Anyone who’s ever tried to improve their body shape by building muscle, will tell you that it’s not just as simple as turning up to the gym and lifting a few weights. In order to make serious muscle gains you will need to be on the right kind of diet, and stick to it religiously. The key ingredient in that diet is protein, and you’ll need to dramatically increase your protein intake if you want to have any chance of building that extra muscle.

You can do this by adjusting the foods that you eat, but that will mean eating loads of extra chicken, red meat or nuts – all of which are high in protein. The simpler way, though, is to take a protein supplement – which will, most likely, mean drinking protein shakes. These are a great way of getting the extra protein you need, all you need to do is drink one shake twice a day and you’re ready to build that muscle!

Or so they tell you on the packet… in real life, it’s just not that simple. Don’t get me wrong, protein shakes do everything they claim – they’re scientifically proven to help build muscle, but there are a few drawbacks that aren’t ever discussed. First of all, they’re incredibly expensive – manufacturers are definitely cashing in on people’s desires to improve their bodies, and charging a premium for the basic ingredients that go into these shakes. You can buy whey protein powder separately, and mix up your own drinks in a blender – a bit of milk, and some fruit… you could save a fortune. It’ll also help with the second drawback – the taste. There’s no way around it – whatever the flavour it says on the tub, most protein shakes taste awful.

If you’ve managed to hold your nose long enough while you drink, you’ll soon notice the bloated feeling that these shakes can give you. They can play hell with your digestion, at least while you’re getting use to them, and can make you feel like running to the toilet instead of the gym.  If you’re combining these shakes with any other type of sports supplement, you could make things worse – even the best pre workout supplement can leave you feeling a little full, so with a protein shake on top you could be ready to burst – not the best way to prepare for a strenuous weights session.

So, try them if you like – they probably will help…  getting that muscle bound body you’ve always dreamed off won’t be plain sailing, but hopefully one day you can look in the mirror and know that it was worth it in the end.