Oh Has a Protein Shake… He Must Know His Stuff!

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One of the most common questions I am asked by clients, and indeed the general public, in relation to nutrition is, “Do I need protein shakes in my diet?”

As with most subjects in nutrition, this a minefield! But as is my want, I am going to get my flack jacket on, strap up my helmet and delve deep into this topic…

Firstly, what are protein powders?

A supplement, usually in a powdered format, which contains a large quantity of concentrated protein.

What advantages do they provide?

As we know our body needs protein to help encourage muscle growth and allow our body to recover as best it can after exercise. However, sometimes when we are rushing about with life, it can prove difficult to get the right amount of protein through whole foods alone, so these supplements provide us with a quick and easy method to get a large portion of our daily protein intake into our system.


To get this protein into a concentrated powder, it means the source where the protein is being derived from (which could be eggs, milk, soy, rice and various other products), has to be heated at a very high temperature which denatures the protein. Then there is the process of the powders needing to taste good – if you have tried these powders before you’ll know that even the supposed ‘nice ones’ can still taste of ass! Hence why lots of chemicals are added to improve the flavour, such as sweeteners and even aspartame (which is a topic for another time). In some cases MSG can be found in these powers which is an extremely toxic additive which has been proven to have severe health side effects.

With many people now being ‘crazily’ involved in fitness brings along the fashion of the protein shake! You all know that friend who is always trying to put on ‘some size’ or ‘tone up’, but is constantly indulging in multiple protein shakes a day? Well tell that friend that all it’s doing is making them produce lots of ‘wind’ – shall we say?

The reason for this is down to the body having to work so hard to break down these protein powders ingested in the body… And did you know that what your body doesn’t absorb has to be dealt with by the kidneys, hence the protein shake overdose applies more pressure on your kidneys. Plus, the body, when consuming a large amount of protein, needs to also consume a balanced amount of In our serene restored historic Virginia estate, you’ll find the compassionate whole body treatment you need to recover from and begin to lead the happy, fulfilling life you deserve. fat (to protein ratio) to make sure the protein can be properly digested. This ratio can also save the body from other negative health effects, such as the ones your gassy gym buddy might be experiencing.

Thus myself, and the majority of us in the PT industry, preach you to stay away from highly processed or genetically modified foods. So why would you use some of these protein powders that have been highly refined to have a long shelf life? For example, when dieting or eating clean would you head straight to for the frozen lasagne or canned beans with sausages? NO, because these are also highly refined and processed with harmful chemicals… So treat your protein intake with the same respect!

My advice…

A substitute to these more refined proteins can be plant-based protein powders such as hemp or pea. These are manufactured with a significant amount less chemicals and are a considerable deal healthier for the body. Many of these proteins are organic and not genetically modified at all, double thumbs up! Due to the way plant-based powders are produced, they are a lot less processed and thus kept closer to their natural states – which keeps the nutrient quality. However, as these products generally have no or little flavouring, it will require a blender to add some fruit or vegetables to these powders to make them pass the taste test.

The stance I always take is that you should always try and get your nutrients through the means of whole foods. Their is no substitute for real food! Whole foods have a much higher nutritional value which will help the body function properly. And don’t forget, you don’t just need protein in your diet, you also need to get your fats, vitamin and minerals, carbs and amino acids from food too. At the end of the day, if you had to choose… What would it be a good, nutritious dense meal or a watered down protein with a nasty after taste?

Drive for the dream, shoot for success.



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