Thursday, November 11, 2010

Protein Shakes Aren't A Magic Bullet

Rick Rubin's lost a ton of weight -- 130 pounds! -- by adopting a "fish-and-protein-shake diet."

Despite my newfound Paleosity, I'm not totally anti-protein-shake. How can I be, when even Robb Wolf advocates downing an occasional post-workout coconut milk / whey protein shake?

But still: If you're counting on getting results like Rubin's by downing shake after shake in place of your regular meals (consisting of real, unprocessed food), you may want to rethink your diet.
Considering that [protein] shakes can contain up to 40 grams of protein a serving, consuming too many of them can be harmful and may even lead to weight gain.
“The fact of the matter is the body can only break down about five to nine grams of protein per hour. So any excess protein you are not using for athletic endeavors or energy can either be turned into fat of excreted. So if you are consuming more protein than you need and you are not athletic, you are either going to get diarrhea or you will probably store that protein as fuel, which is fat,” says Shannon Jones, a trainer at Crossfit Zone in Victoria.
Excreting that extra protein can put pressure on the kidneys and lead to bone loss, as calcium is taken from bones to assist the excretion process.
While she drinks one protein shake for breakfast, Ms. Jones says you should avoid drinking them unless you lead a very active life.
“It’s not going to benefit you in any way,” she says.
Rubin -- between guzzling protein shakes -- worked out six days a week. So if you're just sitting on your ass all day, don't count on a diet of nothin' but protein shakes to magically make you slim.

(Source: The Globe & Mail)