Protein shakes: healthy or unhealthy?
- Protein shakes as a healthy training support
- Protein shakes are a healthy addition to your diet
- Are protein shakes healthy?
- How much protein is healthy for the body?
- For whom are protein shakes useful?
- Protein shakes as an amino acid supplier for a healthy body
- Protein shakes for healthy muscle building and maintenance
- Lose weight with healthy protein drinks
- Protein Shakes: Health risks for the kidneys?
- What makes healthy protein shakes
- The composition of the protein powder is crucial
- Whey vs. casein: Which protein shakes are healthier?
- Healthy vegan protein shakes rely on different proteins
- Protein shakes and a balanced diet - a dream team!
- Conclusion: are protein shakes healthy or not?
Protein shakes as a healthy training support
People drink protein shakes for a variety of reasons, including muscle building, weight loss, and recovery from injury. While many foods - such as eggs, meat, poultry, milk and legumes - provide plenty of healthy protein, protein shakes and powders have become a popular, high-quality supplement for daily protein intake.
Due to some preconceptions, there is a lot of uncertainty on the topic of whether protein shakes are healthy or not. If you are also wondering if your daily protein shakes might be unhealthy, you will find the answer in our article. We'll explain whether protein shakes are unhealthy or healthy and what you should look for when buying protein powder for your shakes.
Protein shakes are a healthy addition to your diet
By definition, dietary supplements are products that contain certain nutrients to supplement general needs. In the case of protein shakes, these provide amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. As the name implies, supplements are meant to supplement or enhance your diet. Overall, protein shakes are very useful and healthy if you can't consume high-quality protein sources or simply can 't meet your daily protein needs through your meals alone.
Are protein shakes healthy?
There are no health risks associated with consuming protein shakesper se. On the contrary, proteins have an important function in many processes in the body. In this regard, protein shakes are a convenient way toensure a healthy protein intake .
In order for your body to function properly, it constantly consumesprotein. If you can't meet your needs through your ingested meals, you shouldsupplement with the help of protein powders . Protein shakes contain protein. This protein usually comes from eggs or milk, but it can also come from plant sources like soybeans or rice. In most cases, one scoop of protein powder contains 10 to 20 grams of protein. You can mix the protein powder with some water or milk to make a shake, or stir it into your favorite smoothie.
However, protein shakes should always be viewed as merely a supplement to a healthy diet and should be drunk in appropriate doses.
How much protein is healthy for the body?
How much protein is healthy for you depends on your level of physical activity[¹],[²]:
- Minimum requirement for predominantly sedentary work without sport: 0.8 grams / kilogram of body weight.
- Optimum with little activity: 1.2 - 1.8 grams / kilogram body weight
- Requirement for sport and muscle maintenance: 1.4 - 2.0 grams / kilogram body weight
- When dieting or for muscle building: 1.6 - 2.4 grams / kilogram body weight
If you consume more protein, it has no added value for your body and no positive influence on your fitness goals.
For whom are protein shakes useful?
Not everyone needs the extra protein that a protein shake can add to their diet. But protein shakes can help if you're not getting enough protein inyour diet. You could benefit from drinking healthy protein shakes if:
- You start a new workout program or increase the duration or difficulty of your workouts. Protein helps you build and maintain muscle.
- You don't eat enough protein meals in general.
- You eat a vegan or vegetarian diet. A plant-based protein powder can help you incorporate more protein into your diet.
Protein shakes as an amino acid supplier for a healthy body
Most of the human body is made up of proteins, which in turn are made up of various amino acids. For its processes around muscle and co. the body uses20 different amino acids. Eight of these amino acids are essential - this means that they cannot beproduced by the body itself and must therefore be supplied through the diet.
So if you suffer from a lack of proteins, especially essential amino acids, you run the risk of your body lacking the necessary building blocks for optimal functioning.
Protein shakes for healthy muscle building and maintenance
Before the big fitness boom of recent years, athletes in particular used protein shakes to build and maintainmuscle. Protein shakes can actually contribute to healthy muscle building when combined with strength training.[³] Then they help your bodybuild muscle and improvephysical performance and recovery.[⁴] improve.
This is possible because both training and consuming high-quality protein stimulate muscle protein synthesis.[⁵]
Lose weight with healthy protein drinks
Some people want to consume protein shakes for healthy weight loss. And indeed, protein shakes can have some positive effects on weight loss because of the proteins they contain. For example, an increased intake of protein can promote a feeling of satiety [⁶]have a positive effect on the metabolism[⁷] have a positive effect on the metabolism and help to burn visceral fat.[⁸]
Those who want to lose body weight must nonetheless create a calorie deficit - that is, burn more calories than are consumed.
Protein shakes: health risks for the kidneys?
For healthy people, increased protein intake does not usually pose a risk, so there are no health risks to be feared from a protein shake.[⁹] Those who suffer from an existing kidney disease should keep an eye on the amount of protein. Those affected might even benefit from foregoing protein.[¹⁰]
In any case, if the kidneys are diagnosed with a disease, the intake of protein or protein powder should be clarified with the attending physician.
What makes healthy protein shakes
To find the right protein shake for you, you should know what your goals are. Depending on whether you want to build muscle as quickly as possible or lose body weight at the same time, certain types of protein powders aremore suitable than others. Athletes and others on vegan or vegetarian diets also have the option of plant-based protein powder to ensure their protein intake.
No matter which protein powder you choose, you should definitely pay attention to a tested and very good quality, so that your protein shake is really healthy in the end and does not contain any hidden questionable ingredients.
The composition of the protein powder is crucial
Whether a protein shake is healthy or unhealthy depends on the quantity, quality and valence of the individual substances contained in the protein powder. In order to produce a high-quality protein powder, a careful selection as well as a scientifically sound combination of the individual ingredients is important - only in this way can a high biological value be achieved and the desired effect be achieved. Unhealthy protein shakes made from low-quality ingredients, on the other hand, fail to have positive effects and, in the worst case, even pose health risks. Thus there were already cases in the past, with which manufacturers Protein powder havestretched. That is why it is so important that you pay attention to excellent quality when choosing protein powder for your shakes.
Our ESN Designer Whey Protein is characterized by a high-quality composition - with all eight essential amino acids that your body needs for muscle building and other functions in the body. At the same time, Whey contains little fat and carbohydrates, which makes it suitable for a calorie-restricted diet.
Whey vs Casein: Which protein shakes are healthier?
Compared to Whey Protein, Casein has a slightly lower biological value, but still contributes to muscle building and maintenance with essential amino acids. However, compared to Whey, casein protein is absorbed and metabolized more slowly by the body. At the same time, it provides your body with important amino acids for several hours and thus counteracts the muscle-degrading process - this makes casein protein the ideal protein shake for the evening, your healthy "good night shake", so to speak! And since our ESN Micellar Casein also contains 20 percent Whey, you'll even be supplied with all the essential amino acids!
Healthy vegan protein shakes rely on different proteins
Especially for athletes who avoid animal products like meat or milk, getting enough protein can bea challenge. While there are plenty of vegan protein sources available, not all of them provide a complete amino acid profile. If you still want to ensure your protein needs as a vegan or vegetarian, you cansupplement your healthy diet with protein shakes . A high-quality protein powder will always combine several plant-based protein types in order to provide all essential amino acids and achieve a high biological value.
With our ESN Vegan Designer Protein, we rely on the components pea, hemp and sunflower protein to provide you with enough protein to build and maintain your muscles.
Protein shakes and a balanced diet - a dream team!
Whether protein shakes are healthy or not depends mainly on the right dosage and quality. You can also combine protein shakes with healthy meals, for example, and thus ideally supplement your protein intake. Protein shakes have the advantage that you can enjoy them anytime and anywhere. If you have a stressful day at work, a protein drink will provide you with healthy protein in no time, which your body needs not only for muscle building, but also for a variety of other processes.
Recipe ideas for healthy protein drinks
A protein shake is ready to drink in no time: The recommended dosage on the package is easy to prepare with milk or plant milk in a shaker or blender. But you can make your protein shake even healthier by adding other important nutrients to your recipes:
- Carbohydrate boosters with bananas and/or dates.
- Valuable fatty acids with flax oil or coconut yogurt
- Fruity flavor and vitamins with fruit or fruit powder of your choice
- More calories for more muscle building with nut puree
If you don't want any chunks in your shake, we recommend preparing it in a blender when adding fruit and the like.
By the way: If you don't like protein powder as a shake with water or (vegetable) milk, you can also use the powder for baking or for preparing other meals - the uses of protein powder are versatile.
Conclusion: are protein shakes healthy or not?
A high protein diet is a great way to support weight loss and muscle building. Healthy protein shakes are one way to increase protein intake in this regard.
High protein shakes help curb appetite, boost metabolism and reduce fat. They also help build muscle and improve performance when combined with strength training.
If you don't have an increased protein requirement and consume enough protein throughout the day, you don 't necessarily need to drink protein shakes to achieve your goals. However, if you cannot ensure your protein intake through your meals, protein shakes are a healthy addition to a balanced diet.
More articles about protein shakes
 Hudson JL, Wang Y, Bergia Iii RE, Campbell WW. Protein Intake Greater than the RDA Differentially Influences Whole-Body Lean Mass Responses to Purposeful Catabolic and Anabolic Stressors: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Adv Nutr. 2020 May 1;11(3):548-558. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/advances/nmz106. PMID: 31794597; PMCID: PMC7231581.