Zionsville Times Sentinel

Commentary

October 17, 2012

Oh for goodness shakes



It seems that the health and fitness industry has the shakes again.

I’m not talking about tremors or vibrations, but those fluid concoctions that promise to be all the nutrition you need regardless of your goals or needs.   

Actually, shakes have never gone away. Their popularity rises and falls, but I have never seen a surge like this. Let’s do the wise thing and educate ourselves before deciding to shake or not to shake.

What is a “shake?” Usually marketed as a “meal-replacement” to help with fat-loss, these beverages are engineered to be high in protein (10-25 grams/serving), low in carbs and have a varying but generous blend of vitamins and minerals. Shakes come packaged as a powder you can easily mix or in a small, portable, disposable “ready to drink” version, which only requires you to punch in a straw (attached) and suck it down.  

Shakes normally come in two flavors, chocolate or vanilla, because they are easy to blend with other flavors (fruits for example), with strawberry showing up from time to time.  

Why are shakes so popular? Because they can really work, especially for fat-loss, and for those “on the go” types that need a quick, healthier meal option. Shakes are super-convenient, fairly well-balanced in nutrition, tasty (or easy to make tasty with a slight modification) and finite in calories, offering meal discipline.

Sounds pretty perfect, right? Sure they do, but there are three things to consider before you start shaking uncontrollably.

 1. Do I need this? In my opinion, not everyone needs to add a meal replacement shake to their diet, but they can definitely serve you for these purposes:

• to assist in beginning a fat-loss program to establish good eating patterns/behaviors, and offer some initial discipline and success

• to replace a meal you need but are choosing to skip for whatever reason, especially breakfast and lunch (no one skips dinner, are you kidding me?)

• to replace a meal where you would normally grab a convenient, but not-so-healthy item

• as a post-workout product to replace your energy and offer resources for your body to rebuild itself; and

• as a quality, disciplined snack that bridges the gap to your next meal, and gets you through tricky, cheat times

2. Is there a plan? Regardless of the promises and convenience of shakes, don’t be fooled. The best nutrition for your body is real food. When considering a nutrition plan that involves shakes, look for a progressive plan to ween you off the shakes and onto real food as you experience success and discipline. But, feel free to keep the shake in your food arsenal especially for the reasons I listed above.

3. What are the ingredients? Turn over the food label and take a look. What’s in it? What is the protein source? Looks pretty good right? Just one catch: the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate supplements but leaves it to the company to make sure the ingredients inside are as the label says. So be careful and remember nutritious, quality ingredients are expensive and companies can skimp and use inferior ingredients. For example: two common protein sources — soy and whey — both have some negative health benefits and allergenic properties. You might also consider a certified vegan product since those guys are even more picky than the FDA.

Personally, I love shakes for all the great reasons I have listed above, but they don’t define my nutrition. They are a useful tool providing a specific niche in my food plan, but real food is the base. Use your brain and do some homework to decide if a shake supplement is right for you and your body.

Mark Moreland is the owner of Body Outfitters Personal Training Studio in Zionsville and has 13 years of experience as a personal trainer. Mark welcomes your comments and ideas for future topics. He can be reached at mark@bodyoutfitters.com.

1
Text Only
Commentary
  • Travel track record remains 'perfect' I may have mentioned I have a track record for traveling to places at "interesting" times: hurricane, monsoon and rattlesnake seasons, for example. My track record continues to build. I was in Seattle for measles season. OK, it wasn't so much a season as an "exposure."

    April 16, 2014

  • Want better teacher ratings? Ask the kids The state may be back where it started, encumbered with a flawed teacher grading system, a year after implementing what were meant to be tough new standards. That was the general consensus of the State Board of Education days after teacher evaluation data were released last week. Of 50,000 public school teachers graded by their principals, less than one-half of 1 percent were deemed “ineffective.”

    April 16, 2014

  • Spring into warm-weather activities safely Of course. Mother Nature finally supplies a day of sunshine and warmth inspiring kiddos to run outside; moments later a bike wreck brings the fun to a screeching halt. Fortunately, a bandage and a kiss remedy the skinned knee. The incident also offers this mom an important reminder. After a winter fighting bitter cold and piles of snow we are all anxious to finally get outside. In the rush to enjoy days of sunshine, pausing to recap a few safety rules ensures the days go smoothly.

    April 16, 2014

  • Add 'ups' to your spring to prevent Injury Welcome back spring! We all missed you so much and can’t wait to be outside soaking up every wonderful thing you have to offer. Our bodies are ready for the activity, fresh air, and a healthy level of UV rays. I can’t wait to mulch, bike, plant, 5k, swing, dig ... well, maybe not mulch. As you fly recklessly into your spring favorites and to-do lists, use these tips to care for your body to maximize your efforts and keep you safe.

    April 16, 2014

  • No Internet for blind date checks in Dark Ages A friend posted on her Facebook last week that it was her 23rd anniversary. That number in itself was pretty noteworthy in this day and age, but what made it noteworthy for me was that she was married to a man she met on a blind date.

    April 16, 2014

  • Anything goes at Beef & Boards Eighty years ago native Hoosier Cole Porter wrote the music and lyrics for “Anything Goes.” Six days ago it opened at Beef & Boards dinner theater. The show, which is a fun, music-filled voyage aboard the SS American, proves yet again that there is more than corn in Indiana.

    April 9, 2014

  • House Ethics Committee faces first major probe since 1997 Steering lawmakers through a rewrite of the state’s criminal code won House Judiciary Chairman Greg Steuerwald bipartisan accolades this year.

    April 9, 2014

  • Frontier Airlines fouls, strikes out I've been fortunate to have traveled frequently — mostly in a past life, prior to returning to the newspaper business. I knew things had changed, but I'd flown since 9-11 and thought I was pretty much up to speed on policies when I traveled to Washington state at the end of March.

    April 9, 2014

  • To save or not to save ash trees? Since arriving in the United States around 15 years ago, the Emerald Ash Borer has proven to be a devastating pest of green and white ash. To date, it has killed millions of ash trees and, if left untreated, appears to result in 100 percent mortality of infested trees.

    April 9, 2014

  • Eating as if life depends on it Back in the spring of 2008, I was fortunate to have heard two nationally respected authors speak in Indy.

    April 9, 2014

Order Times Sentinel photos


Photos from April 2014

Facebook
Twitter Updates
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide