Do I need Protein Shakes?

As I personal trainer I get this question a lot, do I need protein shakes? An email I got only just yesterday… ‘Hi Pete………..I’m looking to lose some weight and tone up………………Do you think I should be taken a Protein supplement?’ Sally, Sutton.

the answer to this question is not a straight yes or no, it depends on a number of factors. First lets look at what protein shakes are designed to do:

Supplement a low protein diet.
Provide a low fat form of protein to consume i.e. no animal fat.
Help provide excess protein and calories to those looking to bulk up or doing a lot of endurance workouts to keep them anabolic.
Convenience, they are quick and easy to consume, no cooking or prep work goes into them, you can mix one up and have it later in the day.
Good for vegetarians, although the majority of protein powers are derived from milk.

Now lets look at what type of people might benefit from taking a protein shake:

People who are losing weight (body fat) could benefit from a protein shake as it will help the preserve muscle mass, as long as they are doing resistance training to.
People looking to bulk up and build muscle, the excess protein will provide the building blocks for their muscles to rebuild themselves after a weight training workout.
Lazy/busy/can’t cook people, the speed at which the shake can be made and consumed makes it ideal for people with hectic lives or no cooking skills.
Semi/Pro athletes would benefit from taking a protein shake, the protein will help with recovery from a busy training schedule.

One thing I always say to my personal training clients is ‘Don’t supplement a bad diet’. I prefer my clients to eat a healthy diet, consuming some sort of natural protein breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you diet is good and you find you need some extra protein by all means have a protein shake once or twice a day, but don’t look at it as a short cut.

I tell my personal training clients to avoid protein powders with added carbs in them as they are usually just simple sugars, which are going to lead to insulin spikes. You are much better to eat some complex carbs along with the protein shake if you need the carbs, i.e. oat, pasta, rice.

In summary, yes protein shakes have their place, that place is to supplement a person who is training hard and has a good diet, not a person doing 2 workouts a week and eating junk food!If you would like to know more get in touch with me and arrange a personal training session and I’ll show you how to apply this to your lifestyle.

To book a session or for comments and questions call or e-mail me:

E-mail: pete@petegriggs.com. Phone: 07947 049889.