The Use and Abuse of Protein Shakes
All possible types of protein shakes occupy shelves of people who have at least once heard about their advantages and almost magical possibilities. These shakes are really useful in case a person is training regularly and sweating blood. Still, these shakes cannot replace a balanced diet with all the needed elements.
What Do These Shakes Contain?
In most cases, the main ingredient of protein shakes is an extract of water-soluble proteins of whey, eggs, or soya. Also, these shakes are enriched with vitamin complexes and mineral supplements meant to support the body losing salts from potassium and sodium with sweat. In some cases to increase their energetic value, manufacturers add to them a certain amount of fats and carbohydrates (fructose or sucrose). These shakes are called gainers. The main advantage of protein shakes is in the fact that they can be taken right before training and even during it. The main part of food products that naturally contain proteins, such as meat, beans, cheese, etc., are too heavy for the stomach. They cannot and should not be eaten before the training.
When Do People Need Protein Shakes?
These shakes are useful if the training lasts for more than three hours (marathon runners, skiers). Protein shakes dissolved in a sweet juice are the only way to sustain the body: it is not necessary to interrupt the training. Such shakes help to cope with tiredness and shorten the rehabilitation time between trainings. Protein shakes are also useful in complicated travels when it is impossible to eat usual food through several days.
How to Choose a Proper Protein Shake?
When choosing a shake, a person should give preference to products of well-known companies that specialize in sport food supplements. It is a very bad idea to use protein shakes produced by nameless companies and sold by not very trustworthy dealers. There have been cases when such shakes contained not only protein extracts, but also steroids and amphetamines. It is clear that taking such things can lead to serious health troubles. Even the most high-quality protein shakes have to be included into the daily menu carefully. These shakes can cause individual reactions starting with dyspepsia and ending with allergies.
Can Protein Shakes Help to Gain Muscular Weight During Trainings?
Fans of protein shakes are sure that a lot of protein needs to come into the body during the training: it will cause the needed growth of muscles. The process of the growth of muscles is quite complicated and long. During the training, muscles use nourishing elements that can be found in their cells. After the training, muscles are restoring the needed amount of nourishing elements and normalize the level of protein. The more lactic acid muscles develop in the course of trainings, the quicker they start to grow. In a word, muscles cannot grow during physical loads: they grow smaller instead, and the main process of growing starts in the phase of recovery after the training. That is, it makes more sense to provide the body with enough protein after the training.
The majority of amateur sportsmen supply the body with enough protein by eating proper food products after the training. It is very important to eat some food rich in proteins two hours after the training. The need for additional protein can be more crucial for athletes when they train a lot before competitions.
Why Is It Better Not to Overestimate Protein Shakes?
It is necessary to remember that everything is good when it is measured. Too much protein in the ration can turn into health problems. One of the products of protein breakup is uric acid. That is, too much protein can be a cause of gout and kidney stones. There is a popular stereotype that protein shakes in any amounts are the only food that cannot be turned into fats in the body. This is a totally mistaken opinion. Any food, including protein shakes, can be converted into fat easily. In short, these shakes should be only an optional supplement to a healthy balanced diet based on dairy, meat and fish, crops, and cereals.