The Protein Shake – Myth or Not?
Okay, we’ve heard people talk about them, those fitness programs where you have a shake in place of one or two meals each day. Doing this for a month and the weight falls off, right? Does it actually work the way it is often described?
Better still, movies and TV shows often depict fitness shakes and being made from some of the most vile materials imaginable, with people scarfing down substance only slightly less disturbing than eye of newt and leg of toad in order to achieve their fitness goals. Is this what the world of the fitness shake is all about?
In actuality, fitness shakes can provide a nutritious and well balanced contribution to your daily diet, as well as serving as great recovery aids following extreme workouts and supplements for weight loss. Of course they are not the be all and end all of fitness, but used in conjunction with other weight loss efforts, you may see some visible results.
Fitness shakes should be low fat because this is rich in essential vitamins and minerals that are used to build bones and muscles. It also blocks harmful cell oxidation, helps carry oxygen in the blood, and boosts the immune system. Shakes that rank high in protein and fat, however, may raise the risk of high cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and they may even cause weight gain. The best shakes are limited in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol, and have protein sources such as nonfat yogurt, skim milks, and low fat protein powder.
Women have different needs than men (that goes without saying!) and this applies to fitness shakes as well. They may benefit from seeking out soy based shakes rather than whey based. Postmenopausal women who make use of this approach may see fewer hot flashes and other related symptoms. Women should seek out soy based vegan products that are commercially prepared, or make their own with soy protein powder.
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The Shake Has Its Place
Homemade protein shakes may be the best nutritional option, since you can build a drink that is free of processed products and contains only natural protein sources such as silken tofu, nonfat yogurt, or skim milk as a base. Other add ins include fresh fruit, nut butter, wheat germ or protein powder.
If you are looking to lose weight as a result of your efforts, then a protein shake works best with a healthy fitness plan and daily calories should be limited in order to provide the body with proper nutrition. You can replace just one meal per day with a protein shake and make sure it contains healthy fat and carbohydrates as well.