Many people don’t actually know whether they “need” protein shakes or not. Commonly, people think that if you exercise, you need protein shakes and if you don’t you don’t need protein shakes. And while you generally don’t “need” them in the strictest sense of the word, there are many excellent reasons for drinking them, including reasons determined beyond whether or not you exercise. Therefore, this is a list of 4 excellent reasons for drinking protein shakes.

1. You don’t consume enough protein through your diet

In simple terms, we all need a certain amount of protein for our bodies to function optimally, regardless of whether we exercise regularly or not. There can be a number of reasons why you don’t consume enough protein through your diet, maybe because of your food preferences, certain allergies and intolerances, or perhaps your budget restrains you from cooking protein dense meals. Whatever the reason, this is where drinking a protein shake might be a good solution for you.

2. Some of your meals are lower in protein than others

For many people, it is important to spread out the protein intake throughout the day, as this has been shown to have certain performance and growth benefits. To alleviate this, a protein shake might be the perfect solution to go along with the low-protein meals. Breakfast is often a carbohydrate-intensive meal for many, which can make the blood sugar spike and decline before lunch, leaving you with a lack of energy around 10.30 a.m. However, with a protein shake, the energy in your body can be burnt slower and decrease the intensity of the blood sugar spikes and hopefully help you make it all the way till lunch without a drastic energy decline between the two meals.

3. You exercise regularly so you need protein for the recovery process

To gain or stimulate muscle, it is necessary to first workout. Often carbohydrates are used to fuel workout and provide easily accessible energy for the body to tap from. For the recovery process though, protein is the macro-nutrient that aids the muscles in rebuilding. Subsequently, active people have a higher need for protein, as their muscles experience more strain and need to recover more frequently. In this case, a protein shake might be a valuable tool for consuming that additional protein for the recovery process.

4. You are new to the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle and are not familiar with the ins and outs of plant-based protein yet

Many newcomers to the vegan and/or vegetarian diet experience a lack of imagination when it comes to substituting the protein usually consumed through meat. Despite there being a vast variety of plant-based protein sources, not all of them are common knowledge, and it can take a while before you get into the routine of cooking meatless dishes. In the meantime, it might be a good idea to drink protein shakes to ensure that you get the protein needed for sustenance, while you become fully acquainted with the plant-based kitchen.