Are Your Protein Shakes Actually Doing Anything?

proteinshakeWorking mums trying to find time to work out, we applaud you. Keeping fit is hard enough at the best of times, let alone when you have two other full time jobs. But as you’ll notice is a theme on this site, your health should not be sidelined. If like many of us, a protein shake for breakfast or lunch is the quickest and easiest option for a mum on the run, you’ve probably wondered if all that money on protein powder is actually worth-while. Is it doing anything to help your body and fuel your day? The answer is yes, but the trick is, to get that extra protein at the right time and not to forfeit other foods. Here’s how to ensure it’s not a wasted effort!

How much do we need?

The average person needs around 0.8 – 1.2g of protein per kilo of body weight, per day (depending on how much exercise you’re doing). Protein is one of the most important building blocks for your bones, muscles and skin, and chances are, you’re not getting enough in your daily diet.

So now you know it’s important, how to make it count?

  • If you’re training then an important time is right after a workout to help your muscles repair.
  • 30 minutes before a workout sets up the “anabolic window” and provides your muscles with adequate nutrition so that the effects of any weight training won’t be as severe.
  • First thing in the morning you’ve gone 6 to 8 hours without proper nutrition and  your body needs protein quick.
  • If you don’t have time for breakfast a well balanced protein shake is a good option.
The amount of protein to put in your shake varies depending on what your fitness goals, age, sex, activity level etc. If you don’t exercise much and have plenty of protein-rich foods in your diet, you may not need to use a full scoop of powder — or any powder at all — because you’re likely to meet or exceed your daily protein needs through your regular diet alone. If you’re very active, however, your body can use more protein than others’ can. Ask your fitness advisor or a healthcare professional for tailored advice. There’s a good beginners guide on Daily Burn here for reference.

A fave City Mum breakfast-on-the-run protein shake recipe:

1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1 x banana
Half a cup of oats
Half a cup of frozen berries
1 and a half cups of almond or coconut milk
Blend and enjoy!
Sam Summers
Sam Summers

Sam is the editor at City Mum and mother to one cheeky toddler, Thor. Outside of her day-job in marketing and full-time-job of Mummy, Sam loves to write and has published three fiction novels. Originally from London and currently in Sydney, Sam is a city girl through and through, with a penchant for Paris and New York. She loves Sydney and the sunshine, but secretly prefers the rain... her ideal way to relax is a stormy day run, followed by a quaint coffee shop and her MacBook Pro.

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