I want to revisit a topic we’ve looked at before, but keeps popping up again and again especially amongst my female clients…
…THE PROTEIN SHAKE.
I want to debunk a few myths about protein powder and whether you really need a protein shake after a workout. This is aimed more at the ladies but still has relevance for the guys too so read on…
Stereotypically, protein powder is seen as a supplement that men use if they want to get big or “bulk up” as many people like to call it. Females in particular, see guys lifting heavy weights and drinking protein shakes and naturally assume that the protein shake is putting the size or the muscle on the guy.
They then assume that if they have a protein shake they too will get big or bulk up.
If I had a pound for every girl who said “I don’t want to bulk up I just want to tone” I would be on a beach with a pina colada in hand instead of being sat at my kitchen table in North London that’s for sure!
Anyway, this common assumption actually couldn’t be further from the truth. So let’s look at why…
Firstly, this is what a protein shake after a workout WILL do:
1) Start to repair muscle damage from your workout
2) Help with delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) which is the pain you have a day or two after training
3) Start the fat burning process immediately after a workout
4) Increase strength and muscle tone/size (tone for the ladies, and size and tone for you guys producing the extra testosterone – the well-known male hormone)
5) Decrease your cravings for carbohydrates
6) Help you to stay fuller for longer
A protein shake will do all of the above and will not “bulk” ANYONE up, most certainly not a female looking to lose body-fat, tone her muscles, drop a dress size or two, stay fit and healthy and look great at the beach.
What most people fail to take into consideration are the other factors required to bulk up. I will use myself as an example as I have been weight training regularly for a good few years now…
I train very hard 5 days a week, lifting heavy weights with reps anywhere between 6-12. My diet is immaculate 90% of the time; 6 meals per day including 2 protein shakes.
I supplement my diet with lots of fish oil, vitamins, minerals and probiotics, I drink 3-4 litres of water per day, don’t smoke, don’t drink much, I’m not stressed, I have pretty good genetics, really know what I am doing and guess what? I still find it hard to put on any extra muscle.
On top of all that, I’m female.
Males have 10 TIMES more testosterone than the average female and testosterone is the hormone responsible for muscle growth among other things.
Suffice to say that “BULKING UP” is a myth.
It’s hard to put on muscle. It’s damn hard for a female to put on muscle. If you are female and you did all of the above day in day out, you would POSSIBLY put a few kg’s of lean muscle tissue on your body. This would equate in a smaller, tighter, leaner version of what you are now, not a bulked up version.
MUSCLE TAKES UP ONE THIRD OF THE SPACE THAT FAT DOES!
What this means is that when you do add some muscle in a healthy way, you’re invariably replacing some fat – so even if you weigh the same you are slimmer and more metabolic!! This is due to the fact that muscle burns calories, while fat just lazes about making you look, well, fat!
Everyone that trains with personally knows that I continually suggest a daily protein shake or at least one after a workout for all of the above reasons.
Ladies, the muscle that you have is precious and absolutely vital in achieving your goals in the gym, whether it’s weight loss, toning, losing that dress size, a flat stomach, a smaller bum or even getting back into those skinny jeans.
Ignore the men in the office that say they got big when they took protein.
So which shake do I use and recommend?
PLUS, you can get 25% OFF your order by using the code: OHANLON25 at the checkout 🙂