Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What's in your shake?

Many people consume protein shakes, weight gain shakes and every other type of meal replacement, quick and easy blend it or shake it up supposed health food.  I will admit I used to consume many of these myself.  Just a basic glance at them should make you at least question their level of benefit.  Fluorescent colors, ingredient lists that are either paragraphs long and/or contain words you've never seen with a minimum of 5 syllables.....hmm could these possibly be filled with substances that aren't meant to be put in our bodies?

Looks like we may have some bona fide answers coming from a review in the July 2010 issue of Consumer Reports.  Turns out several of the very popular shakes contain levels of cadmium and arsenic that are above the USP limits when consuming the recommended number of servings.  Combine this with the fact that most of these shakes contain colorings, "natural flavors" (typically a code for substances that are unhealthy), artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose etc. and you have what amounts to a cocktail that in the long run will do nothing good for your health.

Here is the problem, most people who use these do so because they are lazy and want a quick way to get what they think are adequate nutrients to supplement their workouts instead of taking the time to prepare and eat real food.  The body is not meant to consume nutrients from artificially concocted products that can never be engineered the way real food that comes from the ground or other animals.  Couple that with the fact that a lot of the ingredients are irritants to people's already overloaded digestive system and half of the stuff is never even digested.  A lot of waste going down the toilet.

I'm not against supplements, but you have to get your eating right first and then add in supplements if you think you must.  If you are going to buy protein shakes, it's very difficult to find truly good products in any store.  One rule of thumb is the more advertising, commercial marketing and fancy packaging the worse it is for you.  It's just like a high end car, how many ads do you see for Bentley, Rolls Royce, Ferrari...basically none because they sell themselves to those who want them.

If you want high quality, organic protein supplements here are a couple, and no you won't be able to buy them in the store and you won't be consuming them like crazy either because they are not cheap.

The products are made by Well Wisdom, the Vital Whey is the consumer oriented product while the ImmunPro and others are more potent, please read their website before using them.  Iherb is the best place I know of to buy these products....taking a look at these products will make you realize what it takes to produce high quality protein supplements and will also make you realize it's cheaper to buy high quality meat than to drink shakes.  These products don't have artificial sweeteners and aren't going to be like drinking a milkshake....they specifically advise to combine with fruit or something to add flavor.