If you pick up any muscle magazine, go into any gym or go on any website you will undoubtedly see a fitness professional endorsing protein shakes. The supplement trade is a multi billion dollar industry, however is this down to good advertising? Or great results? If you have read some of my earlier posts and my transformation story you will notice I put a lot down to starting to take protein shakes. This also went hand in hand with a radical change in diet and exercise programs. Some surveys show a vast majority of protein shake takers lie in the 12-18 year old demographic, which could be because of the, ‘muscles in a drink promise’. I too fell into this category, I took protein shakes on and off during my teenage years and because of poor diet and exercise they made no difference, I still remained skinny.
All the top bodybuilders in the world take protein shakes. Jay Cutler will get up in the middle of the night to take protein shakes, Ronnie Coleman likewise also took protein shakes. It’s not just bodybuilders who have benefited, endurance athletes also use them to help their stamina and recovery. If they didn’t work these guys would not take them which answers your question do protein shakes work? Yes they do
Taking a further look their is absolutely no reason why they shouldn’t provided you are taking them correctly. A whey Protein shake contains proteins and amino acids. Whey is a by product of the cheese making industry so it is completely natural. These two substances are considered the building blocks of muscle mass, without them you will not gain muscle. What you must also remember that in order to gain muscle you have to be exercising and eating properly.
What I do not agree with is the amount of bullshit (excuse my french) they advertise them with. It’s often, ‘take these 4 times a day and you will gain 10lb’s of lean muscle in a week’. This will not happen and can lead some people believing that they are doomed to never build any muscle.
As i’ve said before protein shakes are to add to your daily protein intake and save you a ton of money. To get the same amount of protein from a meal you would need to spend 5 times as much as you would on a protein shake. It should never replace a meal or substitute them. You will have all sorts of digestive problems and you will feel quite ill. I once tried to live for a day on a protein shakes on my last day of term at university. I had an all in one shake and instead of walking a couple of miles to the shop I simply said I would take 4 protein shakes with no food in between. I felt awful, didn’t even take the fourth one and had a impromptus date with the toilet. Take it form me you need to keep eating well.
This begs the question are Protein shakes bad for you?
Protein shakes have come a long way from their original chalky and foul tasting mixtures of calcium caseinate used almost exclusively by bodybuilders and power-lifters in the 1970’s and 80’s. They are now exceptionally tasty and are sold all over the world.
I am not qualified to answer that, you will need to research the protein your going to take and ask your doctor or nutritionist. I can tell you what an excess of protein can do in the body. The body can only digest a certain amount of protein per hour, which is why you should spread out your protein intake during the day. If you take it all at once you simply can’t absorb it. It will have to be broken down as it can’t be stored very well. This will be done by the liver and by the Kidneys with excess nitrogen being lost in the urea. This can lead to liver damage and also kidney stones which is why it’s important to make sure you don’t over do it and take 6 shakes a day and eat an entire chicken farm.
Do protein shakes work? – Newcomer advice
If your new to the world of muscle building and fitness then I suggest starting off without protein shakes. Follow the right diet plans and exercise hard. Track your gains, your weight, strength etc. Then try taking protein shakes and seeing if they make difference, you should be able to tell from tracking your gains.
My personal experience protein shakes work great, it would have been harder to gain muscle without them. I find they boost confidence and allow you to push yourself to the limits more regularly but that’s just my thoughts. Check out the wiki page on do protein shakes work?
If your thinking of buying some I recommend optimum nutrition, I can vouch for their taste and results.
I would love to hear your thoughts on protein shakes, and answer any questions you may have in the comments below.