Authored by Veronica Bergschneider in Weight Issues
Published on 02-20-2009
When people need to gain weight in order to get healthy, doctors often recommend consuming more protein in addition to exercise in order to build lean muscle. Vegetarians, the elderly, and those who may not eat meat for medical reasons generally do not get enough protein through their diets, so a common recommendation is for them to drink protein-enriched shakes.
Doctors prefer that patients eat lean protein or drink the shakes along with their exercise regimens because it is the healthiest way to go. The patient who gains weight by eating too much fat puts himself or herself at risk for many coronary and circulatory problems, including clogged arteries and heart attack. Those who try to use carbohydrates and sweets to pack on the pounds rather than healthy proteins later contract other conditions, such as diabetes and lupus, by not keeping a steady blood sugar level necessary for the proper energy production from the foods. The weight gain associated with exercise and consumption of lean proteins such as those found in nutritional shakes tends to be more gradual and easier for the healthcare practitioner to help the patient monitor.
Protein shakes recommended by doctors for healthy weight gain also contain many other needed nutrients. The fact that they have calcium plus the vitamin D needed for its absorption into the body makes the protein enriched shakes a good choice for women who need to gain weight. The calcium, especially when it is properly absorbed by the body, helps strengthen the bones against osteoporosis, and strong bones can help boost a person’s weight into the healthy range and help support the lean muscle mass the physician wishes the patient to achieve. The shakes tend to contain fiber as well, to promote healthy digestion of the nutrients in the shake and whatever else the person chooses to eat on a daily basis to proved the energy for the exercise needed to build muscles and the tendons that support them. From the nutrition angle, protein shakes provide iron many times for the user, and this helps build lean muscle by strengthening the red blood cells in a person’s circulatory system so they can deliver more oxygen to the muscles during exercise, thus building up his or her endurance to be able to exercise and strengthen the muscles to keep fit.
These protein shakes come in many flavors, from different types of chocolate to vanilla and even fruit flavors, so they appeal to many patients who need to gain weight and get healthy. They also make terrific on the go snacks or meal replacements for busy people who may not have time to sit down to a real meal. It is not wise to use the shakes for every meal, as our bodies still need to digest healthy, solid foods, especially those with more carbohydrates and simple sugars for energy, but used as perhaps one mean and one snack per day, or as the physician recommends, they are tools for achieving a healthy weight.