Understanding Meal Replacement Shakes

sent from Herbalife Friend
Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Meal Replacement Shakes

It is under appreciated by many just how radically our modern lifestyles, with their hectic schedules and long hours, have impacted our diet. The days of sitting down to three square meals are fast fading and many individuals are resorting to shortcuts -skipping meals and replacing them with fatty, salty and calorie-laden snacks. And, as so many headlines proclaim, one of the consequences of this change in dietary habits is a massive increase in the prevalence of obesity.

The list of health serious health hazards associated with obesity make grim reading: cardiovascular disease, increased blood pressure, increased risk of stroke and heart attack, diabetes and even some forms of cancer are among the horrid consequences of being morbidly overweight. Other less well-known hazards emerge as well – overweight individuals are more likely to lose balance when they stumble: the added weight and weaker musculature make it difficult for them to correct their posture, with the result that they are significantly more prone to sustain bone fractures in a fall. Any measures which can prevent and reverse this health issue, which has reached epidemic proportions in many Western countries, must be seriously considered.

Are Meal Replacement Shakes Nutritious? One such measure might well be the judicious use of meal replacement shakes as part of one’s daily diet. Far from being a fad or a gimmick, these shakes are usually carefully formulated to provide a high protein, low sugar, highly nutritious dietary supplement. They are exceptionally nourishing and safe, so much so that, provided one takes the precaution of checking first with a physician or pediatrician, they can also be used as healthy snacks for children over 10 years of age.

For individuals who are seeking not only to lose excess weight, but build a lean, muscled physique as well, it may come as a surprise to discover that more than 50% of the success in acquiring and maintaining a healthy shapely body lies in the diet. While reducing simple carbohydrates and fatty foods is essential to shedding unwanted pounds, building firm muscle mass depends upon an adequate supply of protein. Meal replacement shakes supply protein in abundance, usually in the form of ‘protein hydrosolates’. These are proteins which have been partially broken down and require less complex digestion once they enter the body. Moreover, protein-rich meal replacement shakes have been shown to increase the body’s anabolism – the processes by which new muscle tissue is built – when consumed within an hour after completion of exercise.

So long as they are not used as a total replacement for food, these nutritionally balanced meal replacement shakes can be of benefit to everyone, from the office worker to the busy mom to the strength or endurance athlete. The highly dense, enzyme-enhanced, low calorie formulations in these meal replacements deliver all the nutrients a healthy body requires – proteins, complex carbohydrates, amino acids, pro- and pre-biotics, proteins, phytonutrients, naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, and even dietary fiber. While saturated fats are known to be unhealthy, and are associated with cardiovascular disease and weight gain, some daily fat intake is essential to a healthy diet. Meal replacement shakes frequently also include essential fatty acids to cater to this requirement. The protein in the shakes, as mentioned earlier, is abundant and usually consists of whey protein, soy or yellow pea and rice bran.

Food Supplements, Not Food Substitutes

‘Ultra-nutrition’ through meal replacement shakes occurs when healthy meals, preferably made from whole foods and low fat options such as lean meat, poultry and fish, are supplemented with meal replacement shakes. For many individuals, this effectively means that diet can be enhanced by substituting one regular meal per day with a shake. High level athletes in training need to eat more frequently than more sedentary groups, to receive all the nutrients their power-house bodies require to maintain their musculature. Generally, this means five meals a day, although different sports have varying requirements. If two of these meals are substituted with meal replacement shakes, excellent results can be obtained – meal replacement shakes are especially convenient before a workouts; whereas eating a heavy meal prior to these events will inevitably result in considerable gastrointestinal discomfort.

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