Having a stimulant like caffeine in protein shakes has many health benefits. For example, it gives your body the strength required for long-term stamina sports performances such as soccer, cycling, and athletics. This stimulant also fights fatigue, reduces any perception of pain, boosts short-term memory, strengthens muscle construction, and increases fatty acids contents in the blood. Before we examine the importance of caffeine in protein shakes, let us first discuss the importance of protein in the human body.
Protein is the primary nutrient that the human body requires for building muscle mass. The body also uses protein for the production of nucleic acids, enzymes, hormones, cellular massagers and immune system components for protection against pathogenic and foreign substances. Age, lifestyle, gender and health conditions are the factors that determine the amount of protein required by the body. For example, bodybuilders require about 1.5 grams of protein per one kilogram of their body weight daily. If this protein is insufficient, the body will be unable to generate biochemical substances it needs for muscle contraction, production of cells and tissues, healing, and growth.
Although the human body can get all these benefits from solid food protein sources such as beans and lean meats, these sources do not have immediate effect on the muscles. They take long to be digested and absorbed into the bloodstream. It is preferable that you take protein shakes instead, particularly when following a workout, since shakes require only thirty minutes to take effect after ingestion.
Caffeine in Protein Shakes
Studies indicate that during a workout, caffeine makes your body utilize the stored fat as the source of energy instead of the food (carbohydrate) that you eat. Although fat provides long term fuel reserve, and glycogen provides short term fuel reserves, caffeine effect interrupts this mechanism and makes your muscle utilize as much fat as possible during the first part of your exercise. After your body uses most of the stored fat, pancreas secretes a hormone by the name glucagon, which breaks down glycogen into glucose for your body to use it for the rest of your exercise. The caffeine process of delaying glycogen utilization gives your body enough energy to use throughout your physical activity.
Caffeine in protein shakes also has effects on the central nervous system. Here, caffeine slows down substances responsible for stopping neuronal firing, thus increasing the rate of physiological reactions and mental awareness. This action is of great benefit, as it increases concentration during workout.
In addition, caffeine facilitates the transportation of sodium, calcium, and potassium ions in the body cells and increases cell membrane permeability. This action strengthens muscle contractions and supports endurance.
According to studies, protein shakes increase satiety. This action makes you stay longer than usual without feeling hungry. This reduces the chances of rushing for fast (junk) food and other easily available food sources due to hunger. These foods may contain chemicals and preservatives, are not nutritious and are high in calories. The result is unnecessary weight gain and other severe body conditions.
This feeling of satiety together with caffeine ability to boost metabolism rates makes your body burn fats, thus staying healthily and fitting.