Protein shakes have become a common item in gyms and health food stores. They come in various types and are often marketed with claims that they can help with weight loss and muscle building.
But do protein shakes really work this way, and do you really need them?
Protein Shakes Might Help You Lose Weight
When you increase your protein intake, you might notice a change in your appetite. You may feel fuller after eating, feel fewer cravings for snacks, and have an easier time sticking to your diet.
Protein shakes provide an easy way to increase your protein intake, which, in turn, can lead to consuming fewer calories and losing weight.
However, this form of supplementation is not necessarily better than getting your protein from whole foods, such as lean meats, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
Protein Shakes Can Help You Build Muscle Mass
Dietary protein provides the amino acids needed to build, repair, and grow muscle tissue. So if you’re working out frequently and trying to build muscle, getting more protein can help.
However, if your exercise routine is not very intense or you are just starting out, you probably won’t see much benefit from drinking protein shakes. They become much more helpful during higher-intensity resistance training and long-term muscle building.
Do You Need Protein Shakes?
If you are trying to lose weight or build muscle, you might benefit from adding protein shakes to your diet. They are a convenient way to increase your protein intake, and mixing a shake can be a nice routine to get yourself into the mood of exercising.
However, you don’t need protein shakes to reach your goals; they are not a magic bullet. You won’t be able to simply drink the protein shake and see results—you’ll still need to exercise and train your muscles.
Also, you can get all the protein you need from food; for most people, this will be a healthier option. Protein shakes should not be used as a meal replacement, and you should be careful not to overdo it on the protein, as this can lead to health problems.
Don’t rely on protein shakes as a quick fix. If you need to increase your protein intake, try adding more protein-rich foods to your diet first. If you find this difficult or are not seeing results, consider adding protein shakes to your diet.