Could someone please talk to me about protein shakes?

(5 Posts)
RubberDuck Sat 13-Jul-13 14:07:24

Just started a Stronglifts 5x5 program and OMG the DOMS!

I've been looking into protein shakes as I don't eat a huge amount of protein and someone suggested it might help with recovery times. Or at least help me negotiate the stairs at work two days after a workout grin

Only, I can't decide if protein shakes are bullshit or not. I tend to be fairly anti supplements with the exception of vitamin D in winter, but I did have a (vile tasting) protein shake at the gym last session and do feel less sore than I have on previous occasions (coincidence as getting stronger or psychological, maybe?) Is there really any benefit over having a large glass of milk when you get home?

Assuming that protein shakes are the way to go - can anyone recommend brand/flavour? A lower lactose version might be helpful too. Don't care about diet/low cal. The gym I'm at sells go pro whey and the strawberry flavour was fairly artificial and vile. Also, it seems to cost a small fortune buying each time I'm there so I'm assuming the 15 min drive home before making my own won't make that much difference.

mercury7 Sat 13-Jul-13 17:29:34

I wouldnt bother, calories from food are generally better for you and cheaper.

Protien shakes and meal replacement drinks are handy for people who struggle to get enough calories down them but there's nothing magic about them which makes them better than food (assuming it's a healthy balanced diet)

They wont help with DOMS.
DOMS tend to get less severe as your muscles get used to being worked trained regularly.
I've strength trained consistently for several years and have generally found that certain muscle groups are more likely to hurt after training

Thistledew Sat 13-Jul-13 17:56:43

I have just started using recovery products for the triathlon training I have been doing. I found that after a prolonged and intense cycling session: 3 1/2 - 4 hrs of training including over 1000 m of climbing, I was not so much getting DOMS, but that in my next training session I would start off with a lactic feeling in my legs which wouldn't ease.

I eat a good balanced diet with plenty of carbs and protein, but I felt I was really struggling with the training.

I have been using the Torq recovery system for the last few weeks and although I still get DOMS, I am able to keep up the intensity of the training.

I really like the Torq products. They don't use artificial colours or sweeteners and the products are not as sickly sweet as a lot of others. They publish a lot of info on their development and research too, so they really justify why they use each ingredient. I use a recover drink after an intense training session, and really like the strawberry and cream flavour. I am also using their recovery+ drink, which is designed for twice daily use during particularly intense training sessions, and comes as a rather lovely hot chocolate.

As to whether you need it, the question is really whether your DOMS is preventing you from keeping up with your training session. If it is not, then there is little point in taking supplements. If it is, and you already eat a good diet, then a decent recovery product will help you keep up with your schedule.

TheArmadillo Sat 13-Jul-13 18:19:45

You can make fruit & greek yoghurt smoothies (thinned with milk if necessary) which work out as similar amounts of protein to protein shakes if you prefer.

I use a chocolate soya protein powder to make a breakfast shake with almond milk and fruit every morning. But that's because it's an easy, tasty full of protein breakfast. I am also lactose intolerant and there is only so much meat/fish/eggs I can eat for protein.

I do weight lifting and find that a higher protein diet helps in general (I do still eat carbs). I find the best thing to help with recovery is to make sure I eat enough and also to keep the muscles moving/active through cycling/walking. Stiffness and pain definitely gets worse with inactivity.

RubberDuck Sun 14-Jul-13 19:58:17

Thank you - so fairly evenly divided between don't bother, make your own, and pick carefully grin

I do have a fairly good and healthy diet, but do consistently fail to eat enough protein so I need to be better at finding alternatives that I like that I can introduce into my diet. Real food obviously the ideal.

Thistledew, interesting re: the Torq products giving more info. I had a look at the one my gym sales and they seem to have hardly any real information at all and full of artificial sweeteners and flavours (although no artificial preservatives, so that's okay then!). I think I'll give the recovery drink a try, just for the days I train to see if it helps and simultaneously make more of an effort to eat more real-food protein as well.

Thanks all smile

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