Protein shakes are just for men who want to bulk up. Right? Wrong. Us women need protein every bit as much as men. And women who work out need it most of all. In fact, a slim, healthy figure is built on protein. So stop worrying about packing on the muscle - taking a little extra protein on board won’t turn you into the incredible hulk. No. A delicious Matrix shake once a day as part of a balanced diet, combined with a healthy workout regime will help make you sleek, sexy and bursting with vitality.

What does protein do?

Protein shakes are for everyone
Protein shakes are for everyone
Source: Chaoss
Protein is packed with amino acids - compounds essential for muscle maintenance, growth and repair. Protein promotes bone health and helps keep every cell of your body healthy. Think hair, skin and nails just for starters - protein keeps you looking good. And because your body can’t store amino acids, you need to take some protein daily, as part of a healthy diet.

Want to lose weight?

Weight loss
Image source: Dolgachov
Want to lose weight?
If you’re dieting - don’t cut back on the protein. Losing weight means you need to pay even more attention to making sure your body gets the nutrients it needs. Maintaining your protein levels helps ensure your body doesn’t start using your muscles for energy - you want to be firm not stringy. Protein also keeps you feeling fuller for longer helping to keep those hunger pangs at bay.

How much do I need?

Supplement Facts
Image source: Rui G Santos
How much protein do you need?
The average adult should aim to take on board around 55 g of protein per day (1). But if you’re working out to reshape your body, you’ll need more. Protein not only builds lean muscle tissue, it also fuels your muscles during training and promotes recovery afterwards. The boffins at the Australian Institute of Sport calculate that during a period of intense training you should aim to consume around 1.3 - 1.4 g of protein per kg of your body weight each day. So if you weigh 60 kg, you’ll need around 80 g of protein a day. If you’re training to maintain rather than build that slender, strong physique, the figure drops to around 66 g per day. (2)

Sources of protein

You can get all the protein you need from a healthy balanced diet. Stick to lean meats like chicken and turkey. Fish is a great source of protein - and high in heart healthy omega-3 oils too. Make low fat natural dairy choices - always read the label to check for added sugar. Cottage cheese and low fat natural yoghurt are great sources of healthy protein. You’ll also find protein in nuts and seeds as well as in beans and pulses. Busy lifestyles can make nutrition a challenge so why not make sure of your protein by topping up with a healthy protein shake? Whey protein is packed with muscle shaping compounds, it’s low in fat and nutritious too. But the best thing about protein shakes? They’re delicious!

Try this summer treat for size

Mix one scoop Matrix Whey Protein Powder with 300 - 400 ml skimmed milk. Add a handful of ice, some strawberries, raspberries and blueberries - blitz and serve - for a fruitiliscious summer berry protein shake. A scrummy protein shakes are a simple, effective supplement for women who work out. (1) http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/nutguideuk.pdf (2) http://www.ausport.gov.au/ais/nutrition/factsheets/basics/protein_-_how_much

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