Protein Shakes: Pros and Cons

Protein shakes are great for muscle-building and can be used as an easy meal replacement. Some of the shake products that are sold make claims that they work better than natural protein that comes from real food sources, which in many cases is untrue. There’s a good and bad way to use protein-packed shakes, and the facts should be weighed. They shouldn’t be used as a quick or easy fix to build muscle.

Learn the good and the bad effects of consuming protein shakes.

Protein shakes are great for getting a quick boost of protein before a workout, or obtaining levels throughout the day, but there is such a thing as too much. As a simple rule, the intake shouldn’t exceed 1 gram per pound per day, so if someone weighs 160 pounds they should only ingest 160 grams of protein. For many people, they ingest that amount easily with their normal balanced meals. Chicken, egg whites, tuna and milk are just a few of the many foods that are high in protein. If those foods are combined with a few protein shakes a day, too much protein can easily become a problem causing useless caloric intake that can do more harm than good in the long run. For someone with a low protein diet though, these shakes can be a great aid for them to keep their bodies healthy as well as gain muscle mass.

These shakes should only be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise plan. Optimal results require a diet of protein, carbohydrates and fat that come from natural sources, such as fruits and vegetables. People that are only focused on cardio exercise also don’t need to partake in protein shakes. Body builders and even those that are trying to get stronger muscles would benefit most from a high protein diet that includes protein shakes.

They can be used as a meal replacement, but they are also great for post-workout muscle repair. Protein shakes are best when combined with carbohydrates. When exercisers use weights and strength-training to build their muscles, they are actually tearing their muscle tissue. This is what causes them to be sore and stiff the days after the workout. When they decide to drink a protein shake within a few hours after the workout is over, the high levels of protein will help repair those tissues and rebuild the muscle to become even stronger. They will also gain an energy boost quickly so they can continue with their day.

The cost can be high for products that don’t always meet their claims. Users should do their research before buying what they think is a better product, because there may be a lower cost option that would be just as useful. Instead of purchasing pre-made cans and bottles of the drink, powdered forms can also be bought, which may be lower in cost. Powdered forms are also great for people that want to add their own fruits and vegetables to the mix to add even more nutrients. They can also choose the kind of dairy that is best for them, which is especially helpful for those that are lactose intolerant.

Nutrient and calorie intake should be monitored closely if meals are replaced by protein shakes. Nutrients can be lost since the shakes only focus on protein and not so much on meal balance. They can be a great energy source and keep users feeling satisfied when nothing else is available, but in the long run they might not allow for optimal health. They can also cause the user to have too many calories in their diet, making exercise ultimately useless for weight loss and muscle gaining.

Protein shakes can be a great resource for those that need more protein in their diets and want to gain more muscle. The factors mentioned might not line up with what some brands claim on the packaging of these shakes, but it is important to take these facts into consideration for best results. They fit well for a certain lifestyle, but they can be completely bypassed depending on the consumer’s needs.