Protein powder – Useful or not?
In principle, you should always strive to ensure that the protein supply of the body is met through a balanced and normal diet. We have also learned that in order to ensure a complete amino acid balance, many different sources of protein should be used. However, a diet that contains a lot of meat, dairy products or legumes is often associated with many negative adverse effects, such as purines, cholesterol or just a very high carbohydrate intake. Some people can even encounter kidney, heart (artherosclerosis) and digestive issues and flatulence. In addition, an increase in protein intake means an increase in the amount of food to be consumed. But the human digestive system and especially the stomach only have a certain capacity to digest and work with.
Therefore, to prevent a constant feeling of fullness and to limit the negative side effects, it may be advantageous and cost-effective to replace a small part of the protein supply with protein shakes.
For persons with a lactose-intolerance who cannot tolerate dairy products due to milk sugar(=lactose), protein shakes mixed with water also have the advantage that they can still take high-quality milk and whey protein without at the same time having negative side effects. In some cases though, small traces of lactose can be found in protein powders, which can cause gastrointestinal issues for people with lactose intolerance. If you suffer from lactose intolerance you can either eat enzymes (lactase) to help digest dairy products, consume lactose-free dairy products or even experiment whether or not protein powders have a negative effect on you. As with any nutrition and diet advice, always consult your physician before starting any new exercise and diet regime.
Protein shakes also have other benefits that are not to be found in the field of nutrition. A protein shake is prepared very fast and there is no time and energy lost for cooking. Also, a protein shake is usually much cheaper than the same amount of protein in the form of meat. It’s also easy to transport with you and drink in between, unless you have enough time for a complete meal, just as you would at school or at work or when traveling. An idea worth noting is if you supplement the shake with an additional source of carbohydrates, such as oatmeal or bananas and a high quality fat source like a tbspn of olive oil, you quickly consumed a complete meal without much trouble.