They come in all forms and flavors. From vanilla to chocolate to strawberry, protein shakes can either be bought in ready-to-drink cans or in powdered form. These food supplements have taken the fitness world by storm because of their many uses. From bodybuilders who seek to build muscle to those who simply want to shed the excess pounds, protein shakes have become the drink of choice because of their high-protein, low-fat content.
If you're wondering why protein shakes have become all the rage, this list of 10 benefits should give you an idea...
1. Protein shakes give athletes much-needed nourishment following a rigorous workout routine. By restoring glycogen in the muscles, these drinks help athletes recover faster by aiding in muscle repair and growth.
2. Protein shakes facilitate weight loss by satiating an individual and suppressing appetite. It reduces cravings for high-calorie, high-sugar snacks that destroy any attempts to kick off the fat. Replacing a meal with this drink still gives you adequate supply of protein minus most of the calories. Thus, they can be used in between meals to replace snacks or taken in place of no more than one full meal a day.
3. Protein shakes help bodybuilders bulk up. Shakes designed for individuals who wish to increase their size and gain more muscle provide the right amounts of proteins and carbohydrates to suit this purpose. They also provide the protein necessary to heal and develop muscles.
4. Whey protein shakes are indispensable to those who want to gain more weight. Protein shakes that are also high in carbohydrate content assist in weight gain when added to an individual's regular meals.
5. Protein shakes help in strengthening immune systems. Studies have shown that individuals who ingest vitamin-rich shakes have fewer infections and have constitutions that are better equipped to defend itself from illnesses.
6. Soy-based protein shakes are said to reduce estrogen in postmenopausal women that, in turn, also reduces their breast cancer risk. (Note: Soy is potentially allergenic and should be used with caution).
7. Protein shakes help diabetics. Replacing breakfast with protein shakes aid in stabilizing blood sugar levels and reducing insulin spikes.
8. Protein shakes are also important for those on a high-protein diet like Atkins. They can replace meals or serve as snacks.
9. Protein shakes help those with preexisting medical conditions like cancer. Because chemotherapy severely compromises the immune system, whey protein shakes are an easy source of nourishing protein that strengthens the cancer patient and protects him or her from the risk of secondary infections.
10. Protein shakes are convenient and easy-to-prepare and provide quick nourishment for those in need of it.
Protein shakes do offer tremendous health benefits. However, their consumption must also be accompanied with a word of caution: These drinks are not meant to take the place of natural foods. They must be integrated into a healthy diet regimen to achieve its full benefits. Moreover, because studies on the long-term effects of a high-protein diet are not yet fully-known, it is suggested that protein shakes be taken in moderation or as directed by a health professional.