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8 Wonderful Benefits Of Protein Shakes

8 Wonderful Benefits Of Protein Shakes

Protein shakes get a bad rap too often. They’re usually associated with those chalky, clumped up, and horrible tasting monstrosities from over a decade ago. The truth is, protein powder today mixes easily, comes in a number of delicious flavors, and with all of the recipes out there it’s easy to find some protein shakes you’ll love. This is great news if you haven’t been taking advantage of the benefits that protein shakes can provide.

1. You Can Hit Your Protein Goal for the Day

Protein is essential for life. Every structure in your body is built, at least in part, from proteins. Literally,your entire body is protein (and fats).The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 gm/kg body weight. That means, for most people, getting a single protein shake a day of 30-50 grams will make it very easy for most people to achieve or even surpass their RDA. This is especially true for some vegetarians who may not be consuming very many high protein foods and have trouble consistently getting enough protein.

2. You Can Boost Your Immune System

Whey protein, the protein most commonly used in protein shakes has a been found time and again to boost the immune system. As a review of the research found,

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“Whey and its components are involved in different bio-logical functions including antioxidant activity, anticarcino-genic effects, immunomodulation, passive immunity, disease protection, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-viral effects, binding of toxins, promotion of cell growth, platelet binding, anti-inflammatory and anti-hypertensive actions.”- A. Suha Yalcin

In short, drink a whey protein shake regularly and your chances of getting that cold that’s been going around the office, decreases.

3. You’ll Get the Most from Your Weight Training

If you’re lifting weights, and you should be, you’re working hard to build muscle and a whey protein shake can help maximize your effort. Intense training leads to muscle damage and a big part of optimizing your results from weight training is providing the body with the building blocks it needs to rebuild and grow new muscle. That primary building block of muscle? Protein.

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For those who are weight training optimal protein intake is around 1 gram per pound of body weight. That means a 175 pound man who lifts weights regularly (3-5) times a week should be consuming around 175 grams of protein a day to help support muscle recovery and growth. This sounds like an impossible task to many people until they realize that simply consuming 1-2 protein shakes per day can make getting one gram of protein per pound of body weight very, very, easy.

While some will claim this amount of protein is dangerous, don’t worry, in healthy people those claims are completely unfounded,

“It is the position of the International Society of Sports Nutrition that exercising individuals need approximately 1.4 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day….Concerns that protein intake within this range is unhealthy are unfounded in healthy, exercising individuals.” –ISSN

4. You’ll Lose Fat

Protein is known to have a satiating effect on the diet, helping you to feel fuller longer than carbs or fats. Protein also has a larger thermic effect, requiring the body to expend more energy to digest it than carbs or fats. Both of these mechanisms are why increasing protein has been associated with weight loss, and more specifically fat loss. Even though whey protein has been shown to help people lose weight, it digests quickly, so using a slow digesting protein like casein in your shake may be even more beneficial, blunting the appetite and staving off hunger for even longer.

5. You’ll Build MORE Muscle While you Sleep

You don’t build muscle while you’re working out. You damage muscles while you workout. The repair and growth happens during rest, primarily during deep sleep. Researchers have found that simply chugging a protein shake before bed can help increase you’re rate of muscle protein synthesis (rebuild and growth) and recovery versus not having that shake.

6. You’ll Lower Your Cholesterol

Whey protein has been shown to be very effective at helping to lower both total and LDL cholesterol. While it probably isn’t going to replace your blood pressure medications, supplementing with a whey protein shake may help if your doctor has advised “lifestyle therapy” as treatment,

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“whey peptides appear to be a well tolerated and safe lifestyle option for improving BP in a population of prehypertensive or stage 1 hypertensive men and women.”- Pins and Keenan

7. You’re Blood Pressure and Heart Disease Risk is Lower

In this study whey protein supplementation lead to a more than 6 point reduction in those who had elevated blood pressure. While another study found the same blood pressure lowering effects of whey protein to be true in obese people with above normal blood pressure. Whey protein shakes won’t completely reverse high blood pressure but it does appear that, if used consistently, whey protein shakes can be an effective part of a blood pressure reduction plan.

8. They’re Easy “Grab and Go” Nutrition

In our busy lives sometimes we feel the time crunch and reach for  something that’s “easy” and end up with a handful of cookies, chips and other empty calorie foods. Doing this just leaves us tired, irritable, in a mental haze. Worst of all, you’re probably only satisfied for a moment and hungry 15 minutes later.

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Mixing up a quick protein shake on the spot or even having a pre-made shake in the fridge can help keep this from happening. There are lots of really easy and delicious recipes out there that don’t take very long to toss together and will store nicely in the refrigerator for days. Just make sure you shake it up really well if it’s been sitting for more than a few minutes. Protein shakes can provide a nice, fast and easy supplement to fill the gaps in your nutrition, help improve your health and simplify your busy life.

Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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