Believe it or not, the first time I discovered protein shakes was when my personal doctor told me about them. The guy was a really fat former brain surgeon and said to me that when I train I need to take protein because it connects to the damaged muscle and repairs it. He also ordered me to take two dumbbells, lay on the floor and do some sort of reverse flies. The reason being was that I was a skinny boy with poor posture.
I went to the grocery store and asked the woman there about those “protein foods”. She gave me a look, which could only mean one thing – I had better chances getting the lottery numbers from her than “protein foods”. What a cow.
I asked myself: “Where can I find those ‘protein foods?’
After a while I reached the logical conclusion that the only other place where people sell things that you put in your body right was the pharmacy store. I went there to test my luck.
“You have any protein foods?”
The pharmacist went to the storage room and got back with a box. On the front there was a shredded guy with abs. In my mind I was like: “are those anabolics” and actually felt scared because I had heard about a guy from my former school who had suffer from medical issues due to using anabolics.
“Is this it,” she asked.
She went back to the storage room and got me another box full of protein powder without muscle guys on the label. “That must be the kids version,” I thought and bought it.
I went home and opened the muscle box. It had a vanilla smell, and there was plastic teaspoon inside. I tested it the way drug dealers test cocaine in movies. I liked it. It was legit. I put some in my fruity yogurt, as suggested by the pharmacist.
This is when my body was introduced to protein powder for the first time. Never forget.
When I think about this story today, I immediately associate it with the power of purchases over people. The system has convinced us that whenever you have a problem, buying something specialized is always the solution. That may be fine for developing a rich marketing portfolio, but it dumbs down people and does not let them see clearly.
In the case of muscles, the industry has convinced us that there is something special about protein powders that makes them superior to everything else. It’s like the protein you find in supplements is somehow more anabolic than the protein contained in food, because of the muscle retards on the cover. The endless amount of “research” which shows that whey protein and its brothers and sisters are absorbed by the body faster than lightning plays a major role in the brainwashing.
The truth is that whey is nothing but processed/recycled pig food based on dairy products. Thus, it’s a byproduct of food and as such it cannot deliver something superior. Humans cannot create a food that’s better than what’s already available in nature. However, the corporate fascism that reigns supreme these days will soon be selling real love in a bottle.
With that said, protein shakes are not that bad if you are able to understand what they truly are. They are pretty decent sources of protein when your mouth department is under construction, and you cannot eat solid food of any kind. They are also nice to have when you travel, although I don’t want people to believe the myths how your muscles get catabolic after 2 hours of fasting. There is no need to be one of those guys who feel guilty if they go to bed without drinking their slow absorbing protein shake.
Anabolic drinks are also good when you just want to add a dose of that technological fruit flavor were have all been nurtured with. Without a doubt, protein powder is healthier than eating the whole menu of a fast food restaurant or five candy bars full of sugar.
You should not expect any incredible gains thank to protein shakes. It is simply a modern way to deliver protein in a liquid form. It’s like one of those vitamin tablets that dissolve in water except that it’s protein. You don’t expect to drink a multi and get massive do you? Neverthless drinking a multi with orange flavor, for example, is better than drinking Fanta that’s full of sugar and other unfriendly substances.
At the same time you should never trust individuals who are trying to convince you that because of the “modern way of life”, you should make powders a huge part of your nutrition. The truth is that you don’t have to take any powders, but if you want to, it only makes sense to use them as supplements here and there. You can’t make them the cornerstone of your bodybuilding/lifting food strategy. It’s like buying salt and dancing around it. There is no substance, which can only come from food in its original form. Supplements could be considered flavor and anabolic spice. Nothing more.