Protein Supplements: Not Just for the Boys

Ladies, if your goal is burning fat and building muscle, don’t forget to consume the protein your fitness goals require.  Protein revs up your metabolism, helping your body to burn calories, using food for fuel instead of storing it as fat.  Plus, protein consumption assists with lean muscle development.

If you need to keep your diet plan as easy and convenient as possible, consider using supplements to reap the benefits of protein.

Supplements Add Protein with Ease

You will find protein shakes for sale at the health food store, and that’s certainly an easy solution.  But the best protein powders are also simple to use.

Simply stir powdered protein supplements  into water or milk with a spoon or a blender.  You can buy different flavors, including vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. Plus, using protein powders will be more cost-effective than ready-made protein shakes.

Don’t stop at adding your protein supplement to water or milk.  Blend in some fruit for a delicious smoothie.   Experiment with protein shake recipes until you find your favorites.

Protein is Key for Breakfast and Beyond

Breakfast and healthy snacks are essential to maintaining your metabolism and avoiding hunger.  If you’re too busy to prepare a protein-rich breakfast, a protein shake is a quick, portable (and refreshing) solution.  Protein is especially important at breakfast; without it, you’ll feel hungry or “crash” before lunch.

A protein shake makes a great snack, too.  In fact, studies show that your body (i.e. your muscles) will use protein more efficiently if you consume it consistently and gradually throughout the day. Plus, some of the best protein shake recipes feature high-quality branch chain amino acids that help general body recovery, especially after strenuous workouts.

A Positive Muscle Building State

In a positive muscle building state, your body burns fat rather than muscle.  Consuming protein, whether from supplements or your diet, will help you maintain this state.

To achieve a positive muscle building state, the International Journal of Sports recommends that you consume between 1.6 and 1.7 grams protein per kilogram of your body weight.   That amounts to  0.7 grams per pound, daily.  For an example woman who weights 140 pounds, multiplied by 0.7 grams, a good goal would be 98 grams of protein every day.

Try protein supplements for a quick and delicious answer to give your body the protein it needs to avoid hunger, burn fat, and build muscle.

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Why You Need to Include Strength Training into Your Exercise Routine

Strength training.

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Do you run for miles on the treadmill every day? Do you suffer through those cardio classes at your gym? Are you seeing the results that you are looking for? If not, it may be because you aren’t including strength training into your exercise routine. Many people, especially women, don’t pick up those weights because they are afraid they’re going to end up looking like a body builder. Well, put away those fears, because that isn’t about to happen.  However, strength training can give you the tone and definition you are looking for. It can make you look fantastic in your favourite bikini, skinny jeans or little black dress.

Cardio alone will help you lose fat, yes; but it will not shape and redefine your body. Only strength training can do that. You will also increase your metabolism – Your BMR (basal metabolic rate) increases, meaning that your body can burn fat much more efficiently. Your core will become stronger and you’ll have improved posture, greater strength and your bones will have an increased density.

So, do you need to give up your cardio routine altogether? No, absolutely not! You just need to add strength training to the workout you’re already doing. This doesn’t mean you have to spend another hour in the gym. A good strength training program can take as little as 15-20 minutes. Kettlebell workouts are becoming quite popular, because they incorporate both strength training and cardio at the same time. There are several DVD’s on the market that are quite effective.

If you’re just starting out, it’s important to use lighter weights, no more than 5 pounds. If you prefer, you can use the machines at your local gym. The machines are great for reducing the risk of injury and they will give you a good idea on proper form and posture while you’re performing the exercises.

When you are designing a routine, make sure you work opposing muscle groups; don’t just do your biceps, do you triceps as well. Work your lower body along with your upper body. This will give you a balanced physique.

Reassess your workout every four weeks; chances are you’ll need to increase your weights a bit. It’s also important to change up your routine; your body is so efficient that it gets used to the exercises, and that’s one of the reasons you hit a plateau. Change your program so that your body is always challenged.

While it’s ok to do cardio every day, it’s best to limit your strength training sessions to every other day. This gives your muscles a chance to recover in between sessions.

Eating protein with every meal will help in your strength training efforts as well. Your muscles need protein in order to develop and stay healthy. Have some almonds, organic peanut butter or other protein source with each meal. Protein shakes also make good meal replacements or mid-afternoon snacks.

When you add strength training to your overall exercise routine, you will notice a big difference in how your body looks and feels. You’ll finally have the tone and definition you’ve been looking for.

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Tips on Purchasing a Protein Powder

It is crucial to know how to choose a protein powder because of the numerous brands and health implications associated with it. When choosing a protein powder consider factors such as its purpose, ingredients, side effects if any, price and flavor.

Purpose, in this case, refers to the reason why you need to buy a protein powder. There are a several types of protein powders available on the market. They can be used for body building, and weight loss and gain. Additionally, you can use it as a meal replacement and health supplement. Each one of these has unique qualities added to the powder to meet its specific function. Therefore, you cannot substitute one for another. For instance, if you are seeking a powder for muscle maintenance, purchasing one for weight gain will be an inappropriate selection in such a case. Be very specific on what you need out of the protein powder.

Review the main ingredients of the protein powder.  These include amino acid quantity, whey, soy, egg protein or casein protein. These proteins have various effects and absorption rates in the body. The most popular of these powders is the whey protein. Consult a nutritionist or trainer to determine the best protein shake for your health requirements.

Consider the side effect of the product. Lactose intolerant people should generally avoid whey protein powders because they contain traces of milk products from which the whey is extracted. Also, take your allergies into account. You may be allergic to egg protein. Choose alternatives that give minimal side effects. For the best results, follow the instructions of the protein powder.

Determine your budget for purchasing a protein powder. Check out consumer reviews from reliable websites to see their experiences. Branding plays a significant role in the price variety. However, if you choose your powders according to their health benefit, you stand a better chance of getting value for money.

Flavor is another important factor to consider when buying protein shakes. They come in numerous flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, grape, apple, watermelon and peanut butter. The aim of flavoring the powder is to encourage you to take it consistently. Some powders are available unsweetened. This allows you to add your own flavor and sweetener. One manufacturer may be known for great tasting shakes, but less protein quantity, while another may be known for the reverse. Find a balance between the sweetened and unsweetened powders, so you can achieve the best tasting shake.

Once you have found a protein shake to fulfill your intended purpose, start with a discounted or trial offer with a money-back guarantee from a reliable retailer. This will give you a month to try the product of your choice without being obligated to keeping it if you are unsatisfied with its results. Observe how the shake mixes with water and its effects on your body after about a week of consistent use. Start the journey to good health with a protein powder that produces your desired results.

Haliyma Barrow is an article writer with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and a minor in journalism. She regularly contributes articles on health and fitness, focusing on nutrition guide.

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What Should I Mix My Protein Powder Into?

The best thing about protein powder is that you can mix it into just about anything. The main thing you don’t want to try to do is eat it plain in powdered form. Even the best protein powder will taste kind of nasty and be difficult to swallow. Luckily, by mixing the powder into other foods and liquids, you can cover up the flavor and consume the healthy source of protein without issue. If you are looking for ideas for more places to work your whey protein powder into your daily diet, then look no further. Listed below are several ideas to get your brain started!

The first thing to do is think in terms of a liquid diet. You can mix the powder into just about anything liquid as long as you use a small portion so that you don’t distort the flavor or coloring very much. By the time you start scrounging the internet for ideas, I’m sure you’ve exhausted all protein shake and smoothie ideas, but this list would be incomplete without them in here somewhere.

Once you’re out of ideas for drinks, think about things you bake. You can work protein powder into just about any recipe that starts from batter and turns into baked goods. Making cookies can be a fun experiment when you mix in a small amount of protein. You can make protein pancakes, muffins, cake, brownies, or a whole slew of other things. As long as the item isn’t extra sensitive and needs to rise or something, you shouldn’t have any trouble.

You can also put some powder into anything you’re using milk or butter in. Since whey is dairy based anyway, it doesn’t throw off the flavor much. This could be anything from cereal to macaroni and cheese.

The number of ways to use protein powder as a helpful supplement is nearly unlimited. Just keep an open mind when cooking and don’t be afraid to add a spoonful to just about anything.

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