The concept of drinking a Protein Shake may have you conjuring up images of big, overly built body builders, with their muscles and veins popping in every direction as they chug some goopy, raw egg mixture. Protein shakes, however, have come a long way in the last five to ten years and can be a great supplement to any individual's diet, even those who aren't looking to 'beef up'. Personally, I have become a huge fan of Whey Protein, and have a Whey Protein shake every morning after I exercise. Granted, it is always better to eat 'real' foods as opposed to shakes, but here are a few good reasons to give them a try:

1. Time Saver: The Protein shake is a great way to get some nutrition into your day without a lot of preparation. Most protein shakes, whether Whey, Soy, Egg or any other type, requires two ingredients: Milk or Juice and the protein powder.

2. It's Cheap: At first glance, protein powders might seem very expensive, but in reality, they aren't. Once you actually divide the number of servings into the price, you will see that one serving costs anywhere from $.50 to $1.00. If you add a serving of milk, you are paying a total of around $1.50. C'mon now, if you bought a muffin at Starbucks, you'd be spending at least $2.50.

3. Muscle Repair: Even if you aren't a body builder, protein shakes are good for helping repair your muscles after a work out. Why is this good? It allows your muscles to recover faster, which allows you to to build muscle more easily, to reduce injuries and soreness related to working out, and to feel better during your workouts.

4. Great Tasting: As noted above, today's protein shakes are a far cry from Arnold Schwarzenegger's body building days. Is a matter of fact, a lot of the protein shakes out there are mighty tasty. They come in yummy flavors like chocolate and vanilla.

5. Healthy Alternative to a Mickey D Shake: No kidding. If you have a craving for a chocolate shake from McDonald's you can BET that a protein shake is much healthier for you. See below for the nutritional comparison:

If you decide to give it a 'shake', make sure to use one that is natural. Avoid those that either have a lot of sugar in them or use artificial sweeteners or flavors. Products using stevia are safer and healthier options.

Have you tried any protein shakes? What do you like about them?

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