Remember the times when adverts used to say “take this pill and lose weight in so many days”? Remember the teas that promised a waist-sized drop within in a week? Well, these marketing illusions have merely transformed and morphed into promoting something different called Protein shakes – they range from whey, casein, pea, soy, egg etc. You see it everywhere – on gym posters, Instagram, Facebook – a strong, lean, muscular individual posing with the latest brand of protein shakes.
The tone of this article may sound a bit cynical but hairs should stand on end when it comes to drinking anything containing calf’s milk. Which is basically what whey and casein (the most popular protein shakes options) are – baby calf’s milk.
The deal with milk
Milk has long ago raised eyebrows by nutritionists and determining studies question the true effects of dairy in our bodies. Acquired research shows dairy linked to cardiovascular disease and cancer. Other studies show no link between bone health and drinking milk. So, what is the real role of milk in our diet? The obvious answer is calcium. But there are other sources of calcium, such as soy milk, leafy greens, beans, and legumes. They are not as broadly advertised and indoctrinated as milk, but they are options and none of them is linked to possible death (stand under correction).
So, why the need for protein shakes?
Doing a simple google search on protein shakes and death will have these headlines top the results list:
“How One Bodybuilder Died from Drinking Too Many Protein Shakes”
“Bodybuilder’s death could be linked to excessive protein shakes”
The question is – how beneficial are protein shakes?
This is all dependent on your lifestyle and your intention for using protein shakes. If your main objective is losing weight, loading your body with protein shakes will not do the trick. What these ads don’t show you is all the hard work, training and discipline behind the bodies of the athletes and models posing with these protein shake. There is no easy way out or magic pill when it comes to transformation – eating a healthy balanced diet which is high in leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach and broccoli could prove more beneficial in upping your protein intake.
And if you are a hardcore athlete, then things are obviously a bit different. The reason most serious athletes use protein shakes is due to muscle depletion. And it does not simply involve drinking a protein shake whenever – actual planning and strategy is involved in drinking it. For example, protein shakes are categorised into three groups: isolate, hydrolysate, and concentrate they are manufactured for different people and their roles in the body vary. Timing in terms of when to drink your protein shake also plays a huge role in seeing results. See the complexity?
Regard protein shakes as a supplement and not a meal replacement
Protein shakes could help if you are LACKING in protein and partake in extreme athletics. Otherwise, there is nothing protein shakes can give you that actual food won’t. In fact, it they may even be a better alternative. Foods such as eggs, chicken and as said before, leafy greens are sufficient for increasing your protein levels.
The Take Aways
- The best diet is a clean diet filled with leafy greens
- Keep processed products at a minimum.
- There are no easy ways out – Put in the hard work
- Practice mindfulness when it comes to what goes into your body.
- If you do need a protein shake, opt for the organic and dairy-free kinds – such as pea, soy or chia.