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Are protein shakes a good idea?

By August 15, 2008 - 9:44am
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So I'm looking to amp up my work out a bit and gain leaner muscle (not necessarily interested in dropping weight) and was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on protein shakes.

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There was a time, in my 20's, when I was very underweight (not anorexic) and my doctor had me incorporate a protein shake into my diet. I did, at the time, have a protein deficiency, and I'm not a meat eater as a general rule.

Now approaching 60, I have the exact opposite weight issue; but, because I'm a marathoner and in near constant training year-round, a protein shake is a regular part of my regimen. Mine is more smoothie with whey protein powder added (and sometimes ground flaxseed or wheat germ).

I do agree that you need to balance your intake with activity; protein shakes are geared primarily toward athletes and body builders because we are challenging our bodies more than the average person. Distance runners, in particular, need a high protein regimen because our muscles need to endure long, intense mileage. If, like me, you're not getting enough protein from your foods, a supplement is your only alternative.

Now, back to your fitness goals: a good fitness trainer and your doctor should be able to construct a healthy plan that fits your nutritional and physical requirements.

August 15, 2008 - 4:31pm

I think protein shakes can be ok in moderation, but just remember that what you don't use (in energy) straight way will probably be stored as fat.

Protein shakes are used by body builders a lot and can also help people recovering from sickness, who need to gain weight or have other dietary needs (like vegetarians, for example).

But I think a healthy meat eater would be better off adding the lean protein as a food (like boneless/skinless chicken) rather than using a supplement, and keep the shakes to a minimum.

Just my 2c!

August 15, 2008 - 1:56pm
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