by Logan

The Good and Bad of Protein Shakes

If you’ve happened to visit the gym, your work, or maybe seen someone in your own family, you’ve probably seen someone you know drinking a protein shake. Protein shakes are often used or taken in on a daily basis or at least routinely. Maybe you are one of the hundreds of thousands that are taking a protein shake.  Are all shakes good for you?  Does everyone need them?   These are some good questions that need to be answered.

The reasons why someone would take a protein shake are several. First and foremost is to improve their overall health.  It is also used to help with losing weight, building muscle, and often a boosting the performance in sports and other activities.  All of these are good reasons to take protein shakes.

What is Protein?

Protein is a building block within the body.  They are essential ingredients for the body to function properly. They are molecules that are required in every cell in the body. Often they can be referred to as Amino acids or building blocks or plain old Protein. They are a domino pieces for the body’s metabolism.   Granted protein is a big word and can incorporate many different types of molecules – many things can be considered as proteins.

Protein Shakes

Often protein shakes are a combination of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the entire shake is 100% protein alone. [Although that can happen] If that were typically the case, it probably would taste horrible.  A little sugar or fruit flavor is added to help with taste alone. Protein shakes come in different forms, concentrations, additives, and packaging.

Are protein shakes for everyone?

The answer to this is yes and no. Protein shakes act to nourish athlete right after a workout. They are replenishing protein and other carbohydrates that were lost [used] during their workout. Endurance athletes may see a benefit in energy and performance if taking protein after workouts.  Strength builders can also see a benefit in repairing muscles and fatigue in the same manner.

Shakes can be used as a meal replacement.  Taking a shake and skipping lunch may help benefit your nutrition and health. It may not help with muscle enlargement or performance, but health is a factor.

Therefore, if you are not exercising and not skipping meals, protein shakes may cause an increase in weight. They will increase your calorie intake in the day.  Remember that the body needs around 45-55g of protein a day. If you are getting this through meals and adding a protein shake, this is when issues can arise.

Are shakes the only way to get protein?

The answer is definitely no.  Daily protein can be entirely consumed on your own. But, if you are restricting your diet or you are a vegetarian, where your protein digestion could be low.  A protein shake could be a good choice, not for meal replacement, but in addition to your daily intake.

Sources of protein in diet include:  Eggs, fish, meats, milk, soy, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and others.

Types of Protein Shakes?

1.)    Whey Protein

–          This is a type of protein in milk
–          It stays in your body for a very short amount of time
–          It is very fast absorbing
–          It is a good choice after very intense workouts
–          Whey is part of the 20% of milk that isn’t Casein

 

2.)    Casein Protein

–          This is a type of protein in milk
–          This is a good supplement for meal replacements
–          Stays in your body for a longer period of time.
–          It is rather slow absorbing
–          Casein is the 80% aspect of milk.  Whey is the other 20% or so.

 

3.)    Soy Protein

–          This type of protein comes from a plant-based source
–          This is a good supplement for meal replacements
–          Is lower on the digestion scale
–          Has added benefit for antioxidant capabilities
–          It is moderate in speed for absorption.

 

4.)    Egg Protein

–          This type of protein comes from Eggs
–          It is very expensive
–          Comes from the egg whites
–          No fats or cholesterol are associated with Egg whites.
–          It is very fast absorbing

 

Choosing a Protein shake will really depend on why you are taking it. It doesn’t mean that you must stick to the same protein shake over time. Often people switch around depending on workout and goal. Some people don’t do well with a certain type of protein shake. Don’t be hesitant about trying different types. Hopefully over time, you will find something that works well for you.

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