OK, are protein shakes good for you? That is a question most people would like to know the answer to, especially individuals that are working out to build that body or persons that want to lose that extra fat. Before I dive into if protein shakes are good for you or not, I will like to address some misconceptions about protein shakes.
Some people actually think that protein shake is a steroid, because of the type of commercials they always have. Things like seeing someone with huge monster muscles and all that. And they are giving you the impression that the muscle was grown as a result of protein shakes, instantly.
And the other part is that people also mistake protein shakes for mass gainer that is actually meant to be taken after workouts when the muscles have been depleted so that it will make the muscle grow. Usually, these muscle gainers are made up of simple carbohydrates.
Protein shakes are none of those, as a matter of fact, they are supplements with nutritional value to compensate inadequacy of protein consumptions from whole foods. Especially when you are actively working out.
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Are Protein Shakes Good For You
It is good for people that are into vigorous exercises that affect the muscles or want to lose weight. It basically helps in the production of muscles, but you will have to work out for it. It also helps to make the immune system to be strong and produce hormones, enzymes, nucleic acids, and cellular messenger components.
The muscles need enough protein to repair themselves after workouts. And if it does not get enough protein, the muscles will become sore and that could lead to injury. Not good right? That is why protein shakes are so popular among gym folks.
Whey Protein is usually the most common and the best because it contains all the nine essential amino acids that are responsible for muscle repairs or healing. However, there are different types of Whey protein, they are, concentrate, hydrolysate, and isolate. Among the three, the best but costly is hydrolysate.
This is so because it tends to be absorbed by the body so fast. Although, isolate has a high level of protein and it’s low on allergenic, that makes it an option for individuals that are allergic to lactose. While concentrate is the cheapest among the three because of its high level of cholesterol and fat. But most gym individuals usually go for hydrolysate.
How Much Should I Take?
Not taking enough protein while engaging in a serious workout has a very serious effect. Like I mentioned earlier, lack of protein could lead to muscle injury and ultimately you will not be able to build muscles. Thus, protein shakes are considered to be the best way to supplement that inadequate protein. It is not as though we cannot get all of that protein from our whole foods. But it will be expensive, and much of a pressure for the stomach to take.
Imagine taking two chicken breasts that are equal to 60g, three eggs that are equal to 18g, and steak that is equal to 40g to get 119 grams of protein daily, which is required for a person that weighs 170 pounds. I think this will practically create a hole in your pocket, don’t you think?
There has been a debate as to how much protein should be taken. Some have the opinion that 0.7 grams for 1 pound of body weight are the right amount, while some have the view that 1 gram for 1 pound of body weight is the ideal amount. However, the calculation done above was based on 0.7 grams for a pound.
0.7 gram or 1 gram I think they are pretty close, so you can decide to use either of them. After all, if you are really active and vigorous with your workout, you will definitely need it.
Does It Have Any Side Effect?
As we all know, Whey protein or protein shakes are nutritional supplements. They are not likely to alter the hormone or something. But there is this issue of overusing or taking too much of it. We know that, no matter how good something is, too much of it can hurt. Now, in the case of protein shakes, too much of it can cause an unpleasant effect. Especially when you start using it as a meal replacement instead of supplements.
It can cause high level of cholesterol, especially when you are using the ‘not so good’ type of it. According to Mayo Clinic Registered dietitian, Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., ‘if you rely on protein shakes to replace regular meals you’ll miss out on the nutritional benefits of whole foods’.
Zeratsky went further to say, an excess of protein may contribute to health problems such as the elevated risk of heart disease or kidney problems. Or even diverticulitis (sort of abdominal pain or cramp).
When Is The Best Time To Take Protein Shake?
Usually, the best time to take a protein shake is immediately after a workout, that way you will not be overtaking it so long you stick to 0.7 gram or 1 gram to 1 pound. After a workout is a perfect time to take it because your muscle resumes healing after a vigorous exercise. And this should be done at separate times, like three to four times so that the body will have a constant supply of protein that it needs to heal.
So, are protein shakes good for you? Obviously, they are! Protein shakes are generally good for your health and fitness. But then, you must only take a protein shake if it is necessary because it is a nutritional supplement that can be gotten from our regular whole foods. Therefore, if you can get your daily protein requirements through whole foods, that will be awesome, if not, supplement with Whey protein, accordingly.
I must also like to note this, do not take just any kind of protein shake you see, some of them are of poor quality that can harm your health. Since there are a whole lot of them out there, that are getting into the market without regulations, chances are, fake products can be found.