You’ve talked about protein shakes in several blogs. What is the big deal about these? Why are they so popular and are they a fad or really beneficial? I am trying to lose weight and I am afraid these things will turn me into the Hulk.
If my comic book geek past serves me well, I remember the Hulk being created by gamma radiation, not by chugging a tub of Muscle Milk.
To answer your questions, yes they are good for you, VERY good for you if you buy the right type. Studies are beginning to show that whey protein may be effective at reducing cancer rates, improving immunity, increasing seratonin levels, reducing blood pressure, lowering cortisol levels and improving athletic performance. Wow, talk about a long list of benefits.
If you take up to 30 grams of whey protein daily, it can increase lean muscle density which will allow your body to effectively burn fat. As your body loses fat, your metabolism increases and begins to burn calories more efficiently. If you’re looking to improve your muscle density and overall body form, you’ll need to intake .8g of protein per pound of bodyweight per day or .5g protein/lb as a bare minimum.
Your body will not get Hulked out by drinking a protein shake either in the morning or post workout but there ARE weight gaining and muscle enlarging formulas on the market that do that as their primary job. Avoiding the gainer formulas is easy. Just look for “gainer”, “monster milk” and other brand identifiers and stay away. Talking to a dietician or on-staff fitness professional is also recommended.
A regular whey protein formula has the primary function of rebuilding muscle tissue and aiding in muscle recovery (I prefer Dymatize Elite or Optimum Nutrition’s “Gold Standard 100% Whey”..thanks to my friend Nana for the last one..) and is a part of my daily diet. It has led to some awesome results on my fitness quest. If you feel you are getting bulky, look at the rest of your diet as well. Are you OD’ing on carbs? Are you getting enough cardio?
There are generic brands and mixed protein formulas out there, personally, I like to stick with the two I listed above since whey protein seems to have a multitude of benefits compared to cassein or blended proteins.
Do your research, find a flavor you like (Vitamin Shoppe and Bodybuilding.com have some great pricing), and give it a shot…I mean shake.
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