In an age where a growing number of people are becoming increasingly concerned about their health and fitness, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that a high protein diet is one of the most widely followed across the globe.
However, for those wondering – can you drink protein shakes without working out? The quick answer is yes, you can, but it’s hardly the most cost-effective way to get in your daily protein intake.
If you’re someone who drinks protein shakes without working out regularly, you’ll probably be wasting your money if you buy a protein powder, as you can probably get all you need from whole foods instead.
Many athletes and active people drink protein shakes, which is understandable as they need extra protein to fuel their workouts and recover effectively. But what about drinking protein shakes without working out?
In this article, we’ll cover the basics about protein and some reasons, other than as an exercise supplement, that someone might need to drink protein shakes.
Why Is Protein Important?
Protein is essential to your health – there’s no doubt about it. All the cells in your body contain this vital macronutrient, and so it’s crucial to reach your minimum daily intake for optimal health.
Protein builds muscles (including the heart), helps you make enzymes and hormones, gives you energy, and so much more – to give you an idea of its importance.
The average man needs at least 56 grams of protein daily, and women need around 46 grams of protein.
The Dangers of a Protein Deficiency
A severe protein deficiency causes a condition called anemia. But even a person with a mild or moderate deficiency can experience swelling, mood swings, weak nails and hair, fatigue, low immune system, and so many more issues.
Some people drink protein shakes or add protein supplements because their blood work has shown that their bodies need more because of a deficiency, rather than needing more because of exercise.
On the other hand, what does your body do with excess protein? For the most part, it does with extra protein what it does with other excess sources of energy (calories): it stores it as fat.
Is a Protein Shake a Good Meal Replacement?
Is it healthy for an average person to substitute a meal with a protein shake? Put simply; it’s better than nothing.
It’s also a lot better than eating other meal replacement options, such as a candy bar or pastry.
In the absence of a nutritious, balanced meal, a high protein drink can keep you going through the rest of your day.
That said, since it is liquid, it won’t fill your stomach like solid food, so you may get hungry again sooner.
Protein and Weight Loss
The benefits of extra protein to lose weight have long been touted. A low-carbohydrate diet often means increasing your protein intake.
Some studies show you end up burning more calories when you get extra protein, though this is probably also from having more muscle mass. If you’re not exercising, the benefits of protein for weight loss are less effective.
However, protein can boost your metabolism, which is pretty crucial for losing weight. Balancing sugary and fatty foods with lean protein can also help keep you full longer – another boon for weight loss.
Think Differently About Exercise
To get the most out of your increased protein intake, some kind of physical activity would really pay off.
Exercise doesn’t always have to be about lifting weights or going for a run. You can end up burning more calories through minor changes to your day-to-day life, such as with a short daily walk around the block. Ultimately, you can go a long way in controlling your body weight and even build muscle.
What Kind of Protein Shake Should I Drink?
If you’re not exercising, the brand of protein powder or protein shake is less important. You should look for something that has a broad spectrum of health benefits, including vitamins and minerals. Also, consider a lower calorie option.
We recommend brown rice protein over drinking whey protein, as many people who drink whey protein shakes report stomach irritation.
What’s more, whey is derived from milk. Brown rice, on the other hand, is hypoallergenic . There are many high-quality, plant-based protein powder options on the market now, so you’re most definitely not limited when it comes to choosing one!
Conclusion – Can You Drink Protein Shakes Without Working Out?
To conclude, it’s safe to say that drinking protein shakes isn’t your most cost-effective option when it comes to reaching your minimum daily protein intake.
More often than not, you can get the amount you need to avoid a deficiency from whole foods, as mentioned earlier in the article.
That’s not to say that drinking protein shakes without working out is unsafe, it’d just be more beneficial to you if you put any excess protein to good use, such as with a run or perhaps a strength-training workout.