To shake or not to shake? There has been a lot of speculation about protein shakes in the news lately and whether they are good for you or not. Our nutritionist Ryan Maude has put together some facts about protein to help you come to your own decision. Protein is an umbrella term for 20 amino acids. There are 9 essential amino acids that the body cannot produce itself and must be supplemented through food. Protein is responsible for the repair and growth of cells within the body. Too little protein and the body will repair at a significantly lower rate. Too much protein can also cause bloating, upset stomach and in some serious cases, even kidney failure. Protein shakes can be be extremely effective when used in the right situations. Upon waking is one, the body has been fasting for several hours and will require fast absorbed macro nutrients. The other is directly after exercise to avoid muscle atrophy and keep the body anabolic. They are effective in these situations as liquids are absorbed faster than solid food. One protein shake after you have exercised is more than enough. The rest of your daily macros should be found through food. Protein shakes should not be used as meal replacements. They are a SUPPLEMENT, which means they should be used on top of a balanced diet. So, the top and bottom of it is that protein shakes will never be as effective as a balanced/measured meal so get out your knife and fork and fill up on food.