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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

To Shake or Not to Shake....

By Jordana Haspel

You've probably heard all about how important protein is when you're trying to lose weight and build muscles—the more protein the more muscles. So protein shakes are becoming increasingly popular as people search for shortcuts to success. Protein shakes can, in fact, help you tremendously as you strive towards physical fitness, but not necessarily in the way you think.

It is very important to get enough protein when you're exercising; protein is the key component of the body's ability to grow, adapt, and perform. When you work out, you're taxing your body, so you need to make sure you're taking in what you need to keep your strength. If you're not getting enough protein, you will have trouble reaching your peak performance. Protein shakes can help avoid this.

This doesn't mean, however, that the more protein the better. Too much of anything is never a good thing—even if that thing is something as essential as protein. Unless you want to join the WWF or become the world's top bodybuilder, you won't need an excessive amount of protein (most women can't digest more than about 25 grams per serving). Products with more than that are trying to grab you with marketing ploys instead of results (in contrast, our Beachbody brand Whey Protein Powder and Protein Bars have 18 g).

So why a whey shake? Protein shakes are often helpful because many foods with a lot of protein also have a lot of fat. You can exercise all you want, but if you get all your protein from bacon, you might not lose too much weight. If you replace the bacon with a shake, the amount of protein would stay roughly the same, but the fat content would take a nose dive. And while ideally you'd be getting your protein mostly from properly-prepared skinless chicken breasts, turkey, and fish, in today's world many people don't have the time, discipline, or know-how to do it right every meal. If that's the case, you're much better off going for the blender instead of McDonald's. In other words, protein shakes are a great way to supplement your diet to make sure you're getting enough protein. So shake it up!

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Exercise and proper diet are necessary to achieve and maintain weight loss and muscle definition. Results may vary. Always consult your physician and/or healthcare professional before beginning any exercise and/or diet program. Any testimonials featured may have used more than one Beachbody product or extended that program to achieve their results. Any response or information given is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace the advice of a physician and/or healthcare professional. If you experience any pain or difficulty with exercise or diet, stop and consult your physician and/or healthcare professional immediately.

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