Posted: Feb 27, 2013
Dietary supplements such as protein powder, meal-replacement shakes and protein bars are not just for hardcore athletes such as bodybuilders. Everyday people can also benefit from their use – provided they are used correctly. Purposely having them as a way to cut calories is not how to use them. This is because any weight loss seen will most likely be regained once you stop using them and resume your old habits (unless you are planning on having the supplements for life).
Instead, they should be used when you are in a pinch for something to have and for convenience. For example, having a protein smoothie for breakfast because you are pressed for time and need something easy, fast and portable is smart. Keeping protein bars in your car in case you are out longer than you expect and need a snack in order to avoid going too long between eating is another great way to use them. Or perhaps the snack you planned on having spoiled and you don't have anything else to eat. Reaching for a protein bar or pre-made protein drink will solve the problem. And speaking of pre-made protein shakes – they are a great choice for a snack if you are in a meeting and feel uncomfortable eating in front of others. Simply sipping on a shake will quell any hunger and not be seen as rude or disruptive.
Finally, have a protein shake after a workout is a convenient way to consume protein but it is not any better for you than having a tuna sandwich or grilled chicken breast.
Mark McGill, RD