Rest days are a necessary part of training. We need to go easy on ourselves and recover from the stress we put our bodies under during heavy workouts.
Protein shakes can be a healthy way to make sure we're still meeting our needs for nutrients and vitamins during rest days.
But before you go pouring these concoctions down your throat, make sure you’re not taking unnecessary risks.
The first concern is the chemical-filled junk you’re consuming in many protein shakes—the store-bought, mass-produced variety that is loaded with amino acids and artificial sweeteners, even if it’s just for a rest day.
Another concern is the additional calories, which can quickly add more calories than a healthy meal.
Protein shakes are not for replacing your regular meal or snacks throughout the day.
Instead, you can take them post-workout between your meals—provided you are still eating at least one other healthy meal or snack throughout the day.
This article is to help you decide if drinking protein shakes on rest days is good or bad for you.
In this Article
What’s In A Protein Shake?
A protein shake is made by mixing powdered (or liquid) protein with a drink. You can also add fruit for sweetness and sugar-free flavourings to make it taste like something other than powder.
You can make your shake with organic ingredients, or you could add a scoop of plant-based protein powder to a glass of hemp milk or almond milk.
Protein Shakes: Why Drink Them?
Since the late 1980s, protein powder shakes have been marketed as the best way to get large amounts of protein into our bodies.
Protein is necessary for building a lean muscle mass and maintaining cellular integrity.
In addition, the body needs protein to live, and it needs protein even more if we are trying to gain muscle in any profound way.
If you work out and lift heavy weights, protein shakes can help you bulk up and maintain the muscle mass you desperately desire.
Who Should Drink Protein Shakes on Rest Days?
If you are an athlete who lifts weights, trains, runs, practices martial arts, or does workouts other than regular exercises, then this protein shake is for you.
For example, you're lifting weights heavily for two to three hours a day and not eating enough food to keep up with your caloric needs.
It makes sure your body has enough energy without weighing yourself down with excess fat.
But if you're not an athlete, you can still benefit from drinking protein shakes.
If you are overweight and want to lose fat while maintaining your muscle growth, protein shakes can help you do just that.
In addition, having a large amount of protein supplement in your daily intake can help prevent the body from breaking down muscle for energy on rest days.
Scientific Reasons to Drink Protein Shakes on Non-Workout Days
- Take whey protein if you want to speed up exercise recovery.
- A protein shake may reduce soreness from physical activity
- A protein shake before bed can promote muscle-building
- Eating more protein speeds up your metabolism and helps you burn more calories
- When you have more protein, you are less likely to overeat
- Eating enough protein helps you age healthily and stay fit all through your life.
Do protein shakes make you gain weight?
If you are drinking a shake with lots of fat and sugar, then probably yes.
However, protein powder by itself will make you gain weight if you control your portions.
Are protein shakes only for men?
While men would be the primary target audience for this product, women can certainly benefit too.
If you’re trying to stay fit and want to tone up a bit, adding a protein shake into your daily routine can help you reach your goals.
So, Should You Drink Protein Shakes On Rest Days?
It depends on the type of protein shake you’re using. If you’re using a protein powder made with whey, then using it on rest days is probably a good idea.
But if you're buying protein powder from a grocery store or supplement store, it might be better to use it only when working out.
It is because protein powders can have lots of sugar and fat that make them less healthy than regular food sources of protein.
In addition, there are some drawbacks to drinking protein shakes on rest days.
Many people believe that protein powders help you stay fuller longer and eat less at mealtimes.
It is true, but it’s a trade-off. Protein shakes are highly processed foods, and they can leave you with lots of digestive issues if you have digestive problems.
But, on the other hand, sleeping or not, a protein shake can make you feel full longer than food.
A regular meal with a higher protein diet and vegetables (for example, eggs or lean steak) filled with fibre will likely provide you with more nutrients than a protein shake blended for you in the morning.
But, in the end, it depends on what your goals are and how active you are on rest days.
If you’re using a protein powder that has a lot of sugar and fat in it, then it’s probably better to drink it on workout days so that your body can burn off the sugars from the protein shake.
Whey protein is the best choice for building your muscle mass. Using it properly can help you gain the body you want in as little as a few months.
And if you're increasing your protein intake on rest days, then that's a good idea.
In addition, because our bodies use around a third of our daily calories, having more protein in your diet does put less stress on your body and allows it to function at its optimal level.
Do you drink protein shakes during rest days? If so, what kind do you drink? What are your favourite protein shake recipes? Let us know in the comments!