Initially, I wouldn’t say I liked protein shakes as I found them quite gritty in the early days, but a friend showed me a drink I love, which she swears by after every yoga class. So, should you drink a protein shake after yoga? Protein shakes are intended to help muscle recovery and gain, but since yoga is not about building muscles, they’re not something you should need unless you’re drinking protein-based meal replacements. Let’s explore more.
What Is In A Protein Shake?
Protein shakes are generally a mix of water, flavoring, and protein powder. Most people think of protein as a nutrient that is derived from meat. In actuality, proteins are found in virtually all living things, but meat is one of the most plentiful sources as these are complete proteins, meaning they contain all the essential amino acids.
Most of the protein powder in shakes today comes from milk or plant sources. Protein from milk tends to be the cheapest option, as it’s produced as a by-product of making cheese. Plant-based powders, such as those that come from peas, require extra processing and tend to be more expensive, although many people claim that they are much smoother than milk-based powders.
The remaining ingredients are essentially there to mask the flavor and texture of the powder. Depending on the shake, this usually means they can be high in sugar or contain artificial flavoring. You might also be wondering should you take pre-workout before yoga.
What Do Protein Shakes Do?
Protein shakes are meant to provide the body with the nutrients it needs to rebuild muscle after a workout. Protein has also been shown to keep a person fuller for longer, making it a valuable ingredient in meal replacement shakes. Check out our explainer on can you eat before yoga.
Drinking one after a yoga class is perfectly fine if you’re consuming protein shakes as a meal replacement. Plenty of people choose to drink a shake after a mid-afternoon class so that they can get back to work or school. If your goal is to just feel full after a workout, just about any protein shake will do.
If you’re looking to build muscle, however, it probably makes sense to be a little more selective about the type of protein shake you drink. Specifically, someone looking to cut fat while also gaining some muscle should look for a shake that has a high concentration of protein with a relatively low amount of calories.
Disadvantages Of Drinking Protein Shakes After A Workout
The truth is, the calories in a protein shake can undo a lot of the good they do. While consuming more protein will help to build muscle quicker, it’s also important to realize that protein shakes tend to be high in calories.
This isn’t a big deal in a shake with a relatively low-calorie count. However, those that use added sugars and fats to mask the taste and texture of the protein powder. Some of these shakes can clock in at well over 500 calories, essentially making them an extra meal.
If your goal is to lose or even just maintain your weight, it won’t be easy to do it by adding in that many extra calories. In this case, it will be necessary to use the shake as a meal replacement or adjust your exercise routine to include more cardio or other fat-burning activities. If that doesn’t work for your lifestyle, look for a lower-calorie shake, or skip the shake altogether.
For people who perform light yoga routines or routines that do not focus on building muscle, a protein shake will likely do more harm than good. Unless you’re doing an intense level of exercise, it is likely that you will not burn off enough calories to account for the additional shake, and the odds are also good that you simply do not need the extra protein after those kinds of workouts.