Why You Should Never Use Protein Powder
So you’re looking to boost your fitness regime, eh? Adding some muscle to your hustle, a little ‘pow’ to your power? A lot of us turn to protein powder as the magic dust that’ll turn us into fitness gurus overnight.
And why not? They’re a quick, convenient source of protein, perfect for those who live a fast-paced lifestyle, or for those struggling to meet their protein needs through diet alone. They promise muscle growth, fat loss, and improved performance. Sounds like a fitness fairy tale, right?
Well, not quite. Turns out that protein powder isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s downright terrible. It’s just that protein powders come with their fair share of downsides that aren’t often talked about. Because I’m your buddy, I’m going to do just that below.
7 reasons why you shouldn’t use protein powder
1. The protein overconsumption myth
First off, let’s address the big protein myth. The hype around protein, especially for those who work out, has been amplified to such an extent that many of us believe we need massive amounts to build muscle.
Sure, we need protein to repair and build muscle, but our bodies can only use a certain amount in a day. Beyond that, it’s just wasted, or worse, stored as fat. A balanced diet usually provides enough protein for most people, even those moderately active. Going overboard with protein powder is not only unnecessary but could be counterproductive.
2. Not all protein powders are created equal
Next up, let’s talk about quality. Not all protein powders are created equal. Some are packed full of sugars, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives – things you don’t want in your body if staying healthy is your goal.
Plus, some cheaper brands could contain harmful substances like heavy metals, due to poor manufacturing practices. There’s no quick fix for this, other than thoroughly researching each brand, but who has time for that?
3. Possible digestive issues
Did you know that some people have trouble digesting protein powders? If you’ve ever experienced bloating, gas, or stomach cramps after chugging down that post-workout shake, it’s not just you.
These symptoms can be especially common with powders made from whey or casein (milk proteins), as some people struggle to digest lactose or are allergic to milk proteins.
4. It’s processed food, after all
Despite its health halo, remember that protein powder is a processed food. It’s far removed from its original food source, whether that’s milk (for whey and casein proteins) or plants (for soy, hemp, and pea proteins).
While processing, it loses many of the accompanying nutrients that are naturally present in the original foods. These nutrients often work in synergy, providing health benefits that isolated nutrients don’t offer.
5. It’s not real food
Protein powder is not a substitute for real food. Whole foods not only contain a mix of macronutrients but also a multitude of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber – all critical to our health.
These elements aren’t present in protein powders. Plus, the act of chewing food and the length of time it takes to digest it means you’re likely to feel more satisfied after eating whole foods, reducing the risk of overeating.
6. The steep price tag
Most high-quality protein powders, the ones without all the sugars, artificial sweeteners, and dodgy substances, carry a hefty price tag. You can easily find yourself shelling out more than a pretty penny for these tubs of powder, making it a pricey habit, especially when compared to getting protein from natural, whole food sources.
Ever compared the cost of a serving of protein powder to, say, a serving of Greek yogurt, eggs, or a piece of chicken breast? When you do, you’ll realize that these whole foods often deliver protein more economically, and with a host of other nutrients to boot.
7. Calorically denser than you’d expect
And just when you thought I was done dishing out the not-so-sweet truths about protein powders, here’s another one. These powders, particularly those geared towards muscle building or weight gain, can be calorically dense.
They’re designed to give you a quick, concentrated dose of protein, but that often comes with a higher calorie count than you’d expect. This is fine if you’re using them as they’re intended – as a supplement to an active lifestyle where you’re burning off those extra calories. But if not, those extra calories can sneakily contribute to weight gain.
Well folks, we’ve certainly ‘wheysted’ no time in unmasking the often-overlooked downsides of protein powders (I’ll see myself out!).
From the sneaky sugar content to the potential wallet-wounding expense, it seems protein powders aren’t exactly the golden ticket to the fitness factory that we once thought. Not to mention, they can’t compete with the smorgasbord of nutrients you’ll get from good old-fashioned, Mother Nature-approved foods.
So, what’s the takeaway from our deep dive into the world of protein powders? Essentially, ditch the dusty tubs and start embracing the protein-packed powerhouses that nature has to offer.
After all, why make a shake when you can savor a juicy steak, relish a leg of chicken, or crunch on a handful of nuts? At the end of the day, isn’t it far more satisfying to chew your way to health rather than just sip on it?