As with any other aspect of diet and exercise, there is a division between those who believe protein shakes are highly beneficial to one’s overall health and fitness and those who believe that they may be marginally or not at all effective. In actual fact, protein intake is highly essential to proper muscle recovery, but it just may not be needed in the volume that is found in many traditional protein shakes. This means that some individuals may benefit from having protein shakes, while others do just as well with other protein sources.
Getting Enough Protein
Protein shakes and powders can be a simple way to get more protein into an individual’s diet, but one should first consider how much protein their body actually needs. An over-consumption of protein can result in the excess being excreted through urine, turned into carbohydrates or turned into fat. This means that the average gym-goer who does not utilize all the protein they are putting into their body may well find that they are gaining excess weight–not muscle mass. This isn’t terribly surprising when one considers that protein shakes and powders were originally designed for use by bodybuilders, who obviously exceed the workout rate of the average gym-goer. And rather than health professionals it was actually marketers who began to persuade the general public that protein shakes and powders are part of a healthy, fit lifestyle.
In many cases, the average gym-goer can consume plenty of protein for their needs through eating the proper foods. Milk and low-fat yogurt are high in protein, and several studies have even indicated that chocolate milk can help adults with their workouts. Vegetarians need not worry that a lack of animal proteins will press them into protein shakes and powders, but rather can consume high protein and fiber-packed foods like algae, quinoa and legumes.
Where an individual has determined that they truly need protein shakes and powders in their diet, they should carefully select the right powder. Powders that are designed for the bodybuilder to gain weight and add bulk are usually high in fat and carbohydrates, whereas other protein powders contain very little sweeteners or flavorings just to make them more palatable. Choosing the right protein powder can ensure that one is enhancing their diet and fitness regimen, which can be highly beneficial to their overall health and well-being.