T Nation


Hey Dudes,

Just want to ask you guys out there for your opinion on how important protein shakes are to you for maintaining a clean diet when trying to cut up. Does it make it way easier on you to not have to prepare as many food meals, as well as the pseudo-chocolate taste? Any thoughts? I just remember that when in high school (when I could afford the shit) I was quite lean and drank a lot of shakes as meals. Any thoughts?

Protein supplements are not necessary, but it makes it so much easier to get your protein requirements. I use them year 'round.

Actually when I am cutting I use them less usually just once a day, before bed. On the low cals I want real food.

When bulking I take em down though.

Just my 2cc

When I am home I don’t use protein powders that often except for post workout. But at school I use them a lot because the meat sucks on some days or I am stressed out and don’t have time to eat well so I grab an mrp.

for post and pre workout nutrition, i find protein powders key. quick absorption of nutrients and a way to buffer post-workout catabolism and begin recovery. as a meal replacement, in situations where no other reasonable food is available, protein shakes provide a suitable alternative to eating unhealthy. although you can go without the powders, i find that i need them to make my protein requirements, and would rather have that then eat something i’d regret.

I’d agree with what’s been posted so far.

In general, the advice I tell people, and the advice I follow myself is:

When you can have real, solid food, do so. When, because of time, logistics, or some other reason whole food isn’t reasonable, use your shakes.

Sometimes I may just be too full feeling for solid food, but I still gotta eat. So I’ll have a shake. That’s rare though.

Post workout, of course, is always a shake. Surge or some surge-like product.

Just eat what ya gotta eat to get the job done. When you start consuming 4000+ CLEAN calories, you realize how much solid food that is, and most often, because of jobs and school and other reasons, shakes make it more feasible to reach your goal, whereas you may fall a thousand or so cals short if you were using whole food alone.

Just do whatcha gotta do man.

When you were quite lean in high school, it’s because you were high-school age, not because you were drinking protein shakes. When I was in high school, I skipped breakfast, ate cheddar popcorn for lunch, had a huge dinner with lots of butter on my potatoes and vegetables, and then a massive amount of high-fat ice cream or a milkshake right before bed. And I was quite lean. Those days are over, forget about it! ( Not that I am bitter or anything. :wink: )

I find shakes useful when dieting; I usually have one per day. It’s best, though, to get whole foods for most meals, IMO.