A few months ago, I was eating a little bit too little and exercising too much. So I made a commitment to eat more and grow
a bigger butt. The problem was, in my endeavor of cleaner eating (and avoiding food poisoning from undercooked meat), I scurried towards the vegetarian side of life. I gained about 15 pounds from bread, veggie burgers, protein bars, and peanut butter, but I wasn’t voluptuous yet! So when I returned from home, I turned to protein powders, specifically whey protein.
It was good! It tasted like chocolate milk! I didn’t know how people on earth could think this was disgusting. It was so yummy…
But I knew there had to be a catch.
First of all, it was waaay too convenient. Healthy eating-I admit- can be incredibly time-consuming and even laborious at it times (ever made like 30 tortillas from scratch before?). So this thing can’t be good for me. But at that point, I didn’t care. It was good!
Later on is when I got a bit more critical:
Should Health Nuts Be Using Protein Powders?
I checked the list of ingredients on my whey protein powder canister, and I read things like “sucralose,” “artificial flavors,” and other things I don’t normally tolerate every day when it comes to eating healthy. I mean, I cringe at ketchup because of the high fructose corn syrup, so why am I drinking this overly-processed and tasty beverage? I won’t even eat BAKED CHICKEN but I’ll eat this chocolatey concoction?
I took it to Google to see how bad protein powders actually are—I mean ripped boys swear buy this thing so it’s gotta be not that bad–And after a short amount of time, I got my answer.
First of all, don’t ask a candy man if candy is good for you.
I was going on forums designed for male weightlifters. If there’s something that I’ve noticed, it’s that women eat way less junk than men do (I guess it’s because men are trying to be as big as possible, and women as small?). And appropriately so, the weightlifters said there’s nothing wrong with protein powders, and that’s safe to buy, etc. But of course they would say that; they probably A) passed down the information from their exalted muscle-head friends, B) don’t care about eating clean, or C) All of the above.
So then I turned to nutritionists and studies that all affirmed that protein powders aren’t the healthiest thing to eat/drink.
I kept reading that they were not regulated by the FDA. So I bet they could put a human finger in it and still be able to sell it. Okay, maybe they won’t get away with a finger, but they sure did get away with a significant amount of lead (according to Consumer Reports), which can lead to lead poisoning and gout, both of which are not pretty.
Protein powders are just loaded with so many cons:
-Can lead to protein overload, which can cause kidney failure
-are rich in preservatives
-are made from milk-byproduct. That sounds disgusting.
Protein powders are far from natural, and my momma always told me that the farther it is from the ground, the better your chances of getting cancer. My mom is very old school, as you can see. But her words still hold a bit of weight.
All in all, I think I’m going to skip out on the powders unless there really isn’t any actual source of non-meat protein in my house. Natural, whole foods is always the best route, and that’s something I advocate as someone who’s interested in her health. I learned there are healthier protein powders like Naked Whey, but it’s a bit over my budget at a whopping $90. I’d buy it if I was ballin, but until then, I’d rather just buy real food. Real, (vegetarian) complete proteins, like:
-rice and beans
-hummus and pita chips
-peanut butter and sandwich…bread (the parallelism!)
BodyBuilding.com actually goes really in depth with this. I actually learned that any source of plant protein paired with grains makes a complete protein.
Vegetarians/Vegans/Bodybuilders: how do you guys get your protein in?