Personal Trainer in Kuala Lumpur (KL), Cyberjaya, Putrajaya, PJ, KLCC, TTDI, Damansara

03 October 2009

Protein Supplements - To Shake or not to Shake?

So the question is, is it necessary to consume protein shake supplement, particularly Whey Protein. This is one of the many commonly asked questions by weight training beginners to me. Protein supplement is often portrayed by the media as the magic powder to grow muscles. Some even believe that by just consuming protein shakes, they can look like Bruce Lee ( How I wish it was that easy anyway ).

Let us try to understand what are protein made up of ? 
It is made up of 8 essential and 12 non-essential amino acids linked together by peptide bonds. Essential amino acids cannot be produced by our human body, while the other 12 non-essential amino acids are produced in our human body from dietary nitrogen and fragments of carbohydrates and fat.

Natural sources of high quality protein ?
Meat - Fish, Chicken, Beef etc, Milk, Soya Bean Milk, Tofu and of course Eggs.

And what protein does?
Generally protein builds and repairs body tissues and can also be used as our body's energy source when we are lacking of calories or carbohydrates.

So now back to the original question - Should they consume protein shake? Is it necessary?
Let's look at the various type of shake available in the market; Whey Protein, Cassein Protein, Soy Protein, and Egg Protein. I'll just focus on Whey Protein in this post since that's what most of us are consuming.

Whey Protein comes from milk, and its actually by-product from the process of making cheese to be exact.
According to studies, whey protein has the highest biological value compared to other source of protein. And it is the fastest absorbing protein among all. Thus the body could receive nutrients as fast as possible after a good workout.

I'll leave it to you to decide whether you should or should not consume protein shake. Although I do consume Whey protein shake considering all the benefits mentioned by various studies and convenience sake, but something I do look into is the ingredients used by manufacturers in their products. We do not know for sure if there are any other unprinted on label harmful substances added by the manufacturer that may cause harm to our body in the long run. The reason I'm saying this because there are cases where independent research has been done to check on protein powder's content to find it is not accurate as what was printed on the manufacturer's label. And some even contain anabolic drugs and other harmful substances.

If you are comfortable with the idea of consuming protein shake, go ahead by all means. Else, just stick with natural sources.