The Value of Protein Milkshakes

Protein milkshakes have become very popular, especially for those who are trying to increase their muscle mass.  To clarify, don’t think that you’re going to become a bodybuilder just because you drink some powdered drink.  So when trying to answer the question if a supplement shake is right for you, also keep in mind what is your end goal?  If building some amount of muscle or strength is needed, then protein milkshakes may be a solution towards helping you meet your end goal.  Even protein shakes for women are beneficial so do not stereotype this is just for men.

In general most athletes and members of the general public consume enough protein in their day to day diets and do not need to supplement it with extra protein shakes.  However some athletes who take part in sports that require extra strength may find that that protein milkshakes are a convenient and easy way of adding protein.

Protein is required by the body for the growth and repair of muscles (among many other functions) so it is often seen as the only requirement for muscle recovery. Carbohydrates are also needed for muscle recovery, so if you choose to have a shake for recovery it needs to have some carbohydrates in it as well.  In reality a pure protein shake is not optimal for recovery.  A food source of carbohydrates can be added to the shake or a shake which is made up of 50% carbohydrates and 50% protein could be purchased from a retail store.

Protein shakes that are manufactured and brought contain protein but they lack the other nutrients that you would consume if you were to eat a high protein food.  For example a lean steak contains protein but it is also a good source of iron and zinc.  So the net is protein foods are filled with more nutritional value than shakes.

It is also important to note that protein gives one a feeling of fullness, so protein shakes can be a good snack alternative for those looking to restrict their energy intake (so long as the total energy content of the shake is low).  The opposite side of this is that for those individuals who need to consume a large amount of energy, they may find that these shakes may fill them up too much and thus limit the amount of food that they can then consume.  Again, keep that in mind as you think thru your planning.

Shakes can be purchased or homemade.  Manufactured shakes are not always created equal or to the same standard.  Most store bought products are purely based on protein and do not contain carbohydrate or fat.  It is also important to be aware that some brand products contain banned substances so always be looking for products that are free of contaminants.  This is really isn’t an issue for the everyday athlete trying to increase their game but more for those who are routinely drug tested.  But regardless, products that have banned substances also have other side effects that are not good for the average athlete so again be on the lookout.  The best way to avoid any issues is to buy protein shake mix that is of high quality or is known to be a reputable product.

To summarize, protein milkshakes may be useful for some situations where athletes need more strength to allow them to raise their game to the next level.  As like anything, the best thing to do is think thru where you want to go and then alter your diet accordingly.  Over time your body should be able to increase strength and thus allow you to increase your sporting performance.

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