I’m no expert, but I’ve been looking around for information on recovery shakes to supplement my Insanity workouts. I thought I’d summarise my findings and share them with you as a starting point for your own journey of discovery!
Muscle protein accounts for about half of the body’s total protein and as you might have guessed, it’s used to support muscle support tissue and growth, amongst other things. Protein is taken in (through diet and synthesised by the body) and then broken down. So it makes sense that if we’re going to do heavy Insanity workouts and attempt to build muscle, we need to boost the protein level in our bodies.
During a strenuous workout session, particularly if you use weights (including your own body weight), your muscles are forced into a state of protein breakdown to generate energy and/or to synthesise new protein. But to promote muscle growth, we need to ensure that we adequately replenish this broken down protein so that we have a protein surplus in our bodies for the support of new muscle growth. This is where protein shakes come in.
If you have a look at the various protein powders available on the market, you’ll find a lot of whey products out there. Whey is a natural by-product of milk, and can be processed to yield whey protein. Whey protein can be rapidly digested and, taken after a hard workout, it can help you move your body from a muscle-wasting state back to a muscle-building state.
Three forms of whey protein are available: whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, and whey protein hydrosylate.
- Whey protein isolate typically contains 90-95% protein and is prized by some for it’s high protein content.
- Whey protein concentrate can contain anywhere between 20-89% protein and tends to be cheaper to buy.
- Whey protein hydrosylate is super-hyped as the elixir of muscle growth and as a result, is super expensive by comparison. Because it is a pre-digested form, it is claimed to be more easily absorbed by the body, thereby greatly increasing muscle protein synthesis. However some claim that it has little, if any, superiority over any other form of whey protein.
You’ll have to do your research to work out which type is right for your needs, or go for a product with a blend of proteins. But remember, taking any form of whey protein after a workout will likely benefit you when it comes to growing muscle, reducing body fat, decreasing muscle soreness and improving your recovery time.
For more information about whey protein, there’s plenty of information available on the internet, or you can start your search by checking out this concise article.