concentrate shake (70-80% protein) every day can help you add up to 25 – 50 grams of your daily recommended protein intake in your diet and consequently help you lose weight. One of the most important essential amino acids in Whey protein is known as Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) such as leucine and cysteine, both which are beneficial growth hormones that promote growth, recovery, and maintenance of muscle tissue as well as long-term weight loss.
Hemp Protein Shake
If you’re not too big on animal-based sources of protein, then hemp powder is your definite go-to protein supplement. Hemp is a protein powerhouse boasting of 20 amino acids, nine essential amino acids, omega fatty acids and dietary fiber that you can’t find in other protein powders. Some of the benefits of taking hemp protein powder shake include increasing your overall protein intake, consequently, boosting your metabolism and fat-burning process to help you lose weight. Being an excellent source of dietary fiber, consuming hemp protein powder also cleanses your colon and a clean colon means that your glucose levels are steady, which reduces your sugar cravings and keeps your immune function healthy.
While our bodies produce creatine molecule naturally to provide energy for your muscles and other tissues, taking it as a dietary supplement has been shown to increase our body’s muscle creatine content by up to 40%. This, in turn, promotes muscle gain and most importantly, creatine improves muscle strength to allow you to perform better during exercise. The goal of supplementing with creatine is to saturate your muscle creatine stores. You should, therefore, combine creatine and Whey protein powder as a post workout meal supplement to boost muscle recovery and growth, which also helps in replenishing energy stores in your muscle and boosting creatine absorption.
Casein Protein Powder Shake
Casein makes an ideal protein supplement because it has the ability to sustain long periods of an anabolic environment for muscle growth. This is good news for individuals, especially women, who want a little boost in muscle retention because casein is digested slowly, which, makes it a great protein shake to drink before bedtime in order to feed the muscles. Therefore, if your ultimate goal is to increase muscle growth and strength, supplementing with casein protein shake and combining it with resistance training will do the job. Casein also provides other benefits for your health such as reducing high blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Thanks to its antioxidant effects, supplementing with casein can also help in fighting the buildup of harmful free radicals.
There are hundreds of different brands of protein powders on the market today. What can make the process as painless as possible when choosing the best protein powder for weight loss and toning, is to look for a protein powder that is low in sugar, high in fiber and most importantly, one that provides adequate protein.