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What are the pros and cons of protein / protein shakes

  1. As interest in our complete health and healthy diet continues to grow, more and more people are trying protein shakes as a way to lose weight or improve their athletic performance.

  1. What are these protein shakes made of, what are their real benefits, what is the difference between the different options, and are there any drawbacks to using these shakes?

  1. Today you will get some information to learn more about protein shakes.

What exactly are protein shakes?

  1. Protein is one of the most important building blocks for our body. It gives us the basic blocks for building muscle, bone, our skin and other tissues. Protein shakes are often used by athletes to quickly get a good dose of protein for quick muscle recovery.

  1. There are many different combinations of proteins, carbohydrates and fats on the market. These can vary from 100% protein to mostly carbohydrates with extra added protein and fat. Protein shakes come in a variety of flavors and are available in powder form or in ready-to-use packaging such as cans, bottles, or other packaging.

  1. Protein shakes are safe for people who are healthy and fit. These protein shakes are mainly used by athletes who need nutrition after their workout. Most people cannot make a meal right after training. So these ready-to-eat protein shakes are really the best alternative to a good meal at that time.

  1. According to various scientific sources, protein shakes are a safe way to get enough protein when used as part of a balanced, high-protein diet. There were people who thought that protein shakes could be harmful to the kidneys or bones, but this has not been proven to date.

  1. Various other studies show various other advantages. For example, a study of 130 U.S. Marines looked at athletes who supplemented their diet with 10 grams of protein, 8 grams of carbohydrates and 3 grams of fat. These people had fewer infections, less heat exhaustion, and less muscle pain.

  1. Some protein shakes may also help with weight management, but more research is needed to confirm this.

How much protein do you need?

  1. Almost everyone can get the daily required amount of protein from the normal diet. So it is true that for most people, protein shakes are mainly used for convenience rather than being necessary. The recommended daily intake of protein for healthy adults is 0.75 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or about 50 to 65 grams of protein per day. In most cases, only people who are active and who limit their calories or strict vegetarians and vegans run the risk of a low protein intake.

  1. People who exercise regularly need more energy. They may therefore need a little more protein than people who are less active. However, adding protein does not increase muscle mass, although many people think it does.

  1. It is recommended for athletes to consume about 1.4 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. Endurance athletes should take a little less and strength athletes should take a little more. How much you need depends on the type and intensity of exercise, the quality of the proteins you eat, and carbohydrate intake.

What is the protein content of protein shakes?

  1. Everyone, including athletes, can meet their daily protein needs without supplements or protein shakes. When choosing between the different protein shakes, read the label carefully to choose a protein shake that has the composition that meets your needs.

  1. Protein shakes vary in protein content. If you are a bodybuilder then you will look for protein shakes that have a little more protein. Endurance athletes are likely to look for protein shakes with more carbohydrates. But for most people, the most important thing is just to have a drink after a workout or instead of a meal.

  1. If your goal is to lose body fat, look for protein shakes that are mostly protein, lower in carbohydrates and have only a little fat. Examples are: formerly Slim-Fast (no longer for sale in the Netherlands) and now Modifast or Prodimed. If the ultimate goal is to lose body weight then you need to make sure that those protein shakes you choose are over 50% protein.

  1. For those who are somewhere in the middle - people who regularly hit the gym but aren't at a competitive level, Muscle Milk is a popular protein shake. It is in between a lot of protein and a lot of carbohydrates. Muscle Milk contains milk protein, combined with carbohydrates and fats. It contains more fat than the average protein shakes, but it is a type of fat that does not increase our cardiovascular risk.

What are the different types of proteins in protein shakes?

  1. Protein shakes contain different types of proteins in different amounts. Although there are a few other options, we come across these the most:

  1. The protein source and how the protein is purified during production influence how well our body can digest these protein shakes and thus absorb the amino acids. The amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. While it's always best to get protein through a healthy diet, supplementing with a combination of whey and casein is a good choice, assuming you don't have any dairy allergies or intolerances of course.

  1. Casein protein:

  1. Soy protein is just as effective as most animal protein sources, although many male athletes believe it to be a 'girl's protein'. However, none of this is true and it has simply turned out to be a solid source of protein. There were initial concerns that soy protein could lower testosterone levels or reduce lean body mass, but research has shown this to be untrue.

  1. Soy protein:

  1. Disadvantages of protein shakes

  1. As mentioned earlier, protein shakes are healthy, but there are also a few drawbacks that you should know before taking a daily protein shake.

  1. Number of calories

  1. A single serving does not contain many calories. However, if you drink protein shakes every day in addition to our normal diet, chances are that you will slowly but surely build up a calorie surplus. This could cause unwanted weight gain. Normal protein shakes with 30 grams of protein contain about 110 calories.

  1. Although these extra calories consist of proteins, this is of course no guarantee that they will be converted into muscle. Too much protein cannot be used by the body, so it is converted and stored as fat.

  1. Cholesterol

  1. Some protein shakes contain a relatively high amount of cholesterol. Whey protein in particular, this by-product of milk and cheese contains more cholesterol than vegetable protein shakes which are normally cholesterol-free. With a standard whey protein shake you will consume about 35 mg of cholesterol, which is about 11 percent of the recommended daily intake.

  1. Constantly too much cholesterol can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, high blood cholesterol, or other cardiovascular problems.

  1. Too much protein

  1. If you already get enough protein in your daily diet and still use protein shakes, this could have negative consequences. While you need a little extra protein to build muscle, way too much protein isn't good for us either. It can increase the risk of the following problems: constipation, diverticulitis, cardiovascular disease, liver and kidney problems.


  1. As with all healthy things, everything in moderation. Protein shakes are healthy and an easy way to get enough protein, but in combination with a balanced diet. It remains important to read the ingredients, as there are also protein shakes that contain as much as 500 to 600 calories per serving.

  1. For healthy protein shake recipes, I recommend downloading the eBook ''23 Ultimate Protein Shake Recipes'' on the side. In it I'll also give you some extra tips on how to drink the best protein shakes.

  1. You can always leave questions or comments below!

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