3 Reasons You Don't Need a Protein shakes(and a great information source to help you pick one if you don't believe me)
A great question came through on our Facebook page the other day about protein powders. Are they even okay to eat? If so, what to look for, brands, etc?
Protein supplementation is one of the most widely debated topics in the wacky world of fitness. If you were to do your own research, you will find lots of compelling arguments for an against using a protein supplement. If you go in without an opinion, you're going to come out more confused than when you started.
That said, allow me to throw my name in the confusing sea of protein talk.
There will be little to no science here. There is enough out there on both sides to really make it null. If, after reading my side of the story, I will give you a great source to help pick your powder wisely. I have personally had great results with weight loss(dropped 100 pounds), performance enhancement(2:58 marathon, 115 mile ultramarathon), as well as muscle and strength building(gained 40 pounds in two years). Throughout all of these phases, I was constantly learning. My results were driven by my passionate obsession with what's going on in the body.
Throughout this time(it's been about 9 years already), I've never found a compelling reason to drink a protein shake. Here are my reasons for abstaining:
1. You don't need it.
This is a pretty big one to me. Why spend the money if you don't need it? Real food is cheaper, and most of you only need .5-.75 grams of protein per pound of body weight. My thing is, if you have goals, you don't take shortcuts. If you can't take the extra minute to get some chicken ready(or chia, hemp, beans, nuts, or whatever for my herbivore friends), you're probably not all that serious. True, it's an infinitely better way of shortcutting your nutrition than stopping at Burger King, but still...why? So often I see people throw money at problems rather than taking actions to correct them. Don't want to make time to eat enough? Buy a powder. C'mon, son. You can do better than that.
2. They lie! They lie!
If you know me, you know I am somewhat opposed to fitness marketing. It's full of shit, to be honest, and some of your protein shakes are, too. A pet peeve I have is people overlooking shady tactics because "that's how it is". It's like that because people accept it. It's astounding to me that people will know what a company is lying to them, yet still give them their business because "that's how it is".
Here are some fun facts:
There was a lab analysis(link at the end) of 74 protein powders. Of them, 38 recored measurable amounts of free amino acids. This is a way of boosting apparent protein content cheaply, without adding nutritional value.
In the same study, sodium content was, on average, over 70 percent higher than the Supplement Facts label claimed. You know what that means? Water retention. Instant appearance of gainzzzzz, bro. Salt your steak for the same effect, broski.
3. They're dirty.
Read the label, then realize that the label might be lying to you. However, you won't have any trouble finding honest labels with stuff like maltodextrin, aspartame, preservatives, artificial colors, and the souls of orphans sacrificed to Thor. It's not all about macros. Chemicals and additives can impact your hormones. At the end of the day, it's how your hormones react to your nutrition that decides what your body will do with all those macros. Keep it clean.
Okay, so maybe you read all that, and you told yourself, "Self, I actually do need a protein shake, I don't care if they lie to sell me the stuff, maltodextrin makes me an anabolic monster, and the reaction I get from certain food dyes makes me the life of any party."
No worries, my friend, but buy smart. Here is the link I promised you. 74 proteins, lab analyzed and ranked by quality and value. No, I'm not getting anything for sharing it, I just thought it was pretty cool. They have a lot of other analysis's of various supplements you don't need.
Thanks for reading!