Below are the pros and cons of including a protein powder in your diet, as well as what you should look for when trying one out.
A shake made with protein powder is a great option for the athlete who wants to help muscles heal after a hard workout. Men who are looking to gain muscle usually have a protein shake to help bulk up while assisting their muscles to heal more quickly.
Including protein powder in your diet may help you maintain your weight or even shed some more pounds, because protein keeps your stomach feeling full and takes longer to digest than carbohydrates. Added protein also means added energy — always a plus!
Most protein powders are high in amino acids, vitamins and minerals, making them a healthy addition to any diet. You can always add fruit to your protein shakes for even more nutrition and better taste. Of course, the nutrition you get from a protein shake is not comparable to natural sources of protein like meat and fish.
Though protein powders assist in healing muscles and in keeping you feeling energetic, they are also low in sugar and low in calories, which is great if you're counting calories.
Protein powders may not satisfy your taste buds. Try different brands and flavours, and if you're unable to find one you like on its own, you can always mix protein powder into milk, juice or water.
Protein powders can increase the risk of gall bladder stones or kidney stones if they are not dissolved completely or mixed correctly.
While protein powders provide a high percentage of your daily recommended intake of protein, it is important to remember that protein powder is not strictly protein, as a lot of artificial flavours have been added to it.
Depending on your fitness goals, adding a protein powder to your diet may become expensive, as most packages can range from $30 to $60 for a month's supply. On the flip side, if you use protein shakes as meal replacements, you can end up saving some money.
In the end, be sure to evaluate your diet and fitness goals to see if you would benefit from adding a protein powder to your diet. It is also a good idea to consult your physician before starting a diet and fitness regime.
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