Reader’s Questions; Protein Shakes?

If you read this blog regularly hopefully you’ve been able to see just how much we love readers participation through feedback and questions.  So here are my thoughts on one of the subjects that a few of you have asked about recently 🙂

How do we feel about the ‘necessity’ of a post-workout protein drink?

Do we drink protein drinks after a workout?  The short answer is no. Not before during or after in fact. I am of the firm belief that we should try to get as much of our nutrition from REAL FOOD as is possible.  That is food naturally present in nature.  Does it grow in the soil, hang from a tree, or swim in the sea? Then I’m all for eating it! Is it synthetic? Has it got ingredients that I can’t spell or pronounce?  Then I avoid it as much as possible.  Holistically all the evidence points to the body being able to best metabolize foods with all their complex components intact.  An isolated, synthetic protein powder does not fit that description. 

Efficient metabolism means less toxins accumulating in the body and the energy contained in food being used appropriately.  Which means less fat on my body. That’s what I’m talking about folks….I don’t know about you!  There is also so much more satisfaction gained from sitting and eating a real meal, your brain recognizes that it is happening and so you are much more likely to still feel satisfied and full an hour later. 

Speaking as someone who likes and needs to be slender I see protein drinks as unnecessary calories that just don’t give me enough bang for my buck.   They’re loaded with calories, nutritionally unbalanced (where are my greens, essential fats and fiber?) and quite simply don’t fill me up for very long.  This last factor is key because unless you’re specifically looking to GAIN weight these drinks should be seen as a meal REPLACEMENT not as a snack.  A snack should be 150-200 calories.  These things rarely come in under 500 and can go as high as 1000. Yep…. That’s in just one cup. No thank you. I don’t drink Frappacino’s in Starbucks ether, because honestly I don’t see the two products as that different!

I also hear protein drinks being touted as a post-workout ‘recovery’ tool.  Uuuumm, I hate to break it to you but unless you’re training for an Ultra-Marathon (and even then you’d need extra carbs NOT protein) your body doesn’t need any shakes to recover. Your body WANTS to move, it’s DESIGNED to move.  Working it out was probably the best thing you’ve done for it in a while. It doesn’t need a ‘food bandage’ to make its exercise boo-boo better! You’re tired? Good! You’ll sleep well tonight then 🙂

Lastly, the only real support of a post-workout protein shake is if you’re looking to gain muscle. BUT even then, I’m talking if you want to be the next Mr or Ms Universe.  And if that’s the case you’re definitely living on skinned chicken breast, protein shakes and egg whites, working out for 8 hours a day and probably reading a different kind of a blog :).  Lacey is pure lean, cut muscle and she gets all the protein she needs from REAL food.  Because if you want those beautiful muscles to show then they just CAN’T be buried under a layer of fat…. Which is what happens if you consume too many calories….. And if you suck down a shake straight after your workout and then head home to dinner you’re talking calorie overload.  It’s sad but true.

If you’re ravenous and need a SNACK post-workout then that’s definitely normal and can be appropriate.  What do I eat?  A small bag of RAW almonds, a couple of hard-boiled eggs, a soy yoghurt with an apple. You get the picture 🙂

I hope that answers the questions we’ve received concerning this.  Just so you know we’re thinking of creating a regular blog spot to a Reader’s Question segment. What do you think about that?  Is that something you think you’d like to see. We want to please all you wonderful people!! 🙂

Next one to be answered will be on whether ALCOHOL can have it’s place in a healthy and fit life?



28 Responses to “Reader’s Questions; Protein Shakes?”

  1. 1 mr pinstripes
    September 17, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    i agree. they’re all hype. i might have one when im in between meals and want my tummy to be “full” but otherwise.. most people get too much protein, even people who do free weights don’t need “extra” protein.. all it’s gonna do is not get digested and come out in your urine and if you get a test at the doc he’ll say you have ketosis and look for problems when it’s just you’re eating waaay too much protein.

    post work out? replenish salts.. take a bath or a steam..i actually like the new G2 gatoraid it has half the sugars and such…

    i tried to put on muslce for 10 years, never could. ate tons of proteins.. shakes.. it wasn’t until i got a job as a mover that my body adapted- it was the CONSTANT use of my muscles that made them grow larger…i gained 10 pounds (i was 5 % body fat my whole life until recently) they use to say if you did lots of cardio you wouldn’t get bigger and you had to be semi docile, it’s so silly how the evolution of fitness knowledge has progressed.. it all comes full circle- eat right. drink a lot of fluids.. and excercising regularly should be the norm not an additional tax on your body

  2. 2 Ken
    September 17, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Agreed. Although my fitness goal was to gain weight, downing protein shakes 3 times a day only works to a certain extent. After the first 10 pounds of gained weight, I reached a threshold that just couldn’t be passed, what with my very high metabolism and all.

    I did this for a year and the results were very inconsistent. I’d be up 10 pounds one week, down 5 another. My fitness routine consisted of weight-lifting and I leveled off when I wanted to put on more mass. Now I do mixed martial arts and I believe that the constant exercise and conditioning has helped me get stronger and gain more weight than weight-lifting and protein shakes ever could. I’ve gained lean muscle mass and I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life. A lot of that has to do with…

    Eating right. Like you said, protein shakes just don’t give you everything your body needs. At best, they’re great when consumed with other snack items as a SUPPLEMENT to your meals. If anything, I’d throw in a shake with a healthy serving of fruits and nuts every 3 hours between the bigger meals. My trainer has told me that it’s all about keeping your energy levels high so that you can extract the most out of your workouts.

    Ditto to Mr. Pinstripes about drinking lots of fluids.

    Anyway, good blog. I’m glad I stumbled upon this little gem you’ve got going on here. I’ll stop by more often. Make sure to visit mine too!

  3. 3 Roe
    September 18, 2008 at 12:19 am

    I am enjoying this blog and the informative advice it is providing. I travel a lot and have been steadily packing on the pounds through the years. Please keep up the tips for staying healthy on the road.

    P.S. I have dropped the hotel cookies and am eating more fruit.

    Appreciate Ya!

  4. September 18, 2008 at 2:20 am

    Damn, Ha-ha I have this soy protein drink that I got at GMC. It was more of my mothers idea, but it’s not overly fortified with things I can’t spell. Just a lot of natural soy protein so I don’t think it can hurt too bad. (Haven’t tried it yet.) I’m sure it’s delicious! =P Thanks for the tips as always Jessica. 🙂

  5. September 18, 2008 at 2:22 am

    Typo: “GNC, not the car place, though that might be suiting.

  6. 6 maria
    September 18, 2008 at 9:32 am

    ok..i got the pic but..im in the gym, this last time,since May ( im an on /off person cause work and cause i most of the times i finish with a lesion ).
    At the beginning of september i get a P.T. just for learning something about what was wrong with the cellulitis on my legs ( Im slim/slender and i used to play volleyball and handball professional until i get the surgery on my left leg then my hand…long story )
    Ok… i was balancing my weight most of the time cause work ,work, work ( i can spent almost 7 hours on the chair per day ) bad food and not time for exercise.
    So i can understand part of the problem, what i can not is If i ask to be modeled my body is to have a moron P.t. telling me “you are crazy thats not fat see that fat lady over there if she hear she will kills you” O_O
    Im not into skinny or fat obssesed is just i want to come back to my healthy days thats all. So…when a professional acts as a moron and say to you to “drink” this things after 2 hours gym…whats the answer? Of course i didnt call him anymore,if i want someone to insult me i just have to stop my car in the middle of a traffic jam and leave it there.
    My old old old trainner said that my legs cellulitis could be something ormonal so there is no solution i think ( or there is? if you have any im all ears ).

    I think is needed to speak loud about some fake “gurus” on gyms selling you bad food complements and trying to make you feel uncofortable about yourself cause their insecurity.
    So thanks for talking about “natural food”

  7. 7 Angelica
    September 19, 2008 at 12:44 am

    whey to go jessica! and yes, that was a pun 🙂

    i was, and still am, very skeptical about protein shakes. mainly because i’m looking to tone, not gain weight. however, i believe that protein shakes in moderation (depending on what you’re trying to achieve) may help a little. now i might be wrong, but it was my understanding that the amino acids within the protein shakes were rapidly absorbed into our bloodstream in order to aid in muscle repair. rather than waiting for the catabolic effects (after eating) of lean protein, post workout. i can see how this would be beneficial for bodybuilders because they’re constantly tearing their muscles everyday they workout, and thereby not allowing proper muscle repair to occur. hence the quick absorbing protein shakes, because there’s no way they can build more muscle if they keep ripping it that often. now, for people like me who rest a day or two in between…i tend to eat tuna, salmon, or some other protein source and maybe a protein shake if i know i’m not going to make it home in time to get some food. so yeah, sometimes, it is a meal replacement for me.

    i think it varies from person to person. but your def right about everything…it adds on as fat if you consume to much protein because if it doesn’t have muscle to repair or anything to do, it’ll convert over to fat. AND,(supposedly) to much protein can damage your kidneys. but there really hasn’t been any conclusive evidence for that yet. so i think people just need to make sure they know what they’re doing if they decide to go that whey 😉

    (and yes, i’m seriously having fun with the puns 🙂

  8. 8 Eneb
    September 19, 2008 at 9:29 am

    Noooooooo! You’re taking everything away. First it was the Granola bars, then Muffins,were only allowed a teaspoon of rice (which we have to share with whoever is at the table), now my protein shakes 😡 You wont be happy until we’re all eating home grown wheat grass and making our own clothes. I can grow grass:) but I cant sew. I’ll have to go naked.

    Thank you both for trying to keep us up on things to be careful with. Especially when some things might cause health issues.

  9. 9 Yvonne
    September 19, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Cellulitis? Well, my friend´s doctor told her to stop using the Anti-Baby-Pill. She had no boyfriend that time so she gave it a try and what happened?

    Believe me or not but it works. She´s almost free of Cellulitis including some more danger using just condoms ;-)!
    But if you´re gay there is really no problem ;-)!

  10. 10 Darcy
    September 19, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    I would love to know what you have to say about alcohol. I don’t drink all the time but I def. like to go out and have a few after work or with my friends. Whats’s the best choice if your planning on consumming a few?! Also is a glass a wine a day really “healthy” or “ok”?

  11. 11 marya
    September 19, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    Yvonne thanx for your kind of words but the fact is im gay. Maybe i should turn straight to take the anti-baby-pill and then stop or start to use use condoms even if im lesbian.
    Now im confused about the cellulitis and my sexual orientation.
    I saw yesterday some pics of Petra Nemcova, whats happen to her? i like her but last time in Brazil the other models called her “fat” cause she was with curves and now she looks like tired. ( If you see her knees thats the kind of thing i was talking about – female hormones or balance your weight so fast? – )

  12. 12 Jill
    September 20, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Great post!

    I was wondering about your thoughts on caffeine? I drink A LOT of coffee (either black or with a little bit of skim milk, but never sugar)basically to stay awake at certains times because I’m super busy, and also because I enjoy it. I’ve heard mixed things about drinking large amounts of coffee, so it would be awesome if you could give some insight?

  13. 13 jessica clark
    September 21, 2008 at 7:35 am

    Hi guys

    Thank you all for your smart, insightful and very funny (yep that’s you Eneb :)) comments and questions.
    So ‘Reader’s Questions’ will now be a regular part of SWEATCity. Topics to be addressed soon are alcohol, cellulite and caffeine.

    Keep them coming. We’re looking forward to it!! 🙂

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