Protein shakes work, but most people are just fine without them, says a new video from Brit Lab.

Co-host Chris Van Tulleken explained whey protein shakes and powders were once exclusive to bodybuilding; the rate at which they work out far exceeds the rate the average person does. Actually, liquid whey was once used as pig food before it was dried out to make supplement powder, Van Tulleken said. But once bodybuilders started using it as a cheap and easy way to load muscle, it wasn't long before "clever marketers" came around and led the general public to believe it was part of a healthy lifestyle.

Yes, protein is essential to muscle recovery, but you don't necessarily need the amount found in some shakes. In the UK, men and women already eat 30 to 35 percent more protein than they need. And when you overconsume protein, it can either be excreted in urine, turn into carbohydrates or, worse, turn into fat,Van Tulleken said. So shake consumers could gain weight everywhere but the muscle they were hoping to build.

That said, there are some foods naturally rich in protein that can work for people who still feel like they need a punch pre- or post-workout. Milk and low-fat yogurt have proven equally effective, Van Tulleken said, with several studies showing chocolate milk in particular can help adults with their workout, brain, and the environment. Vegetarians can draw strength from foods like algae, quinoa, and legumes. Studies have shown these are among the healthier, fiber-packed sources of protein.