Are Protein Shakes Really Good For You?

Today, protein shakes are a popular supplement to a person’s diet and widely available in health shops.

Protein Powder

So popular in fact, that these are sold in oversized tubs to meet high demands and consumption. Being available in health shops and consumed in great amounts, it must mean that it’s healthy for you right – or is it?

Firstly, what is Protein Shake?

Protein shake is a drink mixture taken by athletes, body builders and fitness enthusiasts, to enhance performance, lose weight or as a nutritional supplement. It is available in formulas of various strengths, contents and flavors.


An intake of a high-performance protein powder is certain to be a highly effective tool for those hoping to achieve muscle mass. A protein shake offers a simple and convenient solution of those that want to get the required protein intake without needing to cook eggs or poultry.

Protein powders are easily processed and quickly digested into the body, which makes them perfect for an after workout enhancement to help the body recover. A further beneficial time to take a protein shake is just before bedtime to help with minimizing the amount of muscle breakdown that takes place while you are sleeping. A protein supplement is certain to help kick-start the day and can easily be combined with a breakfast to make certain you feel more energetic and full for the entire day.


A protein supplement shouldn’t be seen as a complete miracle worker to help with achieving the ideal body shape. Even though the protein is certainly able to help aid in fat loss and improve muscle mass, there isn’t any proven evidence to confirm the protein sourced from supplements is of a higher quality to what can be derived from a source of food. A single scoop of protein powder might include 20 to 28 g of protein. And that is likely to be quite similar to the protein content found in a 3 oz chicken breast. A well-balanced meal is more likely to mean that you aren’t left feeling hungry.

Consuming more protein than the body is likely to need means the excess protein is stored as fat, meaning this could defeat any attempt to achieve a more desirable body shape. A diet that is a very protein-intense offers a high risk of experiencing kidney damage or bone loss.

Are there Side Effects?

The answer is – only when taken excessively. Protein itself is a vital nutrient the body needs for healthy skin, bones, and most importantly strong muscles. We need a serving of at most 40g per meal; anything beyond that can cause harmful side effects including osteoporosis, kidney stones, ketosis, dehydration, and food allergy.

1 – Osteoporosis

Protein shakes are very rich in protein. While great for building muscles, they make your blood more acidic. To counter this, your body pulls calcium from the bones to neutralize the blood. This weakens your bone structure and can directly contribute to frail bones or osteoporosis. For example, women whose diets were high in acidic protein foods, such as meats and hard cheeses, were four times more likely to have bone fractures.

2 – Kidney Stones

The calcium that counteracts the acidity in the blood increases the chances of calcium deposits to form. These deposits are commonly known as kidney stones, a painful condition where tiny crystallized deposits passes through the urinal tract accompanied by abdominal pain, night fevers and sweats, bloody urine, and an enormous amount of pain. The lack of fluid intake can also cause these stones to form.

3 – Ketosis

Ketosis happens when there is an unbalanced diet such as in a high protein low carbohydrate diet. The body goes into starvation mode and starts breaking down fats, as opposed to glucose, into ketones as fuel. Ketosis is harmful to the liver and can even be deadly. That said some medical professionals tend to disagree concluding that ketosis benefits the body.

4 – Dehydration

Research indicates the amount of protein in a person’s diet is highly related to hydration of the body. Higher protein levels led to increased nitrogen in the blood which is an indication of abnormal kidney function. Symptoms included more concentrated urine without the feeling of thirst. To avoid the risk of dehydration when on a high-protein diet, one should increase their fluids to more than the recommended 8 to 10 glasses daily intake.

5 – Food Allergy

Lactose intolerance is the most common side effect of protein shakes. Digestive problems such as bloating, stomach upsets and cramps are all unpleasant effects of whey protein. Care should be taken before you decide to jump into a protein shake diet.

So, are protein shakes really good for you?

In a nutshell, they can be an extremely effective tool for building muscle mass and definition. They’re also great for aiding recovery after a workout. Use protein shakes to supplement your diet but never sacrifice a good diet in favor of them. As you know now, they can harm instead of help when taken excessively.

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