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Drink a Protein Shake for Breakfast
Jump Start Your Metabolism!
You've probably heard about how body builders and other athletes take whey protein isolate or whey liquid protein in shakes and other forms to help their bodies build muscle and maintain it. Liquid whey protein found in whey drinks and whey powder is a very easily and quickly absorbed protein. Protein is very critical to muscles — it forms the basic structure, is a major source of energy when muscles contract and is a major part of enzymes in the muscle.
You may have also heard that essential amino acids (found in liquid protein and protein shake powders) help in building and maintaining most organs and hormones. The protein found in protien drinks and protein powder shakes is also necessary for creating hemoglobin and antibodies.
But did you know that protein drinks can help stabilize and regulate your blood sugar levels too? The best way to start doing that today is with a protein shake for breakfast.
When your blood sugar levels are stable, your metabolism functions smoothly, you feel satisfied (full) and your brain has what it needs to keep you and your body on your toes. When your blood sugar levels aren't stable, your body goes into overdrive to fix the problem.
When blood sugar is too high, your body rushes to store blood sugar as fat, leaving your blood sugar low. Then when blood sugar is too low, your brain goes into starvation mode and so do you; all you can think about is food and all your body can "think" about is getting enough sugar (glucose) to the brain and storing whatever extra it gets as fat. And when everything is being stored as fat instead of used as energy, it's really hard to lose weight.
How does the protein in protein shakes and whey protein drinks stabilize blood sugar levels?
Unstable blood sugar levels usually happen when you eat too many carbs without eating anything else. If carbs are all you have in your system, the carbs are quickly converted to glucose and you get a "sugar rush." This is intensified in the morning when you haven't eaten for hours. But if you eat protein (as found in whey protein shakes ) and good fats (like flaxseeds or nuts) with your carbs, the conversion of carbs to glucose is slowed down and blood sugar levels remain stable.
In other words, protein acts like a gatekeeper on carb-to-glucose conversion creating a time-release effect.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Your body is extremely hungry after not eating for hours, and it needs some good carbs (like cereals, grains and fresh fruits) for the glucose. (Yes, unprocessed carbs are important and good for you!)
If your body gets the carbs/glucose it needs in a nice steady stream (no sugar rush), your body is jump-started and ready for the day:
To make your breakfast do all these wonderful things for you, you want to make sure you get a protein with your carbs. That's where the whey protein shakes and smoothies come in.
Having a protein shake, protein drink or protein smoothie first thing in the morning ensures that your carbs are time-released, your metabolism gets a kick-start, your body is geared to burn fat rather than store fat, and you feel satisfied not hungry.
Other benefits of having a pure protein drink/whey protein smoothie in the morning, include:
After getting your whey protein shake in the morning, it's still a good idea to follow this simple rule of thumb for all meals to make sure your body gets what it needs: "A fist, a thumb, and a fist."
Why drink a protein shake for breakfast?
Getting enough protein is essential to our bodies, and there are many benefits of taking natural protein supplements (like whey protein shakes) as a source of protein.
Whey protein is a particularly good source of protein because it's pure, clean, and one of the most easily absorbed sources of protein there is. In fact, whey protein has the highest biological value (a measure of nitrogen retained for growth or maintenance) of any protein.
Whey protein comes from milk (it comes out during the cheese manufacturing process) and is put through a process that separates out the pure amino acids (all 8 essential amino acids and branched-chain amino acids) and leaves behind the sugar (lactose), fat and cholesterol. No wonder that healthy Miss Muffet is always eating her curds and whey!
Suggestions For Pure Protein Shakes In The Morning
Best-in-quality best protein shakes include high-quality whey protein, which means whey protein that:
When making your best-in-quality best protein shakes, limit any processed carbs like sugar, honey, other sweeteners, dried fruit, granola, jams and jellies. What you can include in your whey protein shakes are nuts/seeds and fresh or frozen fruit. High fiber fruit like berries are always your best bet.
Best-in-taste best protein shakes are truly a matter of... taste. You may start with the basic flavors of vanilla or chocolate, but then you can go nuts, literally or not so literally, by adding other flavors. You may start with your basic chocolate whey protein shake powder and then add the necessary water and a handful of fresh raspberries and blend. Yum!
Another favorite is vanilla whey protein shake powder with water, a banana and a tablespoon of raw mixed nuts. Double yum! Have one of these shakes with a bowl of oatmeal in the morning, and you're good to go.
Or, if it's not a whey protein shake or smoothie kind of morning, you can make a bowl of your favorite old-fashioned oatmeal and top it with blueberries, raw nuts/seeds and your whey protein powder.
For a half-smoothie/half-cereal bowl morning, you can throw your oatmeal in the blender together with your whey protein drink mix and other add-ins. Try adding banana and a spoonful of peanut butter to your vanilla whey protein drink and oatmeal before blending. Or maybe you'd prefer chocolate protein shakes with strawberries, raw ground nuts and oatmeal. Or vanilla yogurt, apples, vanilla protein shake powder and a spoonful of omega oil blend.
However you mix it, be sure to get your necessary pure protein together with your necessary carbs and a bit of fatty oils. For more ideas about tasty breakfast choices, you can read our Breakfast 101 newsletter article.
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