Carrying big muscles on your arms and legs is all the rage these days.
In fact, not only do men hit the gym to work on those muscles, but women have started working out towards getting a muscular physique as well. From squats to lunges to crunches, the trainers at gyms plan various work routines for people at the different level of training. With the growing awareness among people, more and more individuals are signing up for gym memberships. And adopting a healthy lifestyle. However, sometimes what seems healthy on the face of it, isn’t healthy on the contrary. One such example is protein shakes that have become quite popular amongst individuals who inspire to make a big build body. They pair up the workout regime with protein shakes, both homemade and powders. Although, the name protein point at something healthy, these shakes come with their sets of pros and cons.
What are Protein Shakes?
A protein shake is a supplement consumed after working out to build or repair muscles. Protein is an essential building block for many of the body’s tissues. Muscles are one of them (time to revisit elementary school science). In this modern era, people rely more on protein supplements that include protein powders in the shape of a capsule, a bar or shakes. These are readily available over-the-counter and online. But, individuals do not realize that they can do without resorting to these artificially manufactured supplements. Apart from aiding in muscle growth, protein shakes are also promoted as supplements that aid metabolism. And help the body in fighting the aging process.
These supplements act as a substitute and mimic the properties of the naturally available protein. However, they fail to provide the exact nutritious value as a meal rich in proteins would. This is because these supplements do not contain the essential vitamins and nutrients that a balanced diet does. These imply that aspiring bodybuilders can save money and rely on protein-rich foods instead. These include egg whites, red meat, soy, and fish.
Are Protein Shakes Healthy as a Weight Loss Supplement?
According to studies, drinking a protein shake before you hit the bed at night can help you reduce weight. However, one should not forget that the body is not intelligent enough to distinguish carbohydrates from proteins or fats. The body counts any consumed food or drink in the units of calories. Hence, keep in mind the calories count when consuming a protein shake as well. If the count goes above your consumable calorie count for the day, don’t complain if you end up gaining a few pounds instead of losing.
Anyhow, assuming that you consume the protein shake within your calorie intake boundary, it will fasten the metabolism. Hence, drinking a protein shake before going to bed will fasten your metabolism that will translate into burnt fats for you. Hence, they are a good weight loss supplement. They fulfill your protein requirements and this is what makes protein shakes healthy.
Everybody Loves Convenience
Apart from promoting muscle growth, it is easy to consume these healthy shakes as well. Many people believe the protein shakes are good nutritious meals. Individuals find it rather easy to prepare these shakes in a fraction of time. It is a tedious job to cook a whole meal. These shakes are easy to prepare, consume less time and one can consume them on the go. However, one should pair the shake with an energy bar or a fruit to make of for the vitamins that the shake lacks. This will help you to maintain a complete nutritional profile that does not lack any nutrients.
While the above-stated points might have encouraged you to start consuming protein shakes, they have a dark side to them.
Excess of Everything is Bad
People consider protein shakes to be a healthy substitute for the protein consumed through food. However, an individual who consumes a lot of these shakes tends to consume more protein than he/she actually should. And feeding excess protein to the body is unhealthy for the organs. According to studies, Americans already consume more protein than their bodies require. This is because they delve into eating a lot of protein-rich foods otherwise. And if they start taking these shakes, that will do nothing but raise more health issues. These include osteoporosis, kidney stones and other kidney related problems for them. Hence, one should resort to a sports nutritionist or a physician before prescribing protein shakes to your own self.
Healthy Shakes or Not- A Final Word!
To sum it all up, let’s condense the pros and cons here.
· Convenient to make
· Help to fasten the metabolism
· Act as anti-ageing supplements
· Aid in building muscles
· Not very nutritious on its own
· Do not taste good
· Do not guarantee instant success
· Can create a protein imbalance in the body
Considering the above stated pros and cons it is upon you to decide if you consider protein shakes healthy or not? One thing not discussed earlier in the blog is that they DO NOT taste good. At many, if not every, instances people end up throwing the shake inside their system in one gulp without experiencing its taste. As it might not always be a healthy substitute, here is what you should take care of when considering protein shake as a supplement:
· Consider adding protein-rich foods like Greek Yogurt, tofu, lentils, meat and fish to your meals to make up for the amount of protein.
· If the meals fail to make up for the protein that your body craves, keep a keen eye on the exact amount of protein that you consume. And only take supplements in an amount that is sufficient to fill the gap.
· Read the label on the box or bottle of the supplement carefully and consume it according to the recommended amount.
The choice is yours. Your body. Hence, you decide. Happy muscle building!