Thanks to all those who contributed towards the Q&A. They were very interesting questions indeed and you can find Dr Haleema’s responses to the questions below.
** Dr Haleema’s Responses **
Q. When is the best time to have a protein shake? Is it straight after working out? Thanks for your question Dan.
During exercise, particularly weight-training and resistance training, micro tears develop in the muscle fibres, which the body repairs by building up further muscle therefore leading to increased muscle bulk and definition.
Protein is an important nutrient and is essentially the building blocks for muscle, therefore it’s very important to be having enough to allow the body to build up muscle.
Numerous studies have been done regarding timings of protein intake but overall there doesn’t appear to be a single optimum time for having protein shakes. There are however benefits of having protein shakes at certain times.
Benefits of having protein shake before exercise:
- Provides an energy boost
- Could stimulate cells to begin the process of building up muscle, reducing the risk of damage
Benefits of having a protein shake after exercise:
- Some studies show that after a workout muscles absorb the most amount of protein
Some studies also show benefits of having a protein shake before sleeping. These include:
- Can increase metabolism through the night and the next day leading to more calories being burned- important for weight loss.
- Stimulates building muscle mass overnight.
Q. Should you avoid eating fresh fruit for lunch if you're trying to lose weight?
Thanks for the question Nazia.
Lunch is often a meal we have in the middle of the day to keep us going through a busy period until the evening.
Therefore it’s important to have something that can keep you satisfied, and provide a good amount of energy.
Fruit is a healthy choice, being low in calories and being a great source of nutrients including fibre, which can help you feel fuller for longer. After all, we do recommend 5 portions of fruit and veg per day.
However, due to the sugar content, it may cause a temporary sugar spike and leave you feeling hungry after a while.
This can lead to snacking and increased calorie intake and we know that to lose weight, calorie intake has to be less than calories burned.
Therefore it is essential to incorporate low calorie foods from a range of food groups including protein and carbohydrates.
Having a low calorie lunch containing fruit, vegetables as well as a source of lean protein would not only play a part in providing a balanced diet, but would provide the energy needed to sustain you for longer, so I wouldn’t necessarily avoid fruit.
Q. But what happens if you take intake protein but then not workout?
Thanks for that question Peter.
Protein is a great nutrient. It is involved in building muscle and repairing tissue. It’s also important for growth of hair and nails.
It’s great for keeping you satisfied and fuller for longer, reducing the risk of snacking and increased calorie intake, therefore it is a great option for lunch.
If you exercise regularly and keep within your daily calorie allowance, then having a protein shake and not working out on an occasion will not cause any real problems.
However, if you don’t exercise regularly, are mainly sedentary and eat over your daily calorie intake then the excess protein can be stored as fat and lead to weight gain overtime.
Thanks for all those questions, I have enjoyed answering them.
Disclaimer - All advice given is general advice that has not been based on a one-to-one consultation. Therefore, for anything specific related to your health or diet, please consult your GP.