Working with the public and selling protein shakes generally means that I get some rather curious conversations going every once in a while. The sort of things that people say to me or ask me can range from being funny to being down right concerning. At no point do I blame anyone for asking a silly question as in my opinion the only stupid questions are the ones that go unasked. However there appears to be some massively silly misconceptions about supplements and mostly protein shakes out there at the moment. A large part of this is just down to general ignorance, but things like the media, fussy parents and even doctors give protein shakes a bad name and increase the worry in the general public about taking protein shakes. Here are just a few of the things I hear and get asked about with regards to protein shakes.
Protein shakes are un-natural!
One of the greatest misconceptions is that protein shakes are in some way un-natural. Some people consider them “cheating”. Other people are just generally scared to take them in case they get some kind of side effect. I genuinely get asked whether someone would fail a drugs test for taking whey protein. People fail to see that protein shakes are just powdered nutrients. Whey protein is the protein extracted from milk and dairy products. It couldn’t be more natural. It’s certainly more natural than plenty of these GM foods that you can get in a supermarket. So to anyone that is worried about drinking protein shakes and being called a cheater, simply explain to the ill-educated person who called you it that by drinking a protein shake rather than eating foods with chemicals and pesticides in them you are probably more natural than them.
Protein shakes can accidentally make you MASSIVE!
I’m not being sexist but this one is usually the women. I get calls off women sometimes asking for diet advice and supplements to aid fat loss. Most of you may be aware that high protein, low carb diets are usually very successful fat loss diets so it would make good sense to recommend a low carb protein shake. However when I make this recommendation the usual response is “oh no I don’t want to be big and muscular” or “I don’t want arms like Arnold”. I can assure you ladies if protein shakes did that then I would be far bigger than I currently am. You would not fear eating a tin of tuna or a chicken breast for fear of being invited to compete at the Olympia so why fear it from a protein shake?
Protein shakes negate the need for a good diet or training plan!
When someone asks me how many protein shakes they should have per day and I reply with “as many as your diet requires”, I generally get either a blank look or a few seconds silence. What people fail to understand is that protein shakes don’t make you gain muscle. A good diet allows you to gain muscle. Protein shakes must be a part of that diet but not be a priority over the diet. Use a protein shake in the same way you would a piece of chicken. Build a solid diet and include protein shakes for convenience or cost saving only. Don’t sacrifice diet for protein shakes. Protein shakes alone will do as much as any other food with the same nutritional value. Without a full structured diet or solid training plan you will not achieve what you hope for.
Some good quality protein shakes that i would recommend to anyone would be the following:
So next time you are looking to buy a protein shake or even if someone talks to you about them, don’t fall for these common misconceptions. Remember, not everything you hear is always true.