I have a lot of clients who ask me why I am not a fan of protein powders, and I have a very simple answer for them. Protein powders, shakes, and bars are all supplements, and supplements are items that should be added to an already established, well-rounded program. You don’t supplement a bad program, folks. You don’t drink a protein shake with a Big Mac. Simply put, if your program already sucks, we are not going to supplement it with anything. First things first, we need to change your program, and that starts with knowing actually what your body needs and wants.
Now let me say this. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. I have athletes who are body builders and marathon runners that I give gel packs, advanced mineral supplements, and other supplements to. But for 99% of the population, that is not necessary.
You need to have good, complete proteins in your diet. Complete animal proteins have the essential amino acids that your body needs in order to build muscle. As I tell my clients: “If you want muscle, you have to eat muscle.” Sounds kind of barbaric, but it is so very true. That turkey, cow, chicken, or fish that you are eating was once alive, and had everything necessary it needed to live. When you eat it, you, in turn, get everything you need to live and build muscle from it.
I have this problem with vegetarians, too, because plant proteins are incomplete proteins and have to be paired with another food source in order to get all the amino acids that are found in complete animal proteins. Just because the cow lived off plants, doesn’t mean you can. We can’t live off grass. We need complete proteins. Our Creator didn’t make us to live like cows; otherwise, we would be cows.
Lastly, one more note about shakes. Most shakes are mixed with water. Which means they pass very quickly thru the stomach and intestines. Most people do not realize if a shake boasts “50 grams of protein,” many times you are not getting all that protein because it moves so fast thru your body. You may only be absorbing 50% of it. Also, do not look at a shake to keep you full and satisfied. Ultimately, this means your blood sugar drops, prompting you to overeat and crave food.
I have trained thousands of clients on whole foods, with irrefutable results. So, next time you go to dinner and pull out a shake to mix with water (yum!) make sure to look over to your right—I will be the one enjoying the big, juicy steak!