What do we really know?
The appeal of protein shakes is that they are quick and easy-to-use supplements that enable individuals seeking increased muscle mass to reach their greater protein requirements.
Protein shakes have become a popular training supplement in the last 20 years, partially due to the increased profile of bodybuilding but also because of the significant investment in advertising in magazines and on the internet.
Many protein shakes are advertised as containing whey protein. Whey protein is found in milk. In its natural state, it has the highest biological value to the body of any protein. This makes it useful to the body in many ways, one of which is in the repair and growth of muscle tissues.
So, what’s to think about?
There are a number of considerations with regards to protein supplementation;
- The whey powder in protein supplements is often dried at high temperatures for speed of manufacture; above 60 degrees Celcius these fragile proteins become denatured, which destroys their ability to function.
- Manufacturers also use sugars, sweeteners, colours and flavours to improve the palatability of proteins.
- Furthermore, these products are often very low in fat, but proteins need fat for proper metabolism and use.
Generally speaking, protein supplements are harmless but really quite unnecessary.
Protein can be obtained and used by the body more easily from whole food sources.