Dangers Lurking Behind Protein Shakes


What Lies Beneath – The Dangerous Thing That Lurks Within Your ‘’Innocent and Healthy’’- Protein Shakes:

What is Protein Shakes:

Protein shakes are primarily nutritional supplements (in the form of a liquid/powder) that people who exercise on a regular basis tend to take as an additional supplement in place of whole foods (containing protein) such as meat and chicken which take longer time to digest. Protein shakes offer a low fat and healthier diet option to compensate for the energy and nutrients lost during those rigorous workout sessions. Amongst the kind of protein shakes available, whey protein is the most popular and widely consumed. Other kinds available are pea, soy, egg and rice protein powders to name a few. However, protein shakes should not be confused with ‘mass gainers’ or fat burners. Unlike the other two, protein shakes help to supply amino acids to the muscle cells after you have had a tiring and intense workout.

A man Preparing Prtein Shake

Protein Shakes and Its Many Kinds:

Predominantly people end up consuming any one (or more) kind of these protein shakes listed below:

  • Whey Protein: It comes from dairy. Whey protein is made-up of the curdled liquid that separates out during the production of cheese.
  • Casein Protein: Similar to whey, casein also comes from milk but what makes this protein shake different from whey is that the time taken to digest it is longer.
  • Pea Protein: Pea protein powder is prepared from split pea, the yellow kind. This legume is high in protein which contains large amounts of amino acids excluding methionine. Pea protein is a great substitute for vegetarians, vegans and those with allergies to dairy products.
  • Egg Protein: Eggs are a perfect example of a complete source of protein as compared to the other kinds. It is composed of nine amino acids. Egg protein is however made from only the egg whites. Protein powders made from egg whites do not provide a complete protein-rich diet as required. It therefore fails in its attempt to give you that overall feeling of fullness.
  • Hemp Protein: Hemp is a plant-based protein powder. It has only a tiny trace of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol- the main component of marijuana). Hemp Protein although rich in several omega-3 fatty acids and other amino acids is not a complete source of a protein-rich diet. This is because it has very small amounts of two amino acids- lysine and leucine.
  • Mixed Plant Protein: Mixed plant protein shakes contain a host of plants that are rich in protein which enables mixed plant based protein powders to provide all the amino acids required by the body. A mixed plant protein powder may contain pea, hemp, brown rice, flaxseeds, chia seeds, quinoa, artichoke, alfalfa as its major ingredients.
  • Brown Rice Protein: Brown rice has low levels of the lysine amino acid. They are considered to be a secondary source as compared to whey protein for people intending to build lean muscle.

So, before you end up deciding which protein shake to have and whether to have them at all for that matter it is better to have a clear idea about the disadvantages of taking protein shakes and of the possible dangers that might come with it.

What You Should Be Prepared For:

  • Allergic Reactions– People who are planning to include protein shakes in their diet should be well aware about their health condition and the allergies they have. Protein shakes make people more prone to signs and symptoms of nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, shock and dehydration. This is because these shakes contain cow’s milk, eggs and soy which are common allergens.
  • Kidney Damage– Consuming protein shake could cause considerable organ damage, particularly kidney disorders in people who are already suffering from some kind of kidney disease or are vulnerable to it. This happens due to the fact that your kidneys work harder to process the excess amount of nitrogen released at the time of protein metabolism.
  • Burping up Metals– Certain independent labs have carried our tests on protein shakes and have found the presence of an outstanding degree of metal contamination in the form of cadmium, lead and arsenic in them. These heavy metals do not get processed and accumulates in the tissues of the body over a period of time. This results in a condition of chronic toxicity.
  • Disrupts Your Digestion– First and foremost people who are completely lactose intolerant should avoid consuming protein shakes because these may contain lactose. If your intestinal tract produces insufficient amount of the digestive enzyme then it will not be able to break the lactose down. As a result, the undigested sugar will continue to move about in the gastrointestinal tract. The bacteria present in your gut feeds on this, causing abdominal pain and gas. You may also fall ill with diarrhoea.
  • Skin Health Alert! – According to some studies Whey protein has the potential to aggravate your acne formation. This may happen because whey protein has the tendency to impair the gut micro biota. This leaves room for a number of inflammatory conditions to be triggered.
  • Imbalanced Nutrient Value– Protein rich whole foods such as seafood, eggs and meat are better than protein shakes. These foods although low on the protein density value are high on the overall nutrient scale. This makes these whole foods a much more appealing option than protein shakes.

According to nutritionists, the recommended protein intake for someone who works out regularly in a week is 0.7 grams per kilogram of their body weight on a daily basis. In other words, in layman’s terms this would mean consuming about two pieces of chicken breast and one steak every day.

  • Rapid Weight Gain– Although as clearly stated above, protein shakes and mass gainers are not interchangeable, however, protein shakes when consumed in excess may not get digested. When this happens the body, which is incapable of storing the excess amino acids either burns them as fuel or ends up storing them as fat. As a result, you see yourself gaining weight or plunging towards obesity.

Also Read: 8 Wrong ways to eat Healthy food!

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