Risks Associated with Protein Shakes.



What is a protein shake?
There are still many misconceptions regarding protein shakes. Firstly, people often mistake them for steroids – perhaps understandable, given the big promises that drive the products’ marketing campaigns. But protein shakes are purely nutritional; unlike steroids, they have no direct influence on your hormones.
Another source of confusion is the differentiation between a ‘mass gainer’ and a protein shake. Mass gainers are used as an aid to bulking up. They typically include a large amount of simple carbohydrates that get delivered straight to your muscles. These serve a purpose after a workout when the muscle’s energy is depleted, but use them at the wrong time (as many do) and the end result is fat gain. Protein shakes, by contrast, deliver amino acids to muscle cells, helping them to recover after strenuous workouts.

What are the Different Types of Protein in Protein Shakes?

Protein shakes use different types of protein in varying amounts. They may include:

  • Milk
  • Whey
  • Casein
  • Egg
  • Soy
  • Rice

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The source of the protein and how it’s purified during manufacturing may affect how well your body can use it.
Although it’s best to get protein through your diet, supplementing it with a combination of whey and casein is a good choice, as long as you tolerate dairy well, because both come from milk.
Soy protein is another option. It’s a plant-based protein. It’s as effective as most animal sources of protein, Antonio says. Soy is also rich in phyto-nutrients such as isoflavone.
Whey is the most common base for protein powder, as it contains all of the nine essential amino acids that facilitate the healing of damaged muscles.

There are three main types of whey protein: 
*Hydrolysate, and 
Isolates yield a high level of protein and is low on allergenics, making it a good option for the lactose intolerant.
 Hydrolysate is produced in a way that effectively means it has been predigested, so its rate of absorption by the body is super fast. 
Concentrate, meanwhile, is the cheapest option, as the effects of its protein content are offset by its significant fat and cholesterol levels.
Serious athletes tend to use hydrolysate – so it will come as no surprise that hydrolysate is also the most expensive of the three options.
How much protein do I actually need?
The recommended daily allowance of protein is between 45 and 56 grams of protein a day. Protein shakes can range from 100% protein to mostly carbohydrates with a little added protein and fat. They come a variety flavors in powder form or in ready-to-drink packages, such as cans or foil packs.
If your goal is to lose body fat, change to a protein shake that is high in protein, moderate carbohydrates, and only a little bit of fat.

Ensure the product is more than 50% protein if your goal is body fat loss. Without adequate protein, training hard will leave your muscles with a deficit of the building blocks they need to recover, which means you’ll never build new fibres.

There’s a lot of debate as to the ideal amount of protein to consume on a daily basis; each individual needs to work out their body’s specific need. However, the traditional recommendation for muscle building is 0.7 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. This would mean the average man of, say, 170lbs (rounded down to 12 stone) needs 119 grams of protein per day if he is to undertake a heavy weights program with the aim of gaining muscle.
That’s the equivalent of:
Chicken Breast x 2 (60g)
Egg x 3 (18g)
Steak (6oz): 40g

Consuming two chicken breasts and a steak per day sounds like a lot to ask of your stomach (not to mention your bank balance), but it’s a far from impossible task. So, protein shakes are not strictly essential. At the same time, you can see why they offer a convenient alternative. One shake can save you a lot of time and money.

The Problem:
Liver damage
The incidence of liver damage from dietary supplements has tripled in a decade. Most of the supplements involved were bodybuilding supplements. Some of the patients require liver transplants and some die. One third of the supplements involved contained unlisted steroids. Dr. Victor Navarro, the chairman of the hepatology division at Einstein Healthcare Network in Philadelphia, said that “while liver injuries linked to supplements were alarming, he believed that a majority of supplements were generally safe. Most of the liver injuries tracked by a network of medical officials are caused by prescription drugs used to treat things like cancer, diabetes and heart disease”
Protein Shakes and Weight Loss:
Replacing meals with protein shakes may help you reduce your daily calories, which can help you lose weight. But eventually you will need to start eating solid food again, which may cause excess weight to return if you don’t choose wisely. And if you rely too heavily on protein shakes to replace regular meals, you’ll miss out on the nutritional benefits of whole foods.
Since protein contains calories, consuming too much can actually make losing weight more difficult — especially if you drink protein shakes in addition to your usual diet, and you’re not exercising. The average adult needs 46 to 56 grams of protein a day, depending on weight and overall health. As long as you’re eating a healthy diet, adding extra protein — either through protein shakes or other sources — isn’t necessary. Remember, the key to losing weight is burning more calories than you consume. Choose healthy foods — such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean sources of protein — and include physical activity in your daily routine.


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