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Protein shakes 

Protein shakes are the most essential supplement for those who want to build muscles and lose weight. It is considered to be safe and without any side effects. Protein is a very important component of the diet and is necessary for individuals who want to increase muscle mass, lose fat and stay lean. Protein is considered to be the building block of muscle and if there is no adequate intake of protein, the body will be unable to develop muscle. It is possible to derive sufficient amounts of protein from regular food.

The recommended intake of protein is one gram of protein per pound of body weight. But it becomes difficult to prepare and consume protein rich foods throughout the day. Protein shakes prove to be very convenient and easy to prepare. One can make a protein shake in just under two minutes by adding a scoop of protein powder to milk, fruit juice or water. The amount of protein contained in each scoop of the powder is about 17.5 grams. This makes it a more convenient option than regular food. Whey protein shakes constitute a healthy breakfast drink and are easy to prepare since the powders mix easily. For added nutritional benefit add fruits such as kiwi or strawberries. Whey protein can also be combined with peanut butter and milk to prepare a healthy peanut butter protein shake.

Protein Shake Recipes

Some of the other popular protein shake recipes include fruit and yogurt protein shake made with strawberries, orange juice, low fat yogurt, skim milk, honey, and whey protein powder. You can also make a lemon cheese cake and strawberry protein shake by adding three scoops of lemon cheese cake ice cream, some strawberries and four eggs to two cups of milk. For a more tropical flavor, add strawberries, banana, mango, protein powder and ice to frozen pina colada mix. The use of protein shake recipes for weight loss is not the healthiest way of fat reduction. This is because although the daily calorie intake may reduce, the body will not get the nutritional benefits of regular foods. Protein also contains calories and hence ingesting too much of it may make it difficult to lose weight. If weight loss is the goal, it is advisable to incorporate healthy foods such as whole grains, lean protein sources, fruits and vegetables in the diet. The key to weight loss is to burn off more calories than what is consumed. Hence regular exercise is also essential.

Low carb protein shake recipes are a great way to reduce sugar intake especially when starting off on a diet. These protein shakes do not use milk and ice cream. Instead cream cheese, sour cream and whipped cream are used to replace the ice cream. In place of milk, soy powder and protein powder are used. The best time to have a protein shake is in the morning as it is quickly and easily digested. These shakes are also excellent after a workout as the muscles need protein to repair and build up. It is important to buy only the best quality protein shake powders as there is a wide variety of powders available in the market today and many of them may be prepared from cheap ingredients. There is also variation in the flavors that protein powders are available in. Some of the popular flavors include chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. Individuals who are lactose intolerant may have difficulty in consuming whey protein powder which has 5 to 6 per cent lactose. In such cases, the best option is whey protein isolate which contains less than 1 percent lactose. This is generally tolerated well even by lactose intolerant individuals.

Submitted on October 26, 2010