How Healthy Are Protein Shakes?

You’ve no doubt noticed the physical-fitness worldwide trend, and the ensuing onslaught of products revolving around the exercise industry, including protein shakes, bars, and other supplements that pepper the check-out aisles of supermarkets all over the world.

You’ve probably tried these products yourself; in fact, you may take one or more on a regular basis. But with the risks of high blood pressure, kidney failure, and countless others that people talk about, are protein supplement products healthy?

The fact is, for the most part, they are. While it is true that high blood pressure can occur for a wide variety of reasons, and that consuming too much protein can result in renal failure, the occasional or even daily use of protein supplements is rarely dangerous.

Your kidneys can indeed be overloaded by too much protein if the amount is severe enough, and particularly if that overdose in portion is sustained over long periods of time it can be dangerous. And most people already do absorb more protein than they need; the usual requirement is only 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight for those with sedentary lifestyles.

But for people living more active lifestyles, such as professional athletes or even serious amateurs, experts recommend consuming double that amount: around 1.6 grams per kilogram of weight. Many people don’t reach that amount of protein, but some do.

You can also reduce your risk of physical damage by making sure you drink enough water. Health experts actually say that while most people think the classic recommendation of “8 cups of water per day” is accurate, in fact you get most of those 8 cups from your food intake already. However, if you are taking protein supplements and working out on a regular basis, you should actually drink those 8 cups of water per day in addition to whatever foods you consume.

Therefore, though it is true that protein shakes, bars, and powders can be damaging when taken too heavily (as can almost everything else), with a little self-moderation and by drinking enough water, you can severely reduce your risk of associated health problems.

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