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Should I be having protein shakes?



This is a question I am often asked by so many clients and the answer completely depends on the individual.


What is protein powder?

protein powder and shake

First of all it is important to understand that protein powder is a supplement.


Supplement

(noun)

'something that is added to something else in order to improve it or complete it'




There are many different types of protein powders on the market:

  • Whey protein - comes from milk and is the by-product during cheesemaking.

  • Casein protein - is also found in cows milk.

  • Egg protein - as the name suggests, it is made from eggs.

  • Plant based protein - common sources for this is; pea, brown rice and hemp.

Often these powders have added ingredients to give them certain flavours and artificial sweeteners are the main ingredient for this. Don't panic though, there is nothing wrong with artificial sweeteners but I will save that information for another blog.



So.... Should I be having protein shakes then?


Ask yourself the following three questions:


Am I meeting my protein goal?

If you are currently way off your daily target or you not even tracking then don't waste your money. First of all make sure that you are eating sufficient amount of protein throughout the day and then if you are still not meeting you goal, look to add protein powder.


Am I eating good sources of protein?

A few slices of wafer thin ham in a sandwich or cereal that claims to be high protein but only actually contains 12 grams (that's even including milk) are not good sources. Again make sure each meal you have contains a high source of protein.


Do I have the basic foundations in place to reach my health and fitness goals?

Before you go spending your hard earned cash on protein supplements make sure you have the following nailed down:

  • Calorie intake (i.e. if you are looking to lose weight make sure you are in a deficit)

  • Structured training programme

  • Balanced diet

  • Good sleep quality

If you have all the above in place to the best of your ability and you are still not meeting your protein goal, now it is time to invest in protein supplements.



Other reasons why you may chose to use protein supplements


Cost - You can pay around £35 for a 2.5kg bag of protein and this will provide you with about 100 scoops. Therefore each shake for around 20g of protein will only cost you £0.35. For the same amount of protein from chicken you will be looking around £0.80-£1.00.


Convenience - Having the time to cook meat all the time isn't that appealing and practical for many of us. However, chucking a scoop of powder into a shaker and mixing it up with some water or milk is a lot more appealing.


Taste - With so many flavours and options now on the market, gone are the of holding your nose as you shoved some sawdust down your neck. From chocolate brownie to birthday cake, it has become something you look forward to drinking.


Low Calorie - 1 scoop of whey protein with water is often around 100 calories, with 20 grams of protein.



Conclusion

I will always encourage my clients to achieve their protein goal from as many natural resources as possible, but I also understand that we all have busy lives and protein supplements do have their place.


I am not saying you should or shouldn't take protein powder, but hopefully from the information I have provided above you can now make your own educated decision.



If you would like more about reaching your protein goal or have any other information, please just drop me an email and I will be happy to help.





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