“Do you want to add a scoop of protein to that smoothie?” You hear this as you order your favorite smoothie but hold the phone! It sounds like a healthy addition, but it might be a waste of money that is actually harming your health. If you aren’t careful you might be adding an industrial waste product to your yummy, organic smoothie. Some of the most common protein powders are whey protein powders. Whey protein powders are crap. Don’t just automatically add it to your smoothie.
But some of you will argue because you heard that whey protein is the best protein from a guy whose neck was wider than his skull. Whey protein powders have grown in popularity after their sponsorship of weightlifters and other athletes. Their rampant popularity and sponsorship dollars don’t mean they live up to the hype.
Whey Protein Powders are Crap: 7 Reasons to Skip the Scoop
1- Whey Protein Powder Is Cheap Protein
It’s waste product! Whey protein is industrial run-off left over from the cheesemaking process. 30 years ago, it was thought of as a major inconvenience because cheesemakers didn’t know how to dispose of it! You couldn’t flush the stuff because it would clog the sewers, so it was used as cheap fertilizer. Now we see it has been repackaged for us as a “super protein.” No, there is nothing super about this protein.
What becomes most common is usually the cheapest and cheapest doesn’t mean best. It usually means its cheaply sourced and includes cheap ingredients, which brings us to our next reason to skip the scoop.
2- Whey Proteins Often Include Crappy Sweeteners and Other Additives
If you look at the ingredients there is a good chance you will find sucralose and other artificial sweeteners. These can mess with how your body regulates itself by affecting resting metabolic rate, your gut environment, and blood glucose. This can lead to the wrong kind of weight gain not the muscle mass you are looking for! Plus, they can be just plain bad for you! The sweetener, Aspartame, has also been linked to diabetes, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and cancer. (1)
You will also find glutens, soy, dextrin, hydrogenated oils, and fillers that can all mess with your gut. Your gut is where 90% of your immune system is. If your gut is not healthy then you can’t be healthy.
3- Animal Protein Doesn’t Make It Better Protein
You have probably heard from some fitness magazine that whey protein is better because it is animal protein. They say that to build muscle you need animal protein. That’s just not true. Have you seen a gorilla? Gorillas have muscles you don’t want to mess with, but they don’t eat whey protein. Do you know what gorillas eat? Bamboo shoots, stems, fruits, and seeds are most of their primarily vegetarian diet. They eat ants and caterpillars sometimes too but it’s 97% vegetarian. (2)
Plant protein and animal protein are the same. They both are made of amino acids and both contain all 22 amino acids. Your body takes protein from your food source and breaks it down to build muscle and tissue. Protein from hemp and chia seeds will be the same as protein from an animal source. Hemp and chia seeds are also great sources of fiber and omega-3’s so they are some of the great proteins to add to your diet.
4- Whey Protein is Inflammatory
Whey is a dairy product that comes from cow’s milk. Are you a baby cow? No. The only ones that should be drinking cow’s milk are baby cows. There are many inflammatory markers in dairy that are causing many people to become very sick. Dairy products also mess with your gut microbiome which can exacerbate the inflammation. Did you know that? You can be experiencing symptoms of hidden inflammation and not even connect your symptoms to the whey you are eating.
- Brain fog
- Difficulty losing weight
- Chronic aches and pains
- Sinus Issues
- Gastrointestinal issues
5- That Means Whey Can Cause Acne
People will not take care of the symptoms like chronic pains and mood disorders that are plaguing them but as soon as it shows up on their face they sure do take notice! Whey protein is a high-glycemic food and it causes inflammation that can lead to acne.
There have been studies done that show that usage of whey protein can lead to acne and cessation of use will clear it up even when acne medication won’t. (3)(4) Wow! Novel idea to get rid of the cause rather than using drugs!
6- Doesn’t Have Other Body Building Components Like Collagen
Protein is protein for building muscle, but amino acids in protein only rebuild amino acid-based muscle and tissue. They don’t rebuild the ligaments and discs, which are so important for a functioning body. If you choose a high-quality bone broth or collagen powder, you are going to get collagen and nutrients that will help repair those ligaments.
Our diets are so deficient in collagen because we don’t eat organ meats and bone broths like they did back in the day. Grandma would make chicken soup and the whole chicken would go in the pot! Now its just the chicken breast. Get some collagen back in your diet with a good organic bone broth or collagen powder.
7- Varied Proteins are Important for a Healthy Diet
The crazy thing is that people hear something is good for you and they go all in. That’s why I won’t tell you one is better than the other. But other people will. Some fitness guru will tell you whey protein powder is the best and then it’s whey protein for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It certainly makes it easier than trying to come up with something new for every meal. If that food ends up being bad for you you are damaging yourself at every meal. I want to see you incorporating different proteins and foods into your healthy diet.
There is NO Magic Bullet Protein
Sorry, there isn’t a magic bullet protein, but you can find high quality bone broth, hemp protein, chia seeds, flax seeds, organic meats, and other amazing protein sources. That is how you build a healthy body. The next time you have a smoothie think twice about the protein you are throwing in.
Written by Dr. Patrick Flynn