Protein Shake? No, they make you huge.

It seems to be the consensus among the general population that protein shakes/ powders are for weightlifters and weightlifters only. There seems to be a stigma attached to them that they are not for NORMAL people to consume. Some stereotypes are they give you big muscles, make you bulk up and taste like something you wouldn’t even give to your dog. Thankfully none of these pre-conceptions are true (although I must admit flavours are a bit odd, cookies and cream protein shake anyone?).

So Why Do We Take Protein Shakes?

We need sufficient amounts of protein in our diets to ensure optimal growth and repair of our bodies on a daily basis. Although the amount can vary depending on your lifestyle, age and activity levels and can range anywhere from 0.8 to 2.5 grams of protein/per kilogram of bodyweight/day. Now in an ideal world we would want to get all of our protein sources from whole foods such as meat, poultry, fish and some dairy products but this isn’t always feasible given the hectic lifestyle many people have. This is where protein shakes can come in handy and help provide a top up of protein to your diet and be linked in with your current exercise regime.

During exercise our bodies are breaking down our fuels sources and using them for energy. Depending on what intensity you exercise at this could be fat or carbohydrate as well as protein. After exercise our bodies require us to replenish the nutrients we have just used up in order to have sufficient energy levels and re fuel for your next session. A quick and simple way to achieve this is by having a post workout protein shake.

There are two main types of protein powders available on the mass market, which are whey and casein. Now to put it simply whey is fast acting and gets into your system and where it needs to go very quickly (ideal for after exercise). Casein is a bit slow on the uptake and is gradually released into the system more suited if you haven’t got time to make a meal and casein mixed with some healthy fats or carbohydrates will keep you going till your next meal.

Don’t Knock It Till You Have Tried It.

Protein shakes can be a great addition to a health diet and you should definitely be considered if you are serious about your health and fitness. They are so many brands out there all doing relatively similar products so find a flavour and brand that you like and stick to it. A protein shake after exercise won’t give you huge muscles (believe me I know) but it will help replenish the body with the vital nutrients it needs after exercise. So don’t be afraid to jump in the pool and try something new.

You never know might actually like it.