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Protein Breakfast Powder: Is This a Good Idea?
There are days where you just don't have time to sit down and enjoy a breakfast. We've all been there. Mixing up a fully loaded protein shake for breakfast is a great way to start the day on a high note.
Sure, it will help keep hunger pangs at bay and give your body the energy it needs to start the day on a positive note. But, is a "protein shake:" what your body needs in the morning? First meal of the day? And dumping a tasty load of protein smoothie into a recently reactivated, empty stomach first thing in the morning? Is this, or is this not, advisable?
And there are so many protein powders in the market. Which one is best? Which one is right? Breakfast, protein, metabolism, energy -- and launching into the day with all pistons firing; that's what we're talking about. What works? Thanks for asking.
A protein shake for breakfast
Protein shakes may be a great way to start your day -- but "protein shake" -- that is rather a broad descriptor. And what's the big deal about protein? It seems sometimes to be the only thing people are talking about in the fitness realm. What is protein?
One of the three essential macronutrients your body needs is protein. Carbohydrates and healthy fats are the other two. Your digestive system does more than gurgle at inopportune moments -- it breaks down amino acids when you eat protein.
Muscle, bones, organs, and a variety of other essential body components are formed by recombining these amino acids. Proteins also assist your body in fighting illness by keeping your immune system functioning properly.
Even if you're fairly active, most individuals need around 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight every day. There is only so much protein-forward food one can consume. A protein shake can be an easy, healthy, and delicious way to boost your protein intake before starting the day. It sets you up for success—metabolic success, anyway.
Muscle building and maintenance is one of protein's most important (and popular) roles. As a result, pre-workout or post-workout protein shakes are used by many athletes and bodybuilders who want to boost muscle mass. Everyone has to be sure that they are getting enough protein for muscle development.
Protein Breakfast Powder
What makes a protein shake for breakfast a good or bad idea doesn't have much to do with when you drink it, but what exactly it is you're drinking. Depending on their ingredients, some protein shakes may inspire gastrointestinal distress. And that's the polite way of saying it.
There can be a goodly amount of fiber in protein supplements. There is also — in whey-based protein — lots of lactose, which can cause uncomfortable gassiness and bloating. Some "protein supplements" made specifically for blending shakes have little actual protein and lots of thickeners.
The object is to give you a luscious mouth experience, but in that case very little is on offer to actually stoke the engine down below that will get your system up and running after a full night's sleep. Other protein products may be made with soy isolate, which some people have a hard time digesting.
And since everyone hates sugar generally, but embraces it when it shows up in something we're told is good for us, always check the label for sugar content. Your first meal of the day shouldn't be like eating a box of candy.
Protein powders, such as plant-based proteins, have been shown to boost muscle protein synthesis (MPS) using the same mechanism as that catalyzed by consumed animal-based protein, and without some of the downsides of whey-based protein.
So the right protein powder can get your day—and your metabolism—started. Still, is drinking breakfast the best option first thing in the morning?
Is it OK to drink protein shake on an empty stomach in the morning?
It's a curious thing, but there is a reason to accompany your first morning protein shake with at least a morsel of whole food. That bit of complementary food taken along with your shake will slow down absorption of the shake's nutrients.
And how is this a good thing?!
Amino acids aren't normally stored in our impatient digestive system for an extended period of time. If some of them are not processed in the digestive system's hasty fuel-burning, the unused aminos will be excreted by the body.
Drinking your shake on an empty stomach will do no harm—though whey protein's potent lactose punch to the gut may be felt even more strongly—but may actually result in your consumed nutrients not getting the digestive attention they deserve.
Forcing the stomach to slow down its processes with a bit of whole food will helpfully slow the absorption process down – and see to it that all your power-shake’s aminos get into your system.
Drinking a solo breakfast shake means some of its nutritive goodness will be wasted.
Is it better to skip breakfast or have a protein shake?
A protein shake, properly consumed, provides a quick and easy way to boost your protein intake, but there are some benefits to skipping breakfast that protein shakes can't match.
Several intermittent fasting techniques involve skipping breakfast. Intermittent fasting has been proven to aid weight loss, increase metabolic health, and lower caloric intake. But intermittent fasting or skipping breakfast is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Some people will benefit from that fasting model and some will be drained by it.
The question of "skip breakfast or have a protein shake?" — not an uncommon question in the weight management realm — is a question that has to be individually answered.
Protein for Breakfast and Your Body
A protein-rich morning boosts your slumbering metabolism and keeps you feeling sated (not hungry) for hours, taking the edge off your desire to snack.
We need protein in order for normal cellular function, for building up and maintenance of muscle mass, for healthy metabolism, body temperature management ... the list goes on. Protein is more than fundamental to our most basic metabolic and cellular processes. It's a macronutrient!
Breakfast Protein is a Macronutrient Launch
“Macronutrient”. What does that mean? It refers to the fact that our body requires a lot of protein. The amount of protein needed by a healthy adult is 0.8g per kg of weight, or about 55g per day for a 150lb individual.
If you want to increase your protein intake, breakfast is a good place to start. A protein-centric breakfast ensures that you're launching into your day on a good nutritive basis. And the breakfast hour, where hunger isn't at its peak, is where you'll more likely consume sensible protein "portions".
High doses of protein in one sitting can be difficult for your body to digest. So eating smaller, more frequent amounts of protein—starting with breakfast—is easier on your digestive system, and can be a life-saver for those with a sensitive stomach.
A protein shake in the morning accompanied by a banana, or with a sprinkling of oatmeal flakes blended in, and you're ready for launch. Who knows what the day will bring? Whatever it is, you're ready for it.
What are the benefits of drinking protein breakfast powder?
Protein breakfast powder is high in protein, which can help promote muscle growth and repair, it can keep you feeling full for longer which reduces hunger cravings during the day, and may give you more energy throughout the day, too. You will, after all, have enjoyed a successful nutritive launch. Isn't that what breakfast is all about?
Is there any downside to taking protein shakes for breakfast?
Some protein powders contain additives such as artificial sweeteners or preservatives that should be avoided if possible. Make sure to read the ingredients label of any protein powder before purchasing it to make sure that it is high quality and free from any unnecessary additives.
Is oatmeal and protein powder a good breakfast?
Yes, oatmeal and protein powder can make for a nutritious breakfast option. Protein powder is packed with high-quality protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. This combination of nutrient-dense ingredients will provide your body with the fuel and nourishment it needs to stay energized throughout your day. Adding protein powder to oatmeal also helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer, helping you manage your weight management goals.