Many gym fans consider them to be a real miracle cure: protein powders that make muscles grow. But do I really need protein shakes? Stiftung Warentest has tested 21 manufacturers – and gives clear recommendations.
Whether in the drugstore, in the supermarket or at the counter in the gym: protein powder is lined up in colorful cans, in a wide variety of compositions and at different prices. What used to be consumed only by bodybuilders and professional athletes is now a constant trend among hobby athletes from yogis to weightlifters. According to Stiftung Warentest, every fifth German citizen regularly consumes protein shakes. The powders are usually mixed with cow or plant milk in a shaker and drunk to regenerate after exercise.
The trade has long since adapted to the needs of the sporting target groups. In addition to the classic milk protein powders, there are also vegan variants that rely on vegetable protein sources such as peas or lupins. There are varieties especially for women and powders that also contain vitamins and minerals. But what about the quality of the products? Are there any harmful substances? Do I Really Need Protein Shakes to Build Muscle? Stiftung Warentest has examined a total of 21 manufacturers with vanilla flavor.
Protein powder: This is how it was tested
Various criteria were observed during the tests: pollutant content, prohibited substances, taste and protein quality. After all: all products passed the doping test. No dangerous substances such as anabolic steroids were found in any of the powders. But there were four candidates who were conspicuously contaminated with pollutants, including aluminum, nickel and various mineral oil residues. Although no product is acutely hazardous to health, the exposure could be avoided, judged the testers.
In terms of protein quality, Stiftung Warentest checked the so-called amino acid score. It describes the efficiency with which proteins from food can be converted into the body’s own proteins. Most of the powders performed very well or well here. Only one vegan product disappointed with “sufficient”. The sensory assessment of the vanilla flavor was also mostly good to very good.
How do vegetarians get enough protein?
These are the best sources of protein for vegetarians
Do you want to forego meat and fish? Not an issue, because we will tell you how you can easily cover your protein requirements with steak & Co. So much can be revealed in advance: It will be delicious!
This is how Stiftung Warentest rates it
There is no clear recommendation for the protein powder from the experts. Therefore there is no test winner. Stiftung Warentest rates the best powders as “overall okay”. This is, for example, the “Muscle Protein 90 Vanilla Flavor” from the manufacturer Champ. However, with a price of 19.50 euros (780 grams) it is also one of the more expensive products. The “Protein 90 Shake neutral taste” from dm Sportness for 6.45 euros (300 grams) is also okay.
Organic powders like the “Vegan High Protein Shake” from Pur Ya failed in particular. According to the test, this product is “significantly to heavily contaminated with harmful substances”.
Do you know what the protein in our body is needed for?
What is the role of protein in the body?
In addition to fats and carbohydrates, protein has an eminently important role in our diet: Without this macro-nutrient, our body cells would not exist. All enzymes and hormones are also made up of protein.
Do i really need protein shakes?
Stiftung Warentest says very clearly: The vast majority of athletes do not need any additional protein! Here is a calculation example: A healthy adult needs around 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For a woman weighing 65 kilograms that would be 52 grams of protein per day. This amount can easily be consumed with normal food.
And when it comes to building muscle, the importance of protein shakes is often overestimated, because the powders alone are of little use. In fact, your muscles are particularly happy about regular exercise with adapted training plans. Or you just try out a few new courses or sports. So you give your muscles new stimuli and challenge them.
There are of course exceptions to the rule. Protein shakes can be useful for certain athletes. Stiftung Warentest names top gymnasts, ballet professionals and ski jumpers, who often have to pay attention to a very low competition weight and thus cannot always consume enough protein. The protein powders can also be useful for athletes when traveling, because a full diet can also be neglected here.
If you still don’t want to do without protein shakes, you should pay attention to the quantities. Because the powders are pretty calorie bombs that hit your hips easily if consumed in excess. A protein shake after your workout and then a sumptuous dinner? Not a good idea! You should always consider the shakes as a snack and adjust your main meals accordingly.
Do you have kidney problems? Then protein shakes are taboo for you. Because if you take in too much protein, a lot of urea is produced during breakdown in the body, which can put a lot of strain on the kidneys.
Anyone who loves shakes will be surprised by new ideas. And many of them help the figure.
Makes you feel full: This matcha shake leads you to a bikini figure!
Would you like to start the summer fit and slim? It’s not too late for that! With the delicious matcha shakes from Happy Detox Tea you can lose excess kilos in a healthy way, so that you are guaranteed to feel good in your skin in the lido, at the lake or in the sea. The best: With us you save over € 17 on 15 sachets in five different flavors!
Natural protein suppliers: the alternative to the protein shake
Those who eat a balanced and healthy diet provide the body with all the important nutrients it needs. Dairy products such as quark, yoghurt or buttermilk, for example, provide good proteins. You can mix yourself a completely natural protein shake from milk, quark and a banana, for example. Lean meats like chicken or turkey are also good sources of protein. Last but not least, fish and seafood also have valuable proteins ready. Vegetarians and vegans can use legumes such as beans or peas instead of meat to do something good for their muscles.
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