Tuesday Tip: Do you need protein shakes? 🥤
Protein shakes – all the rage, essential gym kit eh? But are they really necessary?
Protein itself is essential, especially for maintaining and building muscle, so it helps with recovery and is also great at keeping you feeling full. But the reality is most people’s diet includes more than enough protein as it is. Average daily recommended intake is 55g for men and 45g for women’s (with heavy exercisers needing a bit more: 1.2 – 1.7g per kg body weight). It’s not hard to get that in your meals e.g. 1 egg: 6g, 1 chicken breast: 20g, 30g cheddar cheese: 7.5g, 1 serving cooked beef mince: 18g, 1/2 pot cottage cheese: 18g, 1 tin of tuna: 25g, 1 serving Greek yogurt: 18g etc. So it’s pretty easy for most people to eat the required amount, with no shakes or powders required.
In an ideal world, if trying to build muscle then you do want to get some protein in within 30 mins of a strenuous workout. So that could be a reason to grab a shake. But you could save some pennies and instead go for something simple like a glass of milk (dairy milk contains 8g protein, soya milk contains 7g), or one of the best post-workout recovery drinks – chocolate milk (perfect carbs: protein ratio).
Aside from saving money you will also be protecting your health. Recent research shows that too much protein in the diet can increase your risk of osteoporosis amongst other health issues. Plus if you’re already eating a good diet then all you’re doing is taking on extra calories you don’t need, which could stall your weight loss attempts. They’re also not ideal as a meal replacement unless you combine them with other ingredients. For example as an grab and go brekkie option they’re great when combined in a smoothie with banana, milk, etc to give you a range of nutrients and a good balance of carbs too (but Greek yoghurt also does the same!).
So if you’re eating a balanced diet, and working out at a normal level (i.e. not an Olympic athlete!), then don’t stress about protein shakes as they’re really not necessary at all! Save your pennies!
Happy Tuesday 🤗