Sports drinks, such as protein powder, gels, bards, and shakes have been some of the greatest inventions for individuals who are health-conscious. The sports supplements are a nutritious alternative instead of junk food. It’s a convenient way to include a post-workout snack into your routine. There are some people who are relying solely on the supplements and they are not eating whole foods. Skipping out on whole, healthy foods can ruin your health.
There was a survey conducted involving 200 men. One in five men stated that they replaced their meals with protein bars or drinks, ad 40 percent of them stated they were increasing their use of protein supplements. Not to mention, 30% of the men had said that they were worried about their supplement use. Out of all the men, 8% mentioned that their doctor wanted them to cut back, and 3% went as far as being admitted to the hospital for liver and kidney problems because of the toll they are taking on their nutrition.
The study only included men, but women’s dependence on protein supplements is just as bad. There was a survey in 2013 that showed 50 percent of female endurance athletes stated that they used the products as well with other sports.
Many women go for the supplements because of the words “weight loss” on them. Men and women both are vulnerable to the way society portrays body image. Researches are worried that overuse of supplements may become a new way of an eating disorder.
How could drinking too may protein shakes be that big of a deal? It’s not really the protein itself that is the issue, unless of course you have liver or kidney issues. The bad part is all the additives in the supplement, such as energy boosters, fat burners, caffeine, creatine, and vitamins. This is even worse if you are combining products.
Overdose is typically rare when it comes to protein supplements. However, poor nutrition from skipping meals is the biggest issue. The protein in the supplement is good, but there are also added preservatives, sugar, and artificial flavors. Not to mention, there are numerous other non-natural ingredients. Protein powders aren’t meant to replace a meal, as they lack phytonutrients and fiber.
It’s not just physical issues you deal with when you over-consume protein supplements, it’s also mental health. There are people who plan their entire day around workouts. Those same people may avoid any situation where they may have to eat real food and they have distress when they have to eat and can’t have their protein supplements. Jennifer Sommer, R.D stated that this form of eating may be a type of “orthorexia,” which is an eating disorder that solely focuses on foods like this.
Is your daily shake a problem? Probably not. Do you rely on multiple protein supplements each day? That may be a problem. What can you do to cut back and get more whole foods in?
For creative ways to prepare whole food protein sources, check out the BodyRock Meal Plan!
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