Almost everyone can get enough protein from foods. Healthy adults should get about 45 to 56 grams of protein a day.
Protein shakes are used mainly by athletes who need nourishment right after their workouts, says Jose Antonio, chief executive officer and co-founder of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN).
Protein shakes can range from 100% protein to mostly carbohydrates with a little added protein and fat. They come a variety flavors in powder form or in ready-to-drink packages, such as cans or foil packs.
Choosing a Protein Shake
Read the label.
Protein shakes vary in protein content. "If you're a body builder, you're going to shift to the drinks that have a bit more protein, " Antonio says.
If you're an endurance athlete, like a marathoner, you may favor drinks with more carbs, Antonio says. But the most important thing is simply to drink something after your workout.
If your goal is to lose body fat, change to a protein shake that's mainly protein, has fewer carbohydrates, and only a little bit of fat.
"Make sure the product is more than 50% protein if your goal is body fat loss, " Antonio says.