Why You May Need to put that Protein Shake Down

Did anyone happen to see this article?

Whole Foods Market (WFM) stock plunges 20% after Natural News reveals ‘big lie’ on toxic heavy metals



Now, my love for Whole Foods is deep, minus the price tags that come along with almost everything in the store.  But, this just further proves my point-

Eat real food people!

DISCLAIMER– I have dear and great friends that are full into Shakeology, Advocare, you name it.  And, it is working for them, getting them excited about fitness/health, getting their clients and friends excited about fitness/health and that’s all that really matters.  So, if you are one of those and you are reading this, keep on promoting health.  This post is more to tell you what you should consider doing once the temporary fix of these protein powder drinks wears off.

Why you may need to put those shakes/drinks down…

1) We don’t really need as much protein as these companies are telling us, unless we are endurance athletes. FitSugar says…

Most powders and premade shakes offer at least 15 grams of protein per serving, and the majority of women easily hit or exceed the USDA’s average requirement of 46 grams per day by eating a balanced diet that includes animal protein. With that said, strict vegetarians and vegans are encouraged to try protein powder. Animal-free eaters who have a shake for breakfast won’t have to worry about how they’ll find all their protein during the course of a busy day when there isn’t time to cook.

Besides those who might not be hitting requirements through diet, protein powder is a good choice for extremely active individuals and endurance athletes. During endurance workouts — especially strength training — muscles are broken down, and it’s protein that helps aid in the body’s full repair and full recovery. After any intense strength-training workout, try to eat a snack of protein and carbs within an hour of your workout ending to help in this process.

2) Recently, Dr. Oz and the Consumer Lab have found high concentrations of lead in these protein products.  This article is rather harsh, but goes over Shakeology specifically.  From Consumer Reports on the research of these protein powders:

Cadmium raises special concern because it accumulates in and can damage the kidneys, the same organs that can be damaged by excessive protein consumption. And it can take 20 years for the body to eliminate even half the cadmium absorbed today.” This is a highly toxic metal, and while there are some cases where decisions have to be weighed against relative risks, accepting that you have to be exposed to any cadmium at all in your protein drink after your workout is definitely not one of them,” says Michael Harbut, M.D., director of the Environmental Cancer Initiative at the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Royal Oak, Mich.

“When these toxic heavy metals are combined in a product that is marketed for daily use, that raises serious public health concerns, especially for pregnant women, children, and young adults,” says Burns, who has been a toxicology consultant to state and federal government agencies.

The anti-Shaeology guy from above quotes in his article

The maker of Shakeology, a company named Beachbody, did not refute the findings. Instead, they argued that Consumer Lab “may be actually misleading consumers by not distinguishing between harmful heavy metals and those that are naturally occurring in plants, vegetables and minerals.”

I don’t know about you, but natural, organic or synthetic, I would prefer NO metals in whatever I’m putting in my mouth!

As far as Advocare goes, it contains highly refined forms of soy that are genetically modified.  If you are newer to nutrition, soy is being overproduced, overly processed and overly modified from its original, nutritious form; therefore you should consider buying all soy products with this symbol

Advocare also contains fructose- which is found in fruit, but our body can only handle small amounts.  Drinking this drink gives you more than your body can handle of this amount.

And my biggest CON would be that it contains sucralose- an ARTIFICIAL sweetener.  Yes, artificial.

This article lists a ton of other CONS if you’d like to check them out.

Again, I love you Shakeology and Advocare friends.  And I think what you are advocating (good health) is what this world needs, so keep on keeping on!

What I am saying is that you don’t need these products to get healthy, you just need REAL food.

I get it, some people don’t know where to start.  They aren’t nutrition freaks like me and just need an easy nudge in the right direction.  This is why these products are doing so well.  But, I’m hoping to open some eyes and show you that you don’t need to pay all this money for formulated shakes.  JUST EAT REAL FOOD.  And by real food, I mean things that can go bad

Would love to hear your thoughts on these or similar products.


21 thoughts on “Why You May Need to put that Protein Shake Down

  1. Tina Muir says:

    Yes! Great post Emma! So true! People are obsessed with finding a magic solution, when all it comes down to is eating what is real, as simple as it comes, without additional ingreidnets. I try to make as much as I possibly can homemade, and I truly think it makes me feel better. Sad to hear about whole foods, but it will be interesting to see what happens next!

  2. maryea {happy healthy mama} says:

    I agree. I wish the general public was more skeptical of these types of products. It seems so simple, yet so few people seem to get it. Just eat real food. Yes, it does take more time and effort, but it tastes better and is so much better for you.

  3. Change of Pace says:

    Great post- I have to read that Whole Foods article! We don’t have one here, but I certainly have enjoyed it on holidays.
    The protein thing always gets me- when not very active people eat excessive amounts and then still try to supplement. However, as a non-meat eater, I think I need to be better at taking in protein!

  4. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast says:

    Absolutely! This is such an important post. Protein shakes and bars are fine in moderation as quick fill-ins or on the go snacks/recovery fuel, but should not be relied on day after day in place of real food. And I couldn’t agree more on the gmo processed soy…. scary health risks particularly for women that are not worth it.

  5. Jaclyn @ Bumpsweat says:

    Excellent post! I have many of the same qualms with these products and others like them. A friend of mine works as a health coach for Take Shape for Life, and they use MediFast products as a short-term tool to help people get results quickly, to generate motivation for building a healthy lifestyle. After a client loses the initial weight, the coach spends a lot of time educating people on healthy eating and living. I just wish they’d use better-quality food to help people lose weight. I’m still skeptical and feel several companies care more about sales and the bottom line instead of helping people.

  6. Mrs. Murphy's Law of Fitness says:

    Great article! You are right on point in my opinion. Most Americans are getting more than enough protein, and I think people rely too much on these shakes and neglect gaining information about the benefits of real foods that promote long- term health.

  7. Mar on the Run! says:

    Completely concur! I recently reconfigured my own diet to lose some extra pounds gained while injured. It included several meals a day, lots of veggies and sweat!! And while I applaud those that I know who use these products for grabbing hold of their health, it bothers me a bit to see the title of “coach” next to their name for basically doing nothing but paying for a product.

  8. Rosi says:

    Well with everyone on board I hate to be the one that veers off course…and a little nervous to do so as well. I do use Shakeology and I really enjoy it. I also eat REAL FOOD and always have. I enjoy the benefits I have seen from it and according to my latest physical I still seem to be in great health. I like having in the middle of my day as a meal, energy boost, recovery drink, whatever. I do believe to some degree you can find research, statistics, whatever to support just about any view point you like. I do believe in eating foods that are clean and good for you, however, I also think if done right adding this to your lifestyle isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Don’t hate me everyone, just sharing my thoughts. 🙂

    • bemomstrong says:

      Very good thoughts but you are doing the shakes the right way! Eating clean and adding them to your diet. I hear only about people drinking shakes and neglecting their real food intake. So if it’s working for you keep on keeping on!

      • Rosi says:

        Thank you. I was really nervous and what I may hear back. And as a coach I work one on one with my team members everyday to make sure they understand the value of all-around good nutrition, not just their shake. I know not all coaches may do this but then again in any profession you have varying degrees of work. Thank you for the encouragement.

  9. Maria @ The Good Life says:

    I was one of those protein shakes peeps, even giving Shakeology a try only to find out that they taste horrible in addition to having a crazy pricetag. So a few months ago I just focused on eating real and healthy food that i cook. Have hardly touched the protein shakes because the food I am eating gives me what I need.

    • Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

      While I do agree Cori, sometimes you just don’t have the time. I’m a very busy mom of two boys and I’m lucky if I can get time to actually make a meal for myself during the day. Not making excuses, but I can barely keep my head above water on most days, so sometimes I have to resort to a shake.

  10. vitatrain4life says:

    Agree, agree, agree!!!! I went to a Shakeology party at my neighbors house b/c I wanted to be supportive. BUT, when I asked some simple questions about what EXACTLY was in this “magic” powder they were pushing – they couldn’t tell me. That’s when I take a pass.

  11. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    I am guilty of having a shake because some days I can’t keep my head above water. But other than the shake I do eat real food and as clean as possibly. I appreciate your point of view, but there is also research to support everyone’s point of view these days. I think if you don’t LIVE on the shakes as your main food source that some of them are ok. I’ve used Shakeology and I actually like it in the late afternoon to help me with my sugar cravings. Keep up the great work Emma!

    • bemomstrong says:

      Totally understand and using them the way you are is the way it should be. But as meal replacements, it’s just as easy to grab a handful of nuts and a piece of fruit, or make a pre made smoothie with real food in it. That was the point I was trying to make! But sometimes life is too hectic and we just don’t want to think but grab and go so I get it!!

  12. misszippy1 says:

    There’s a ton of crap in most protein powders! I kind of cringe when I see how widely spread some of them are. I have used only one and it’s called Whey Cool–it is not heat processed in the making of it, so no MSG is created (it is in 90-some percent of protein powders even if not labeled as such). Anyhow, even with that, I use it sparingly. Like you said, real food is where we should all be! Great topic.

  13. cottercrunch says:

    soooo agree! we have a ton of protein powder, but I use them for healthy bites. And my husband uses them when he can’t get in enough calories between sessions. But food should be fuel first. Then supplements, yes?!

  14. MelCole says:

    As an endurance athlete allergic to dairy, I use a pure pea protein powder for shakes, cooking and of course, healthy bites, rarely as a meal supplement unless I’m in a hurry. I like the pure form so I know that any additives are only what I put in it, but I also like my food to be ‘real’. Sadly the health industry can be so confusing that it is easy for people to think they are being ‘healthy’ when in actual fact they aren’t – it is more of a money spinner……

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