Let's talk about protein powder. Which one is best? Protein is an important macronutrient that's essential for our body to survive. Every cell contains protein. We've heard again and again, protein is a building block for our body. We see ripped body builders who drink protein shakes and of course, if we want to build our body, we need more protein, right? It's hard to get enough protein, right? Protein powders offer an easy alternative, right? I'm sorry to burst the protein powder myth, but in fact, it can be downright harmful.
If there's one thing we have bought into hook line and sinker, it's protein powder. Sadly, protein powder is the poster child for processed foods. People have been so conditioned to believe that it's an essential part of a healthy diet, especially if you are spending time at the gym, that any information contrary to the protein powder propaganda, just doesn't seem to sink in.
Even so, I'm going to give it a go. Let's talk about why protein powder is not in your best interest.
1. Protein powders are highly processed. The proteins have been denatured making it difficult to use and detrimental to your body.
2. The very thing you are consuming to make you healthy, is in reality contributing to stress on your body.
3. Preservatives, often GMO ingredients, artificial flavors, synthetic substances, and unhealthy forms of dairy are all hallmarks of most protein powders. Can I add an emphasis here? Many of the ingredients in protein powders, as well as some of the processes used are nothing short of toxic! Why are you paying money for this stuff?
4. You may want to have the ripped abs of a professional body builder, but when you consume excess protein through protein powders and animal proteins, it's likely to be stored as fat. Unfortunately, consuming protein powders is more likely to sabotage your efforts than provide any real benefit.
5. Why would you be better off drinking a protein shake than eating real food?
6. We love thinking that something as convenient as shaking up a powder could actually be good for us. Nothing could be further from the truth. Come on guys, eat Real Food! Powders, potions and pills are never going to be able to deliver the same quality as real food and in many cases, they do more harm than good.
7. Too much protein consumption can lead to a myriad of health issues. It's taxing on your kidneys, liver, arterial walls, it can also have an adverse affect on bone density.
8. When your animal protein and protein powder consumption goes up, your fiber consumption almost always decreases. This is a recipe for a health disaster. Particularly your digestive health.
9. Protein powders do not meet your nutritional needs. Real Food is complex and will meet many of your other nutritional needs, protein power... not so much. You're robbing yourself of the benefits of real food.
10. Whey and casein are the most commonly used protein sources in protein powders; however, these have been denatured. Instead of being helpful protein sources, they become harmful.
11. Don't let the above point lead you into thinking plant based protein powders are ok. These plant based protein powders are not even close to a natural form of plant protein. Again, they are highly processed with chemicals and additives that are not your friends. You can do better than that! Eat food that looks like food.
12. We need a variety of protein sources. Animal proteins have an important amino acid profile, but plant proteins contain phytonutrients, antioxidants and fiber that is absent in animal proteins, as well as more vitamins and minerals.
13. Again, we need a variety of protein sources: fast and slow release proteins, animal proteins, in moderation, and plant proteins.
14. It's thought that athletes need to consume more protein, while that may be true to a certain extent, consuming a high amount of animal proteins and protein powder is not the answer. As much as I love the sport of body building, if body builders are not careful in terms of the type of protein they consume, they set themselves up for serious health issues.
15. If you are exerting a lot of energy as an athlete, it's important to consume more calories from a variety of whole foods. All foods contain protein. When you increase your whole food calories, you also increase your protein. When you increase your volume and variety of whole foods, you ensure that you meet all your macronutrient needs, not just protein.
16. We need to focus on higher quality protein, accompanied by fiber and a host of other nutrients to be obtained through the consumption of a variety of whole foods. We do not need every essential amino acid in every bite of food. We will better meet our nutritional and protein needs by focusing on eating a variety of whole foods.
18. Contrary to company claims, NO protein powders are high quality protein. It's denatured protein. It's not complex and certainly not nutrient dense. You don't want to begin and end your workout fueled with crap.
19. The good news is, you can get the protein you need from eating Real Food. In reality, the Standard American Diet is not lacking in protein. In fact, too much animal protein, not enough plant protein and poor quality protein is the bigger problem.
20. When it comes to protein, it's not about eating more. It is about eating the right amount, in the right way. Whole foods have the right balance of nutrients. Protein powders are highly processed: a lab's concoction. Nature always gets it right!
Read more about protein here and for a real food protein shake check this out.