protein shakes...waste of money???

#1
thinkin about gettin some shakes for improved muscle mass

are they worth the wedge though or a rip off gimmick???

i try to eat as much protein as i can each day... try n get 1g of protein per pound of body weight..plus plenty of carbs coz i dont wanna lose weight from the calories am burnin.
 
#2
Chris_2oo6 said:
thinkin about gettin some shakes for improved muscle mass

are they worth the wedge though or a rip off gimmick???

i try to eat as much protein as i can each day... try n get 1g of protein per pound of body weight..plus plenty of carbs coz i dont wanna lose weight from the calories am burnin.

I make my own protein drink, bit salty though.
 
#4
I dont know whether they're a rip-off or not, how much do they cost?
What I do know, is that for a simple, cheap and healthy source of extra protein, try tinned fish.
Tuna, sardines, pilchards whatever. Most people are put off by the idea that they will stink of fish after eating them, they're wrong, just chew a stick of gum afterwards.
Oily fish is full of protein, and essential fatty acids, omega 3-6 blah, blah, its good for your heart, your skin, your joints and eating sardines straight from the tin always means you get plenty of space on the train. :wink:
 
#5
My brother in law gave me a big tub of MET-Rx whey protein supplement to mix with milk. I drank 1 or 2 every day, and was going to the gym regular. I put on over half a stone of muscle in quite a short time. It was really useful for me to put on weight as I have trouble keeping my weight up.

So I'd say yes, they can be worth it. If you buy a good one and workout alongside it.
 
#6
It's not a magic formula.

You're aiming in the right direction in terms of the amount you are trying to digest, but try these as well....

60gms of oats, with 350-400 ml of skimmed milk for breakfast.
And / or, any amount of egg whites, plus one whole egg in the form of an omlete.

Lunch is to be made up of vegetables or salad and...

Chicken or
Fish or
Egg whites or
Steak

Same again for evening meal.

Cottage cheese before bed.

Use the shakes with skimmed milk (more protein) mid morning and mid afternoon.

Also take one IMMEDIATELY after weight training, but ONLY mixed with water. (The milk will slow its absorbtion into your system, and after training, you need it ASAP.)

Also, try to get some healthy fats, through nuts.

Then also supplement with....

Creatine Ethyl Ester (2 - 3gms before and after training)

REMEMBER, always give each muscle group 48 hrs to recover, or you won't grow.

The weights stress the muscle.
The protein feeds the muscle.
Sleep, and ONLY sleep (with protein fed muscles) makes them grow.
 
#7
They are, effectively, a waste of money. Although they will help you bulk up, any good source of protein in a balanced diet will do the same. Unless you are at the extremes of body building - where there are other health issues - don't bother. Eat a good balanced diet, and exercise sensibly.

The weights stress the muscle.
The protein feeds the muscle.
Sleep, and ONLY sleep (with protein fed muscles) makes them grow.
Spot on: but remember the biological realities on the protein needed:

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein according to U.S. government standards is 0.8 gram per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of ideal body weight for the adult. This protein RDA is said to meet 97.5% of the population's needs...An adult male who should weigh about 154 pounds, or 70 kilograms, requires about 56 grams of protein daily.
So, noting that this recommended protein allowance includes a safety margin (the scientific analysis comes out at 0.6 gram per kilo, but they upped it to 0.8 to cover any funnies), let's say you're a big, 14 stone monster, who's training like a loon: we'll therefore up your daily need by another 20%, to 1 gram per kilo per day (so we're now 40% above the calculated need for the avaerage male population).

14 stone is less than 200 lbs - let's work it out for 200 lbs, because you want to be even bigger, you hunk... that's 90 kilos: so you 'need' a massive 90 grams of protein per day. That's under 4 ounces... So a single quarter pound burger has all the protein you need.

Bottom line: if I were really worried about adding protein to my intake, I'd go for healthily cooked chicken in sensible portions.

It's more important to make sure that you have all the ingredients needed for health in your diet: carbohydrates, fruit, veg etc.
 
#8
Just switch whatever you usually drink for skimmed milk and continue to eat a healthy balanced diet. Money you might spend on protien supplements is probably better spent on other supplements of specific vitamins/minerals and so on (See your weight training mags for the latest research or try a recognised supplement program such as the Cybergenics one). I am a little out of date with what is on the market but the bottom line is if its just a protien supplement its probably a waste of money.
 
#10
Nibbler said:
14 stone is less than 200 lbs - let's work it out for 200 lbs, because you want to be even bigger, you hunk... that's 90 kilos: so you 'need' a massive 90 grams of protein per day. That's under 4 ounces... So a single quarter pound burger has all the protein you need.

Bottom line: if I were really worried about adding protein to my intake, I'd go for healthily cooked chicken in sensible portions.

It's more important to make sure that you have all the ingredients needed for health in your diet: carbohydrates, fruit, veg etc.
For the average person with a typical metabolism maybe, but that's gonna do nothing for a hard gainer trying to gain weight or muscle mass
 
#11
Hard gainers wont benefit from eating too much, they will just get fat!
Protein is only part of the story.
 
#12
They are not a waste of money if you get the right one.
DONT BUY FROM ARGOS!!!
(how many serious weightlifters do you think buy from argos?)
Remember protein shakes are literally a protein supplement, they should be taken along side a balanced diet and you must do enough exercise to regularly use up the protein your consuming.
MUSCLE ISNT BUILT IN THE GYM! you tear muscles in the gym, and with sleep and protein they re-grow.

Are protein shakes a waste of money? is protein a waste of money?

Go on ebay and type: dorian yates pro-mass
I have been using the above for some time now and notice muscle gains every two weeks roughly
 
#13
Thermal_Warrior said:
It's not a magic formula.

You're aiming in the right direction in terms of the amount you are trying to digest, but try these as well....

60gms of oats, with 350-400 ml of skimmed milk for breakfast.
And / or, any amount of egg whites, plus one whole egg in the form of an omlete.

Lunch is to be made up of vegetables or salad and...

Chicken or
Fish or
Egg whites or
Steak

Same again for evening meal.

Cottage cheese before bed.

Use the shakes with skimmed milk (more protein) mid morning and mid afternoon.

Also take one IMMEDIATELY after weight training, but ONLY mixed with water. (The milk will slow its absorbtion into your system, and after training, you need it ASAP.)

Also, try to get some healthy fats, through nuts.

Then also supplement with....

Creatine Ethyl Ester (2 - 3gms before and after training)

REMEMBER, always give each muscle group 48 hrs to recover, or you won't grow.

The weights stress the muscle.
The protein feeds the muscle.
Sleep, and ONLY sleep (with protein fed muscles) makes them grow.
Thats the best advice i've ever heard regarding diet for muscle mass, the only downside being you have to be quite disciplined in your diet, which isn't the hardest thing in the world if you're committed. Cheers TW, I'm gonna print a copy of that and stick it to me fridge.
 
#14
Chris_2oo6 said:
thinkin about gettin some shakes for improved muscle mass

are they worth the wedge though or a rip off gimmick???

i try to eat as much protein as i can each day... try n get 1g of protein per pound of body weight..plus plenty of carbs coz i dont wanna lose weight from the calories am burnin.
Speaking as a civilian gym instructor, I'd consider it a waste of money. Slightly off topic, keep in mind that different types of body tissue require different rates of protein (or virtually none at all) e.g. pound of active muscle tissue will obviously require *more* than a pound of bone or organ tissue or fat, so don't get overly concerned about eating X amount of protein / day, as the less protein you consume, the more is utilised for intended purposes (lean mass gain) and not excreted as waste or used up as a source of energy.

Most protein in these shakes is refined whey which is metabolised *very* quickly compared with "natural" slower digesting protein sources such as whole milk, whole eggs, fatty meats etc. - something to keep in mind as someone previously mentioned, muscle is built when you sleep (possibly hours after training / eating). You sound like a "hard gainer", so make sure to get plenty of quality fats in your diet aswell to support muscle growth.

I'd take that money and spend it on quality food - milk (dairy), eggs, meat, or even make your own protein shakes e.g. when I was putting on size for rugby as a prop I'd combine eggs, whole milk and sometimes yoghurt. Eggs are treated now anyway to destroy bacteria so shouldn't be a problem. It's an acquired taste, but just suck it up and think of the money you save :)

People that have difficulty keeping / increasing their weight: eat often; eat balanced meals (combining foods e.g. scrambled eggs laden with milk and butter on wholegrain bread or meat with rice / pasta); snack often; keep yourself hydrated as water forms a large component of muscle tissue; try to eat before you go to bed (aslong as it doesn't disturb your sleep); train every other day to avoid overly stressing your joints and allowing your muscles to recover / grow; make sure you get quality undisturbed sleep.
 
#15
Cheers Morty. Glad I could be of some use.

I tried to simplify my answer, to help people new to this understand it all.

However, for those of you who doubt the advantages of protein, or think that you don't need as much as I say, you're wrong.

If you are training, you need MUCH more than the RDA for 95% of males.

For fooks sake, if 95% of males trained hard, we wouldn't have the obesity levels we do in this Country.

I'll try and find some of my other data, and I'll copy it out on this forum in a second. I'm sure I know where it is on my system.

Prepare for an in depth 'cut and paste' jobby....
 
#16
Have been weight training and using protein supplements myself I will add my ten pence worth.

Everything said about the importance of sleep and diet is spot on, protein shakes and supplements are only a small part of the answer.

A dietician friend of mine said that you aim to eat around 1.2 - 1.7 grams of protein per kilo of your body weight. She advised me to stick to 1.2 grams as there is evidence that beyond that your body just doesn’t use it. However a lot of body builders I know say 1.7 g is right. It’s your choice. However I stuck to 1.2g and it’s worked for me.

Protein shakes are useful because it can be hard to eat a lot of protein rich foods and protein makes you feel really full. So it’s an easy way to digest in a liquid form a large amount of protein. The key is to fuel your body regularly and also eat before you go to bed. Your body needs fuel whilst sleeping and you wouldn’t go six hours through the day without eating would you?

The diet plan recommended by Thermal Warrior looks good, similar to what I do. But in addition to that you need to weigh your self regularly and take a note of everything you do at the gym, record weights you lift etc so you can see if you are lifting more as you progress. A record of what you are doing is the only sure way to know if it’s working.
 
#17
Knew I had it somewhere. Here is a few words regarding protein and it's advantages in 'Whey' form, found in 99% of shakes.

Any trip to a supplement store will reveal no shortage of large tubs of powder with all sorts of fancy colors and eye catching words. There is no denying the popularity of protein powders - especially whey protein - as their lure has expanded outside the bodybuilding community to the general public who are looking for a quick protein fix. If properly selected, whey protein can be a very valuable supplement. However, if not correctly educated, any consumer can end up with a tub full of wasted money.

Whey Protein and Lean Body Mass

Whey protein is a type of protein derived from dairy products. (Cow’s milk contains about 6.25% protein with 20% being whey. The rest is casein.) It has the highest biological value (a measure of the ability of food protein sources to deposit nitrogen into muscle tissue) of any dietary protein. The reason for this honorable distinction is that whey boasts an extremely high concentration of essential amino acids and the highest concentration of branched-chain amino acids (20-25%) of any single protein source. This quality of whey makes it extremely useful in repairing muscle following exercise and promoting its growth. Protein sources with high amounts of branched-chain amino acids, such as whey, are particularly effective in repairing muscle.

Therefore, using whey as part of a post-workout shake will help enhance the benefits of an exercise session, especially if it consists of high-intensity weight training.

Whey Protein and Fat Loss

A recent animal study showed that whey protein was more effective for weight loss and improving insulin sensitivity compared to the same amount of protein from red meat. Perhaps recent studies showing that dairy products such as milk and yogurt can aid with fat loss has something to do with the whey protein they contain?

Microfiltration and ion exchange are the techniques by which proteins are extracted according to their specific size and electronic charge. Cross-flow ultrafiltration and advanced microfiltration extraction methods can now produce a whey isolate that is 99% pure, leaving less than 1% fat and lactose.

In contrast, whey protein concentrate can range from 30-85% pure protein and thus, contains more non-protein substances such as lactose. As a result of this discrepancy, whey protein isolate is considered superior to whey protein concentrate for muscular repair following exercise since it can work much quicker and contains more pure protein than concentrate. Whey isolate is also less likely to cause adverse gastrointestinal problems such as bloating in response to lactose intolerance.

To purchase the best whey protein powders:

Find a product with mostly whey isolate. To obtain the muscular repair and antioxidant boosting properties of whey, it is important to find a product with more protein isolate than concentrate. This means whey protein isolate must be the first ingredient. A protein powder supplement that says “97% whey protein isolate” on the front label does not necessarily mean the product is 97% isolate – the whey isolate they are using just happens to be 97% pure protein. Isolate may be the third or fourth ingredient in a blend of different proteins.

Ignore proprietary blends. Many companies will come up with a name for their protein blend and then trademark it to make it appear better than the rest. In the ingredient list, you will see this protein blend, and in brackets it will state what makes up this blend. Since ingredients are listed in order of quantity, if concentrate is the first ingredient in the bracket and isolate is the second, then you are getting more concentrate. Companies will use more concentrate because it is much cheaper.

Choose a whey protein that has been processed using low heat. Since cysteine is easily destroyed by excessive heat, low-heat processing will ensure the whey isolate protein can fully donate cysteine to produce the antioxidant glutathione within the body. These protein isolates are also known as un- or non-denaturated. A protein powder with un-denatured whey isolate as the primary protein (first ingredient) is a high-quality supplement. Cold processing will also ensure that the powder maintains its high biological value.

Check serving size. The best whey protein supplements will be mostly protein with very little other stuff (e.g., sugar, fat, preservatives). This is not supposed to be a meal replacement powder, so the calories should not be very high - between 80 and 125 calories is ideal.
To determine protein quantities, take the number of grams of protein per serving and divide this by the total serving size. This needs to be as close to 100% as possible. There are now whey protein powders available that contain only one ingredient: whey protein isolate. This would bring the percentage to approximately 100%.

Whether someone is a bodybuilder, suffering from chronic disease or just concerned about overall health, whey protein isolate should be part of any supplement regimen and included as part of a healthy diet.
 
#18
It also helps fight off many conditions too.

Whey Protein and Immunity

Whey protein contains a high concentration of the amino acid cysteine, which occurs in whey linked to another amino acid called glutamic acid. This link forms glutamylcysteine (rare in food protein) and appears to be unbreakable by digestive enzymes. Glutamylcysteine is found in whey as part of the biologically active peptide microfactions, beta-lactoglobulin, serum albumin and lactoferrin.

Once in circulation, cysteine is used to make a very powerful water-soluble intracellular antioxidant called glutathione (GSH) within the human body. As an antioxidant, glutathione serves to protect cells from free radicals species including carcinogens (cancer promoters), peroxides and heavy metals. Glutathione also functions to help keep the antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E active so they can continue fighting disease-causing free radicals.

Whey protein is considered a very viable cysteine donor since more glutathione production seems to occur when cysteine is delivered linked to glutamic acid than just free cysteine. This important immune boosting characteristic of whey has its potential usefulness in conditions such as AIDS, atherosclerosis, Hepatitis B, Alzheimer’s and cancer being researched. Typically low levels of glutathione are found in those with these diseases. In addition, intense exercise typically generates more free radicals as a result of improperly processed oxygen molecules, and therefore, the antioxidant boosting properties of whey protein would be useful.

Whey protein may also stimulate antibody production since 10% of whey’s protein is composed of immunoglobulin antibodies and is therefore a useful supplement for diseases such as AIDS in which improving the immune system is crucial.

Sorry for all the long posts, I just felt that a few folks needed educating.
 
#19
Think of it another way Chris,

Refined whey - such as those found in alot of protein shakes - behaves similarily to eating simple sugars (e.g. sweets) for carbohydrates, it cannot provide a constant supply of amino acids to the blood (to supply to your muscles to synthesis muscle tissue) as refined whey creates a "spike and crash" in your blood system:

The bloodstream is overwhelmed with too much fast digesting protein and the body overcompensates to remove the excess protein resulting in low amino acid (protein) levels in the bloodstream for an extended period of time (hardly a great body environment for putting on muscle), just like eating large amounts of simple sugars / carbohydrates results in a massive insulin response to bring your body back into balance, resulting in most of the simple carbs being converted to fat*.

*( Yea ok, there's a storage area for carbohydrates - your liver - so if you've been working very hard and eat alot of simple carbs then most of it gets turned into glycogen for liver storage and not so much fat, but there is no storage area similar to the liver for protein, which is why I argue in favour of natural foods / slow digesting protein sources that will sit in your stomach for 3-5 hours and gradually digest / release amino acids into your blood stream to build muscle, whereas refined whey sits in your stomach for 30-60 minutes and gets converted mostly to an energy source, body fat, or removed as waste).

You probably know yourself that this isn't conducive towards gaining muscle, hence why you're probably eating alot of (wholegrain?) breads, cereals, pastas, rice etc so as to ensure a steady release of energy into your bloodstream.

The same applies to protein as it does with carbs. An argument people may use is that "their body is at a near disastrous level of nutrient depletion and requires an immediate fast digesting source of protein / carbs to ensure all of their muscles don't catabolise and they turn into a famine victim."

Nonsense mate. ~60/90 minutes of moderate resistance / cardio training (or 30/60 minutes of intense interval training) is not going to burn up the thousands of calories worth of glycogen supplies in your liver and muscles.

Ah well, read both sides of the argument and make up your own mind :lol:
 
#20
Thermal Warrior - interesting post - what's your source for those facts: a scientific article, or a pitch from a whey protein user/manufacturer? There's no doubt it can help, but the fact remains that it ain't 'necessary'.

Consider the fact that some of the 'biggest' historical bodybuilders (think Arnie) achieved their bulk before it was commercially available. Their 'magic bullet'? Eggs...

I also tend to agree with Glasgow Jock: just like chocolate bars, a protein drink will spike the quantities in the blood: the body's reaction is to attempt to restore it's 'norms', and much of the stuff will be metabolised or excreted.

Whatever works for you, enjoy it - but there is no need to spend money on supplements for 99.9% of people. Other factors like consistency of training, balanced diet, and adequate rest are far more important.
 

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