Why are protein shakes useful and what is it?

We are sure you have heard about protein shakes more than once. But do you know what this “fruit” is and what it is eaten with? What is the protein for, what properties does it have and what benefits, and perhaps harm, does it bring?

What is a protein shake?

Protein-protein, the building material for your body, consists of amino acids. It supports immunity, builds and regenerates cells and tissues, improves hair growth and skin condition, helps build muscle mass, and promotes weight loss.

The body receives the daily norm of protein with food: eggs, meat, fish, cheese, and other products. But when we forget about proper nutrition, we are no longer talking about a sufficient amount of protein. Then protein shakes come to the rescue – drinks that contain proteins of animal or vegetable origin.

Protein shakes come in two types: in powder form and those you can make yourself. 

A liquid protein shake is made from protein-rich foods. To get such a drink at home, it is enough to mix cottage cheese, milk, an egg and, for example, a banana or berries.

Protein powder is a dry supplement that is most commonly derived from egg white (casein), soybeans (soy), or whey (whey). 

Such a finished product will be the solution to many of your problems. It can be used at work, a walk or a trip, replacing them with one full meal. 

Types of protein shakes

Depending on the composition and purpose, protein shakes are divided into several types.

  1. Whey 

Has a natural, animal origin. It is quickly absorbed, increases metabolism, but satisfies the feeling of hunger for a short time. Effective for building muscle mass and burning excess fat. 

In the morning, whey protein is drunk by those who are not engaged in fitness, athletes – mainly after training. In the process of losing weight, it is recommended to replace only one meal with a protein shake. 

There are three varieties:

  • whey concentrate – the most popular form of protein, but less valuable and inexpensive, may contain carbohydrates, fats and lactose;
  • isolate – contains the maximum amount of protein, is the purest and most expensive form of whey protein;
  • hydrolyzate – the highest quality, quickly digestible form of protein.
  1. casein 

The slowest digestible protein. Suitable for those who plan to get rid of extra pounds or are in drying mode. This protein shake can replace one meal, but not before bedtime – casein protein throws out part of the insulin, which interferes with the production of night growth hormone. 

Casein is not suitable for building muscle mass. It can be consumed at night only to prevent nightly muscle breakdown and to saturate them with the necessary protein. 

  1. soy protein

The most affordable protein. Popular with beginners. It has an incomplete amino acid composition, is poorly absorbed. Ideal for vegetarians and people with lactose intolerance. 

  1. Complex (multicomponent) 

The composition includes a mixture of different types of proteins (slow and fast), where one part of the amino acids is absorbed immediately, and the other saturates the muscles gradually. Ideal for beginners and those whose workouts last more than an hour. 

  1. Egg 

Saturated with amino acids, does not contain fats and carbohydrates, slowly digestible. Recommended during periods of intensive training. 

  1. Lactic 

Consists of two proteins – casein and whey. Great to take between meals.

Benefits of protein shakes for health and weight loss

The best protein shakes contain enough calcium to help support healthy bone growth, prevent bone loss and osteoporosis, and maintain normal blood pressure. And due to the presence of Omega-6 fatty acids in it, it reduces appetite, breaks down fats better and reduces the development of cardiovascular diseases. A protein cocktail saturates the body with essential amino acids, is easily digested, improves metabolism and strengthens the immune system, thanks to the immunoglobulins it contains. 

A protein shake has a low calorie content, but only 200-300 ml is enough to saturate the human body and keep this feeling for 3-4 hours. The main thing is that in a drink a single dose of protein does not exceed 30 grams.  

If your goal is to get rid of excess fat, and not gain muscle mass, nutritionists recommend taking sports nutrition in the morning with a small amount of carbohydrates.

Protein Benefits for Athletes

To achieve the desired results in the sports field – to tighten the figure, acquire a beautiful relief or build muscle mass, fitness enthusiasts are advised to drink protein shakes before and after training.

Taking sports nutrition along with carbohydrates before the start of the workout helps to saturate the muscles with the necessary amount of protein and conduct the workout better and more efficiently. And after exercise, protein contributes to the fastest recovery of energy and muscle growth. 

Harm of protein shakes

Protein has two sides of the coin – in our case, useful and harmful. If we figured out the beneficial properties of protein shakes, it’s time to find out the negative side of the drink.

It consists in a banal oversaturation of the body with protein. In simple words – do not abuse protein nutrition and replace your entire diet with it. Agree, it is easier to get hooked on it than to get off, and it is even more difficult to cope with the consequences.

  1. Load on the liver and kidneys.

As you remember, a protein shake can only replace one meal and should not exceed 30 grams of protein. By increasing the amount of incoming protein in the body, your kidneys and liver receive an additional load, which will negatively affect your well-being. And if these organs are already weak, then protein shakes are not worth drinking at all. 

  1. Dyspepsia and allergies.

Natural protein shakes contain lactose, which can cause indigestion (dyspepsia) or an allergic reaction. Therefore, if you have an intolerance to this component, we advise you to look for sports nutrition that does not contain lactose. 

In addition to the above negative effects, protein powder options add a couple more minuses to this list – high cost and stinginess with nutrients. 

Conclusions and recommendations of experts

Whether you’re new to fitness, lactose intolerant, or a vegetarian, experts recommend consuming soy protein shakes. Your goal to lose weight is to give preference to casein drinks. If you want to build muscle mass and get rid of extra pounds at the same time, a whey shake will be your best choice.


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