The morning protein shake was once the latest nutrition / fitness craze, but unlike other “fads,” (anyone remember the Thigh Master?) it stuck around. In fact, it’s still around. Protein shakes for breakfast are a staple of many diets around the globe, and for good reason – actually, plenty of reasons.
Recent studies have shown that a protein shake first thing in the morning reduces overall caloric intake the rest of the day, which is a critical factor in terms of weight loss. Aside from the belt-loosening benefits, those sunrise protein shakes can also help boost mental sharpness. So far, so good – but recent changes to the traditional shake have disrupted the nutritional intent.
Subtraction by Addition
The thing about protein shakes – much like those other hot nutrition trends that have (mostly) gone by the wayside (while we’re recalling the Thigh Master, anyone remember the “low fat” hysteria?) – is that many people have tried to either increase total intake or supplement the shake with additional ingredients.
In theory (and in sober practice), an AM shake can be a healthy part of a well-balanced diet. But in the effort to make something good even better, many of us are making it worse. Here are a few ways we’re subtracting nutritional value by adding new twists.
In the effort to increase protein intake, some folks simply can’t get enough, particularly anyone who is looking to gain muscle or attain a certain level of fitness. In this scenario, the morning protein shake is just the entry point for a day-long protein feeding frenzy. This is called “protein guilt,” and it’s all too real. Essentially, this is when the morning protein shake becomes two shakes, followed by protein-heavy meals throughout the day. Lay off the protein a bit – anything exceeding 125 grams per day isn’t doing you any extra favors, unless you’re a competitive bodybuilder.
Let’s face it – pure protein powder shakes aren’t exactly the best-tasting beverage in the world. Thus, many of us have loaded the shakes with all sorts of supplementary ingredients: nuts, cacao nibs, fruit, sugar and much more. And that morning protein shake has suddenly become a calorie-laden beverage that spikes insulin to an insane degree, right upon waking.
You’re Not Using the Right Kind of Protein
Not all protein is created equal. And it certainly doesn’t impact every person the same way. Along with the traditional animal and veggie proteins, there are also the soy, brown rice, hemp and pea varieties (and plenty others). Find out which type of protein aligns with your weight loss, nutrition or health goals. Ingesting protein in the morning solely for the sake of ingesting protein in the morning can backfire. So play around with your protein type, and find what works for you.
Thanks for reading the UCE blog. For more nutritional advice, it’s always a good idea to consult with a physician. Urgent Care Extra has the resources to assist in your goals, along with the best urgent care throughout the Southwest. Find an urgent care clinic near you, or schedule an appointment today.
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