Thanks for your question! Protein shakes are not necessary for building muscle. The best way to build muscle and see the body composition changes you are looking for is to exercise consistently and eat a balanced diet. If protein foods (such as poultry, meat, dairy, eggs, beans, etc) are included in your meals and snacks throughout the day, you are likely getting enough protein and would not need to consume protein shakes. Another important piece to muscle building that is sometime forgotten is adequate carbohydrate intake! In order to grow your muscles after exercise, you need to be refueling with a meal or post-workout snack that includes both protein and carbohydrates. Protein shakes/powder can be helpful for those who might not able to eat enough protein during the day (ex: vegans/vegetarians or those who dislike most protein foods) or during a meal where protein is limited (ex: if you don’t use milk/yogurt to make a smoothie, a scoop of protein powder can make this a complete snack), but otherwise they are not necessary. If you have questions about your protein intake, it might be beneficial to seek the help of a dietitian and talk to your primary care provider.
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