Whether you are a serious bodybuilder, an athlete, or an average person interested in losing weight and gaining muscle, you should consider incorporating more protein into your diet. You can opt for certain foods that are rich in protein – you can include eggs, meat, cheese, and beans in your diet to get more protein. However, an easy way to increase your intake of protein is to include whey protein powder in your diet. It helps improve protein synthesis and increases muscle mass. While it works, people are always confused whether they should have milk or water with protein powder. Let's find out more about it.
Protein with Milk or Water: Consider These Factors!
How Many Calories Do You Want?
One important consideration is about the number of calories you can include in your diet. If you have been counting calories to control your body weight, you will be better off taking your protein with water. Taking it with milk is going to increase your caloric intake. When you make a protein shake with a cup of milk, you get about 270 calories. You get only 110 calories when you blend your shake with water only. If you do not mind adding some extra calories to your overall diet, you can always opt for milk in place of water to take your protein.
Is Your Emphasis on Protein Only?
What it means is that if you are overly concerned about increasing your protein intake, you can definitely have it with milk, which itself is a great source of protein. Every cup of milk provides you with about 8g of protein, and when you blend your protein shake with a cup of milk, you get about 31g of protein in one shot. You are not going to get the same amount of protein when you decide to take your protein powder with water.
Do You Focus on Quick Muscle Recovery?
Again, whether you choose milk or water with protein will all depend on your desired results. You can consider going for milk in place of water to make your protein shakes if your aim is to improve muscle recovery time. Milk contains a combination of casein and whey protein, and the combination always works great to improve the rate of muscle recovery.
Do You Want More Carb in Your Diet?
You may want to avoid milk if you don’t want to add more carbohydrates to your diet. Milk contains carbs, so you will be better off going for water to make your protein shakes to limit your intake of carbs. Just keep in mind that getting more carbs will provide you with energy to handle your workouts with the same effort from start to finish.
Do You Want a Higher Percentage of Fat in Your Diet?
It is quite obvious that milk contains a higher percentage of fat as compared to water. If you are trying to lose weight or burning fat already, you should mix your protein with water only. You are going to get 10g of fat and 16g of saturated fat by mixing a scoop of protein powder into a cup of milk.
Do You Have Your Focus on Muscle Building?
To choose milk or water with protein, you need to decide whether your aim is to put on more muscle or you want to lose fat and stay lean. You should opt for milk if your goal is to increase muscle mass. Milk provides you with carbs, and by getting more carbs, you can have the energy to handle heavy workout sessions. This in turn will help improve muscle mass. It is important to point out that putting on lean muscle is one great way to burn more calories and stay in shape.
In addition to all these considerations, you should also consider if you want your protein shakes to be tasty or you only want some specific results. You can always opt for milk if you are interested in a smooth rich flavor.
Alternatives That You Can Choose to Mix with Protein
Opt for Soymilk
It makes great sense to opt for soymilk, as it is usually fortified with calcium and iron. It will be a good choice for people with lactose intolerance. Among non-dairy milks, soymilk is the richest in protein and it is cholesterol-free as well. Just keep in mind that not all brands of soymilk are the same, and some may use genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Be sure to opt for Non-GMO soy products only to get health benefits.
Try Almond Milk
Yet another option to make your protein shake is almond milk. You will love it if you always crave the consistency of cow's milk but also want to put your money on a dairy-free alternative. Opt for a brand that is vitamin-fortified and provides you with essential vitamins. Almond milk is a good choice also because it contains riboflavin, which helps break down carbs to produce energy. Keep in mind that you only get 1g of protein from each serving of almond milk, which is far lower than what you get from soymilk or cow's milk.
Go for Coconut Milk
You can always opt for coconut milk if you are currently following a keto diet. You can also opt for hemp milk. Just keep in mind that both hemp milk and coconut milk contain a higher percentage of fat. Opt for hemp milk if you are interested in getting more calories.