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Many people decided to start taking protein shakes or meal replacement shakes as an easy way to obtain the extra protein needed when bodybuilding. However, how do you make an informative decision on which shake is best? The market is flooded with many different types of protein shakes all claiming to help you achieve the results you are striving for. Read on for a few basic points to consider before you decide whether to take protein shakes or meal replacement shakes.

1. Protein Overload? Can you overload on protein shakes? We all know that protein is one of the most important aspects of a bodybuilder's diet. Most professional bodybuilders seek out nutritionists and stick to a strict regimen under care of a professional. As an average gym enthusiast are you drinking protein shakes appropriately? Do you know just how much protein your body mass can handle? One important fact to remember is that the body can only utilize around 25 - 30 grams of protein per serving. Often time's advertisements make claims of 50 grams or more in each serving. Beware that the overload of protein will not be utilized by the body. And that's not to say these products aren't good, it's just to say not to decide based on that fact. If you do decide to go with one of these products- keep in mind you can divide the serving side in half.

2. The second thing to consider is what you are using it for. Most likely it will be for one of the following three reasons: to lose weight, increase your daily intake of protein, as a post workout recovery drink, as a meal replacement or to gain weight. If you are using the protein shake and meal replacement shake to help you lose weight then choose a protein intake that is low in carbohydrates. When choosing this make sure your looking at a product that has a protein to carb ration of 2:1.

3 Give consideration to the type of protein in the shake. Whey is a good protein source and quickly digested. Whey protein (the fastest digesting protein) is beneficial after a workout when you need to supply your body with nutrients quickly but not most favorable at other times. Soy protein for women, casein, egg white breaks down slower and supplies nutrients for a longer amount of time.

4.Watch your Calcium levels when taking protein shakes. It is important to remember that increasing your daily intake of protein will cause your body to leech and excrete this very important vitamin. Calcium supplements may be needed. This is especially important for women.

5.Convenience & Timing. Protein is essential to your desired results of building strong muscles. Protein shakes offer a convenient solution to arrive at the daily amount of protein you will need for your muscles to grow. While it is important to load up on the tuna, chicken and protein in your regular foods, there will be a few times in the course of your day when protein shakes will be the better option. Right after your long workout, it is vital to give your muscles the protein they need to help repair and rebuild.
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