Our expert says:
No, I don' think you need a protein supplement. First of all, they have little proven benefit and considering that your goal is to build a little muscle, I don't think that they are needed, even discarding the possibility of side-effects. The thing is, given that your diet has never really been looked at, and that you've just been training generally, you have two possible avenues to explore - you can look at the diet, and you can look at your training. Supplements need not even be a consideration right now.
Then you add in the side effect issue, which is a real one. Unfortunately, no one can really assure you of the side effects of many products, because they're never tested. No science is ever done, so the risk of side effects is completely unknown. Protein shakes are a little different - they probably don't have major side effects in the normal dosages, but the problem, and the real risk you run here, is that if you take them, you'll gain fat mass, not muscle. THat's because the training must be geared towards gaining muscle, and your total energy intake needs to be carefully controlled as well. Which brings you back to the same point as before - diet and training are really crucial here, and the first things you should look at. So I'd look at them before anything else, because regardless of what you decide on the protein shakes, if you don't get them right, you'll end up getting fatter, not more ripped.
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