Negatives And Positives Of Protein Shakes

Chocolate Brown Rice protein powderShould a body builder rely on real food to develop big muscles or turn to the supplement industry for a supply of the amino acids he requires? There are strong arguments in favor of both sides, so dig deeper to find out whether your workout menu should also include meal replacement powders.

Of course, most experts will agree that you should eat nutritious “real” food, which can be difficult for a lot of people on a limited schedule. For example, trying to fit in your workout and your actual job can be tough enough – but then to think that you need to spend hours in the kitchen can add stress.

That’s why Dave Ruel wrote his book, Anabolic Cooking, which you have hopefully seen us discuss on the home page of this site. That book was written with the busy athlete in mind.

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However, sometimes we just want to enjoy the convenience of protein shakes, and I’m no different. So, let’s go over the options.

The Options

Your usual choices in this department are protein powders and bars. There are also BCAA powders in addition to basic protein and muscle building formulae. Major brands in the industry include Optimum Nutrition, Muscle Pharm, BPI Sports, and Universal Nutrition.

With a smoothie blend, your product receives a certain amount of protein per serving. Powder is scooped into a glass of milk, juice, or water and blended with or without ice and fruit. Often, the flavor is good on its own, but plain powders are also on the market and can do with some jazzing-up. There’s no point trying to consume an unpalatable mixture; you won’t stick with a routine like that, and now isn’t the time to skimp on calories anyway.

Protein bars contain more protein than the usual granola or energy bar; at least double. Protein is provided in the form of whey, the easiest ingredient to add to such a product. Whey isolate from grass-fed cows is the top protein, a vegetarian option, and easy to digest. Nutritional uptake is quick, usually without side effects unless a person is intolerant to whey which is a dairy product.

The next best option is an egg powder, especially if dairy products aren’t suitable. Egg protein was the previous top-dog, before whey products arrived to dominate the industry. If you are looking for egg protein, Universal Nutrition, MRM, and EAS Myoplex are among the brands to search for. Optimum Nutrition, Cellucor, and MusclePharm are just some retailers of whey protein powders. As for bars, you want to check out BPI Sports, Clif, Quest, and Muscle Pharm.


Eating a bar or drinking a shake is easy. The measurements are worked out for you. Some products contain extra nutrition such as minerals and vitamins to support your body’s manifold needs at this time such as B-vitamins for energy and hormone balance, minerals to restore electrolytes, and Vitamin C for immunity. A lot of products are calorie-free, thanks to artificial sweeteners, there are lots of flavors, and they are simple to mix. Supplements are easy to digest; uptake is quick so that nutrients get to their appropriate destinations immediately. You can even make them ahead of time and keep them in the fridge or on ice.


Protein supplements are more expensive than real food. Many of them contain a lot of sugar or the sugar replacement is aspartame, a chemical you don’t want in your body. A number of products which contain egg are also made with whey or other proteins, so it’s not easy to get away from dairy and go for 100% egg protein without turning to plant or grain sources. Plants are fine, but the protein in these foods is not as significant as that found in egg or whey and sometimes not as tasty. Bars are rarely whey-free but finding items without gluten isn’t difficult.

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