Protein Shakes are Effective – Fact or Fiction?


Photo Credit: rbbaird (flickr.com)

History tends to repeat itself. Decades ago, steroids were the forefront of bodybuilding. Every bodybuilder used it, even Governor Arnold admitted to using it at some point. When it became illegal to carry or use steroids without a prescription, people started looking for other ways to building muscle quickly.

This came in the form of protein powders, which indirectly influences bodybuilding through repairing and developing muscles at a rapid rate, allowing the bodybuilder to put more work into building mass. To put it simply, it provides a benefit in physical activity. Today, protein powders have little to no side effects when used correctly and carefully, but it is still under fire from critics who believe it as the second coming of steroids.

There are a lot of factors why this is so. First, protein powders aren’t tested by the FDA. This leaves the protein product manufacturers freedom to put whatever they want on the label, whether they’re accurate or not. They can also freely make claims to the effectiveness of their product.

This misinformation is often the root of anti-protein stances. But if you really look at it, most of the anti-protein powder people receive their information from hearsays and secondhand stories. Not that it’s any different for the pro-protein stance.

For instance, a lot of bodybuilders who use protein powders attribute their results to the products. What they usually fail to mention is that they know exactly what protein powders are capable and incapable of. They also know how to use it to maximize effectiveness.

If you’ve seen protein supplements that advertise themselves as “100% protein” or something similar, these bodybuilders themselves actually careful enough to not believe the hype. If you ask them why, they’ll tell you to look at the label and you’ll see that there are a lot of other ingredients to make the protein powder. Simply put, it’s not 100% protein at the slightest. Manufacturers simply tend to exaggerate their adverts to boost sales.

A similar, yet more serious, topic that reflects this back-and-forth debate is the legalization of marijuana. Anti-weed factions often say it is a gateway drug, but then you see a lot of stoners who have not used any other drug.

This stalemate will go on for a long time. But is the effectiveness of protein shakes fact or fiction? The fiction is in the marketing strategies. Protein shakes are rarely what they’re advertised to be. The fact is that it is effective, but only if coupled with exercise and a healthy diet.

Related Links:

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Why You Need to Be Careful When Choosing Fat Burners

Photo Credit: ultimatefatburnerreview.com

 

We’ve all heard it before: you’ll never have to exercise, never have to watch what you’re eating as long as you take this little pill. Unfortunately, there isn’t such a thing as magic pills and you will not magically lose weight just by taking one, not unless you couple it with some hard work and a lot of sweat and determination.

It is also unfortunate that there is no scientific proof that these pills exist. In fact, they are categorized as dietary supplements by the FDA and it also means that nobody has to prove that they work. Studies done on these supplements also show how limited they are as far as effectiveness in helping you lose weight is concerned, despite the fact that they supposedly contain ingredients that can burn fat.

In fact, experts have repeatedly warned against purchasing these fat burners as there were some to be found containing illegal and potentially deadly chemicals like 2,4-Dinitrophenol or DNP which has been linked to a number of deaths in various parts of the world. What is even more worrisome is the fact that there are manufacturers who disguise the fact that their products contain DNP with labels like “100% caffeine,” “burns fat” or “boosts muscle growth.”

This is just one reason why experts warn bodybuilders and non-bodybuilders alike to be vigilant about purchasing their fat burners. Purchasing the wrong kind can lead to health complications like fever, dehydration, nausea, vomiting, restlessness, flushed skin, sweating, dizziness, headaches and irregular heartbeats depending on how long you’ve been taking them.

Fat burners are usually a combination of herb-derived stimulants, essential fatty acids, chromium picolinate, pyruvate and/or hydroxycitric acid. Herb-derived stimulants will usually contain caffeine and ephedrine and stacked together in one weight loss product to supposedly help you increase your energy and increase your metabolism.

Essential fatty acids on the other hand, combined with flax seed oil and garlic are supposed to increase muscle mass and burn fat and have actually shown some significant results in controlling fat and weight gain, as well as taking care of the adverse effects that people experience when they are on a diet. Chromium picolinate and pyruvate have not so far shown any promising results but hydroxycitric acid or HCA supposedly stimulates the breakdown of fat, but again, no real results have been produced despite repeated testing so far.

Which is why, when you choose your fat burners, make sure you don’t choose based on hype or because it was recommended by friends. Fat burners need to be able to address your specific weight loss issue in order for them to really work for you but at the same time you also need to do thorough research on fat burner information, like the ingredients they contain and their safety as well.

And lastly, fat burners can be quite expensive, costing as much as $50 to several hundred dollars a pop. You don’t want to be spending your hard-earned cash on something that won’t really work for you and will only delay you from achieving your fitness goals. Never believe as well that taking only fat burners is fine because nothing beats taking them along with a good exercise regimen and eating a balanced, low-fat diet high in complex carbohydrates.

 

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Fat Burner Buyer’s Guide Q&A (mensfitness.com)

The Top 10 Weight Loss Supplements  (huffingtonpost.com)