Protein shakes - Fad or worth it?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Sports and Fitness MoneySaving
61 replies 10.9K views
rainbowfairydustrainbowfairydust Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Sports and Fitness MoneySaving
Just wondering what opinion people have about protein shakes? Are they just a fad? Or are they worth using? I have just re-joined the gym last week as i have booked to run the 10k in September. :eek::j

I also cycle to work once a week ( 12 miles total ) and plan to attend 2 x spin classes a week plus TRX (first session is Thursday).
Sleazy wrote: »
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  • DanjamesDanjames Forumite
    29 Posts
    Hi there, my view is that you are far better simply eating the right food. Yes your weekly shop will increase quite a bit but then the shakes are expensive anyway. Plenty of Protein and veg and you will be right, substitute healthy stuff for fatty snacks and you are away. Nuts and wholemeal bread and brown rice are the way to go. I changed my diet about 2 months ago, cutting out all the crap I was eating for the above and I have lost nearly two stone. I'm packing the protein (chicken, turkey dinners and lunch and almonds and porridge for snacks) at the moment as have just finished a basic all round strengthening programme and have moved onto building muscle exercises. I don't want to look like Arnie, just started playing rugby again and looking to make sure I am in decent shape.
  • IdiophreakIdiophreak Forumite
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    Whether they're worth using really depends on a bunch of things:

    1) Do you get much protein in your diet anyway
    2) Do you want to gain more muscle mass through your workouts
    3) Are you struggling with recovery times?
    4) Are you really wrecking your muscles with your workouts?

    Personally, I take a protein shake after a long cycle (60+ miles) or after a long run (10+ miles), just to help my legs recover a little faster. Normally means I'm in better shape the next day and can train again a day sooner.

    When I was climbing/bouldering a lot, I used protein and creatine to help my arms gain strength and perform better.

    The amount of protein your body can use a day is actually quite a lot...Some people say up to 1.5g per day per pound of body weight, if you want to gain muscle. Protein shakes are a very cheap way (buy in bulk, get offers etc from myprotein) of topping up your intake.

    That said, it seems your exercise is generally cardio based and over relatively short distances, so I'd not consider using protein in most cases...If you run a 10k run at race pace in training, or a hard fartlek session etc having a shake within 15 minutes of stopping might help - or if you're finding you can't walk the day after the spin classes....but it doesn't sound like it's something you need regularly right now.
  • rainbowfairydustrainbowfairydust Forumite
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    Thanks for the advice both :D
    Sleazy wrote: »
    I like RainbowFairyDust .....

    RFD for president .... Ra! Ra! Ra! :j

    Undergrad degree - completed 2018
    Masters degree - completed 2019
  • rash161rash161 Forumite
    101 Posts
    Toxic fad, don't eat chemicals, eat real food that your body was designed to eat

    No product that any company comes up with can replace what nature provided you with
  • IdiophreakIdiophreak Forumite
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    Danjames wrote: »
    the shakes are expensive anyway.

    Just to reiterate that this really isn't the case. I rarely pay more than £50 for 5k of protein. This makes 200 shakes - so around 25p each.

    Each shake delivers 20.something grams of protein.

    Compare that to other sources of the same amount of protein: half a tin of tuna (50p?), a chicken breast (£2?) or 100g of almonds (£1.20?)

    ...the shakes are really relatively inexpensive.

    Then consider that a 200lb man (say, a rugby player) looking to bulk up may want to consume 140-160g per day (or more), you multiply all those numbers by 7 or 8 and using shakes rather than chicken breasts would save you £14/day.

    To say nothing of the fact that eating that amount of protein-heavy food in a day can become...tiresome...necking a couple of shakes per day and eating normally is much more sustainable.
  • IdiophreakIdiophreak Forumite
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    rash161 wrote: »
    Toxic fad, don't eat chemicals, eat real food that your body was designed to eat

    No product that any company comes up with can replace what nature provided you with

    Interesting. You realise that back when people ate just what they were "designed" to eat, they often died by the age of 40, right?

    Woo! Go nature!
  • rainbowfairydustrainbowfairydust Forumite
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    Have been having a think about this and i think i dont actually need them (going off what idiophreak has said) -- i do eat a lot of protein in my normal diet (meat, nuts, seeds etc) anyway.

    I just like the idea that its a shake :o, and everyone at the gym seems to toddle around with their shake in hand. :)
    Sleazy wrote: »
    I like RainbowFairyDust .....

    RFD for president .... Ra! Ra! Ra! :j

    Undergrad degree - completed 2018
    Masters degree - completed 2019
  • Have been having a think about this and i think i dont actually need them (going off what idiophreak has said) -- i do eat a lot of protein in my normal diet (meat, nuts, seeds etc) anyway.

    I just like the idea that its a shake :o, and everyone at the gym seems to toddle around with their shake in hand. :)

    I take a protein shake, quite happy to do so, I also do eat protein from food. I wouldnt take it while in the gym, Id take it when I got home.

    They arent expensive either, a tub that costs £30 would last about 3-4 months or so depending on how many you have a day.

    I think no matter how good someones diet is, you might be lacking in some of the amino acids and a protein shake will give you them.

    I didnt used to but I lift weights and do bootcamp and quite hardcore classes, so Ive been using them about a year now.
  • IdiophreakIdiophreak Forumite
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    Have been having a think about this and i think i dont actually need them (going off what idiophreak has said) -- i do eat a lot of protein in my normal diet (meat, nuts, seeds etc) anyway.

    I just like the idea that its a shake :o, and everyone at the gym seems to toddle around with their shake in hand. :)

    If you're doing cardio, you're much better toddling around with an electrolyte solution in your hand. Something like this:
    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/high5-high5-zero-electrolyte-20-tab-buy-1-get-1-free/

    Will replace the stuff you lose in sweat and help you feel much less wiped out after a hard session.
  • rash161rash161 Forumite
    101 Posts
    Idiophreak wrote: »
    Interesting. You realise that back when people ate just what they were "designed" to eat, they often died by the age of 40, right?

    Woo! Go nature!

    *yawn* This one again...

    That's been proven to be wrong many times

    Also, even if it was correct, I'd rather die at 40 after a life of eating good, enjoyable natural food than miserable at 100 after a life of eating corporate, mass-produced space food.

    If eating how nature intended really does make you die at 40 then that's called population control, what gives you or any suited corporate loser the right to play god?
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