A protein-rich diet coupled with a strict workout regime is the most important thing for your body’s transformation. You can either be someone who is looking to lose weight or build muscle mass but consuming the recommended amount of proteins is essential for you irrespective of that. Registered Dietitians suggest that people must consume at least 0.8 grams of proteins for every kilogram of their total body weight on a daily basis. Although, for people with active lifestyles or people who work out daily the recommended protein intake is 10-35% of their total calorie consumption.
However, it is difficult to rely on natural foods alone for your daily dose of proteins which has led a majority of people to look for other protein-rich alternatives like protein powders and bars. Of these, the protein powders happen to be the most common of all that have become the preferred ‘accessory’ of fitness enthusiasts today. There is a wide variety of protein powders available in the market which especially differ due to the principal ingredient used in their production.
The whey protein concentrate seems to be the popular choice among a lot of individuals since it gets quickly absorbed and is rich in essential amino acids. This protein powder can be mixed in a liquid of your choice be it milk or water. However, the subject is highly debatable and has caused confusion for many. Milk and water both have their distinct advantages and disadvantages when combined with whey protein which we will discuss in this article further.
4 Factors That Can Help You Choose Between Water And Milk For Your Whey Protein Shake:
1. Your Tolerance To Milk
Before we jump into the specifics, you need to consider how your body reacts to milk. A majority of people today are lactose intolerant, a condition in which they are unable to digest ‘lactose’, a sugar present in dairy-based products. These people can develop symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, gas, and even nausea. The symptoms usually occur between 30 minutes and 2 hours of consuming these products and their severity depends upon the amount consumed.
The bottom line is if you happen to be lactose intolerant then milk is no longer an option for you. However, you could look for alternatives like almond milk, soy milk and more. The whey protein though is recommended to be consumed with water or skimmed milk.
2. Long Term Goals
Out of all the aspects that can influence the choice of liquid in your whey protein shake, your intent remains to be the most significant. Whey protein when mixed with milk makes up for a better protein diet since 1 cup of milk that contains 8 grams of protein will add up to the 20-25 grams that are already present in one serving of protein powder. However, these benefits of milk are overshadowed by the calories present in it. Having your protein shake with milk makes sense for people that are trying to put on weight since the shake will carry 33 grams of protein along with 350 calories that can tremendously accelerate their weight gain process.
On the other hand, people trying to lose weight should best stick with water as it will ensure there are no added calories in the shake except for the ones in the powder itself. The shake will provide them with 25 grams of protein along with 150 calories which can easily be burnt with minimal exercise.
For best results you can look for something like Whey Protein Isolate that has 34.5 grams of protein in each serve of 40 grams. It has extremely low quantities of fats and carbohydrates and amounts to just 160 calories when consumed with water. It can help you get the same amounts of protein with water which one would expect in protein and milk combination drinks.
3. Time Of The Day
The whey protein is a plant-based protein which is easily digested and rich in essential amino acids. It is these properties that have made it so popular among the fitness community. Adding milk to this protein powder can significantly slow down the digestive process which means that it will take longer for the body to break down the protein and send it to the muscles. Therefore, the milk and whey protein combination makes up for a better choice in the mornings when you are looking for a healthy breakfast option rather than using it an hour before gym to fuel your workout.
This is the reason why a lot of people that you meet at the gym prefer to use water in their protein shakes. It is an established fact that the best time to feed your body proteins is within an hour of your workout. Using water instead of milk will ensure easy digestion and will also allow the proteins to reach the muscles quickly thus aiding the repair process.
4. Taste Preference
If you have already considered all the factors mentioned above, then the only thing that can influence your choice of liquid in your protein shake is the taste. Most individuals like to add milk to their protein shakes because of the sheer taste it brings to the drink. People who want a creamy and smooth texture in their shakes are more likely to side with milk. The protein powder mixed in water hardly appeals to anyone but is a trade that most people make in exchange for lesser calories and quicker reaction time.
On the other hand, adding milk to the protein shake opens up doors to endless recipes which help in breaking the monotony. You can add your favorite fruits, yogurt and your preferred choice of nuts and dry fruits to make the drink more nutritious. Additionally, it will keep you satiated for a more extended period of time and is less likely to make you grab a bag of chips after a while.
Although you cannot go wrong with either milk or water for your protein shake, they both come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages that can heavily influence your decision. As mentioned above, the calories present in milk are the biggest reason why most of the people tend to stick to water as their choice of liquid in their shakes. However, one can always try to balance things and go for a milk-based shake in the mornings and a water-based shake immediately after a workout.