People often ask me whether they need to drink protein powder at all… That is a good question, why drink protein shakes? Most people who increase their physical activity ask themselves “should I drink protein shakes?”
Here are a couple of typical things that they say:
- “Surely I can get all of my protein from normal food sources? I enjoy eating tuna and eggs, surely if I eat a couple of eggs and a can of tuna in addition to my normal meals, I will have plenty of protein to repair my body?”
- “If you care about your health and you are going to the gym and committed to your training, aren’t you taking a step back by drinking a processed protein drink? The last time I looked at an ingredient list I saw artificial sweeteners, colors, preservatives and flavorings. Not to mention stimulants like taurine, caffeine or ephedra. How can you be a health freak and drink that poison, it is hypocritical”
I cannot argue or disagree with any of these points. Yet I still have this protein powder website… What gives?
Why drink protein shakes? Here is my view
If we are lifting weights, do we need extra protein? Why drink protein shakes when there are so many whole food alternatives?[/caption]
Lets break these points down a little bit…
… To the point about protein from normal whole food sources, of course, there are plenty of protein sources out there. You pay your money and you take your pick, there are pros and cons to different types.
For example, you could build muscle by only eating eggs, if you can stand the side effects. You could just eat beef all day long, although you might struggle to digest that much.
You could get all the protein you need from protein powder, but I wouldn’t recommend this either.
I recommend different sources of protein throughout the day, so that you have a mixture of types of nutrients, protein chains and amino acids in your system.
So yes, you do not need to drink protein shakes and powder, but they are convenient pre or post workout, they store well and are easily digested. You can supplement your normal meals with extra tuna or eggs, just as you can with powder.
… I agree that processed foods tend to be unhealthy, but it is not because they are processed per se. The word process just means that there is a step by step plan ingredients-to-end-product.
Taken literally, even organic raw vegetables undergo a process from farm to plate… They are planted, harvested, washed, sorted, transported etc…
If you are avoiding artificial additives and stimulants then well done, me too! It is not the processing in itself that is bad, it is the additives and the choices of processing aspects.
For example, did you know that a lot of brown bread is made from flour that has been bleached white, then dyed brown again? I kid you not… I don’t know what wacky scientist devised this plan but bleach is chlorine, one of the most poisonous toxins known to man…
A brown loaf of bread that has bleached and dyed flour is different to a loaf of brown bread made from whole grain organic flour. But both are processed right?
Processed does not have to equal bad, processing allows us to store food for longer. I personally drink either natural protein powder such as brown rice powder or egg powder, or I pick a non GMO, gluten-free, no artificial sweetener type powder. But that is just me…
We all have a choice of what food that we put into our bodies
… If you want the action-packed chemically enhanced protein powder that turns you into incredible hulk for a little while then go ahead. It is your body, your life, your freedom to choose what you eat and drink. As long as you are not eating small children or people’s limbs then that is fine by me.
I think that we need to lighten up on the “holier than thou” attitude to food and drink. We live in an age where everything we need to know is just one Google search away. It is up to you what you eat or drink. Ignorance is not an excuse anymore.
When Doctors recommended cigarettes decades ago, we did not know about the serious health effects. Now we do, the same goes for health and nutrition.
Unless you live in a cave, you know what to do, you just need to do it. Actually, if you live in a cave you are probably eating healthily and do not choose processed food anyway. Heck if you live in a cave you will not be reading this…
To the people who say that we should or should not eat or drink certain foods, and get emotional about it, I say pick a better cause. It makes me laugh when people get uptight and critical about nutrition, when there are children going hungry in our neighborhoods.
Drink protein shakes, don’t drink them. If someone asks me “should I drink protein shakes?” I tell them it is entirely their decision. I advise that protein powders and shakes make an excellent supplement, but only in conjunction with an overall healthy and diverse diet.