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Old Apr 3, 11, 1:25 pm   #1
 
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Protein drinks and the like.....

I see these advertised all the time and I am beginning to wonder if cobined with a workout routine these "muscle building" powders/shakes/drinks do actually help you to build muscle. If so, how much and for how long do you have to drink them for to see any results? I cannot remember why but for some reason I am of the opinion that creatine is a bad thing and they all seem to have that in some form or another.
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Old Apr 4, 11, 7:41 am   #2
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My goal has always been to slim down and get lean muscle rather than bulk up and get bulk muscle so I can't speak from experience.

But I do generally believe that whatever your goal it is healthier to get there with 'regular' food than through supplements and drinks, etc.

'Medical' weight loss where you do injections of B vitamins and appetite suppressants seems incredibly unhealthy to me, for example.
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Old Apr 4, 11, 9:21 am   #3
 
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First, you need to understand that there are MANY different types of protein drinks. It all depends on your goals. You have shakes to gain weight loaded with calories and carbs and you have low calorie shakes with no carbs.
There are POST workout shakes that are loaded with fast acting proteins, and there are shakes you drink before bed that are slow to break down through the course of the night.

Once you understand your goals, you can choose the right supplement for you.
The general rule of thumb is that REAL food is always option one, but for someone like me that tries to consume nutrients 6 times a day, its just not realistic. This is where using shakes as supplements to get that protein in comes into play.

Our muscles need to be fed, and the ideal muscle food is protein coming from many different sources...meats, dairy, whey, etc...

A popular misconception is that if you drink these shakes, you will suddenly transform into a bodybuilder...WRONG! Again, its just another source of nutrients, no different then eating some grilled chicken.

I personally have a low carb whey protein shake between breakfast and lunch, and a Meal Replacement shake with a good distribution of calories/protein/carbs right after my evening weight lifting session. Sometimes I will have another lo carb shake right before bed, depending on if Im trying to put size on at that particular time in my training.

You should look at your body like a car and the food/shakes are the fuel to run that car. Sometimes you use 87 Octane and sometimes you use 93...it all depends on your goals.
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Old Apr 4, 11, 11:59 am   #4
 
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This month's Nutrition Action newletter actually had an article about your exact question. I'd post the article but I used it to catch cat vomit when trying to save my side table (what an excuse, right?).

The article cited a couple of studies which indicated that there wasn't much benefit to these drinks. They concluded that these so called protien drinks were an expensive way to get milk protien. My take on the article was that you would to just a well with a glass of milk + exercise and your wallet would thank you. These drinks also have a lot of extra sugar and carbs added so that might negate the benefits of the "extra" protien.

P.S. The cat and side table are doing well.
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Old Apr 4, 11, 12:04 pm   #5
 
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These drinks also have a lot of extra sugar and carbs added so that might negate the benefits of the "extra" protien.
.
Read your labels carefully.
Great tasting drinks usually = lots of sugar and fat...Muscle Milk for example

Rule of thumb...if it tastes too good to be true, it is!
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Old Apr 4, 11, 5:24 pm   #6
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Thanks for all of the helpful info GINZ!

This is a topic I've been interested in for years, and one that always causes a stir on the swimming forums I follow.

As for me, I usually get a Starbucks protein shake after a morning workout (run or swim) on my way to work. It is pretty good tasting, so I'm assuming it isn't too good for me... I do get it with skim milk, but get an add shot.

After a few months of being a regular at my gym, some other regulars started talking to me, and some mentioned nutrition. I'll never forget a guy telling me that he had 8+ eggs for breakfast every day.
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Old Apr 5, 11, 11:04 am   #7
 
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Originally Posted by GINZ View Post
Read your labels carefully.
Great tasting drinks usually = lots of sugar and fat...Muscle Milk for example

Rule of thumb...if it tastes too good to be true, it is!
I've found the muscle milk light to be ok... it is basically the same nutritional value as a cup of greek yogurt. Costs the same too (around $1/shake at Costco).

IIRC a cup of greek yogurt (skim) is around 10 carbs, 0g fat, 20g protein and 120 calories, while muscle milk light is 10 carbs, 4g fat, 20g protein and 150 calories. Tastes good enough...

I'm not a huge fan of the "artificial" protein but once a week or so I will drink one of those after a hard workout to quickly stabilize my system with protein.

But yes, a lot of the regular protein shakes have way too many carbs or fat.
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Old Apr 6, 11, 6:35 am   #8
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I usually make my own... they're more smoothies, really, much tastier and leaner than what you buy at a GNC (or wherever).

I start with either skim milk or light unsweetened soy milk, and add either plain soy protein or plain whey protein (one with the other works best, I find). Then whatever berries are on hand, always a banana, and acai smothie packs, unsweetened and unflavored.

If you prefer a sweeter smoothie, add some stevia.

Forgot to add: really like to add ground flax seed, or flax seed oil too.
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Old Apr 6, 11, 7:46 am   #9
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I like the CalNaturale "Svelte" shakes. I only use protein shakes when I absolutely do not have time to prepare a meal (like when I'm running out the door to catch a flight and know I won't have time to grab food) but these are great in a pinch.

260 calories is not low but fine for a meal replacement - 10g fat, 40g carb (8 fiber), and 16g protein.

They are quite delicious - the vanilla and chocolate are my favorites, but the cappuccino and chai flavors can be a good breakfast replacement instead of a stop at Starbucks.

I also like that they don't have to be pre-refrigerated (although I like them cold) so on longer trips where I'm checking a bag, I'll throw a couple in my suitcase for mornings when I don't have time for breakfast.
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Old Apr 14, 11, 1:39 am   #10
 
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syntrax nectar is great for a meal replacement or post workout.
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Old Apr 15, 11, 9:27 am   #11
 
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Originally Posted by aztimm View Post
Thanks for all of the helpful info GINZ!

This is a topic I've been interested in for years, and one that always causes a stir on the swimming forums I follow.

As for me, I usually get a Starbucks protein shake after a morning workout (run or swim) on my way to work. It is pretty good tasting, so I'm assuming it isn't too good for me... I do get it with skim milk, but get an add shot.

After a few months of being a regular at my gym, some other regulars started talking to me, and some mentioned nutrition. I'll never forget a guy telling me that he had 8+ eggs for breakfast every day.
I could see how the view from a swimmers perspective would be different from say a bodybuilder...totally different goals when dealing with their nutrition.

I'm not familiar with the Starbucks shake, but I'm sure the nutritional values are available.

My daily breakfast consists of 4 egg whites and 3 whole eggs and 1/2 cup of oatmeal with fruit.
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Old Apr 16, 11, 10:18 am   #12
 
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My personal goals are fat loss and doing a gradual build of muscle.

I eat a fairly low carb diet and high protein diet and my workout routine is pretty evenly split between weights and cardio training.

I use the EAS Myoplex carb control shakes. The 11oz shakes are 150 cal, 3.5g fat, 5g carbs (2g fiber 1g sugar), 25g protein.

For meal replacement, I drink their Myoplex shakes. 17oz, 300 cal, 7g fat, 19g carb (6g fiber 2g sugar), 42g protein.

They taste great (at least to me).

Disclaimer: My employer owns EAS and I get them at a healthy discount. But that being said, I really do like the products.
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Old Apr 18, 11, 11:07 am   #13
 
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Disclaimer: My employer owns EAS and I get them at a healthy discount. But that being said, I really do like the products.
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Old Apr 18, 11, 2:10 pm   #14
 
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Most of that stuff is crap. Most are filled with sugar, which if you are trying to lose weight its not going to happen. My suggestion is to drink water and if you want make yours from fruit and leave out the sugar (remember most juices are also loaded with sugar.)

As an occassional after work out treat (again try for more all natural) but as a steady diet no way. The number of obese people in a gym 3-5 times a week never ceases to amaze me.
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Old Apr 19, 11, 7:49 am   #15
 
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Most of that stuff is crap. Most are filled with sugar, which if you are trying to lose weight its not going to happen. My suggestion is to drink water and if you want make yours from fruit and leave out the sugar (remember most juices are also loaded with sugar.)

As an occassional after work out treat (again try for more all natural) but as a steady diet no way. The number of obese people in a gym 3-5 times a week never ceases to amaze me.
Thats why you have to read lables, no matter what you are ingesting.
Water isnt the ideal post-workout supplement...you need to feed your body after a workout with protein and even some carbs. You just need to be wise when choosing a product by understanding its ingredients and nutritional values.
Protein shakes arent the reason people are obese...Im sure there are larger factors in their lives leading to that.
And Id rather see obese people spending time in the gym then at Mc'D's
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