There is an ever-growing market out there for health foods and specialty drinks such as protein shakes or weight-loss shakes. It seems that there is a new protein drink on the market every single day. Many people believe protein shakes are a great recovery drink after a tough workout or sporting event, while other people use them as weight loss tools or meal replacements. While it’s true that protein shakes can be a great additional source of nutrients added to your diet, it’s also important to know which protein shakes are a quality drink and which are just full of junk while claiming they are of high quality.
What Should I Look for in Determining a Quality Protein Shake?
Since we have determined that all protein shakes are not created equal, then the question remains: What makes one protein shake better than another? That’s actually a great question. There are several things to look for when determining if you are choosing a “quality” protein shake that is actually providing your body nutrients and doing your body good. Some of the most important things to look at include the following:
- Filler Percentage: Consider what percent of the substance is just ”filler”. “Filler” is considered anything that is not either an amino acid or protein itself. These are generally powders that are mixed with water and consumed as a “drink”. The higher the protein content the better.
- Amount of Amino Acids: The amount and type of amino acids in the drink is important as these are what help rebuild the muscles that have broken down during an intense workout or sporting event. The more amino acids in a drink the better that drink or protein powder is going to help you recover from an intense workout as you build muscle back up with these chains of acids that string together to create proteins to help you rebuild.
- Sugar Levels: Considering how much sugar is in these drinks can also make a difference. Sugar is known to add weight as the body receives more than it can process and turns that sugar into fat.
- Quality & Yield of Protein: It needs to be considered what the quality of the proteins is that the person is getting from drinking the specific protein drink under consideration. Avoid any powders for proteins that give you gastrointestinal problems, bloat, etc.! Look for more than 50% protein yield from your drink. You are not paying for fillers, you are paying for protein, so get protein. That means if less than 50% of the mix is protein, skip it and move to something higher quality. Get the protein you pay for.
- Taste & Consistency: If the protein you are using is thick and sludgy, making it impossible to swallow it may be time to look for a new form of protein. If it tastes like chalk more than protein, it also may be time to look for a new protein. If it’s not palatable you are not able to consume it, and you won’t get the protein your body needs to recover from tough workouts or long sporting events.
In the end, check to make sure you are getting what you are paying for when you take your protein, otherwise start looking for a better brand!