I learned about protein shakes from my personal doctor – a retired brain surgeon living life on the fat side. When I was sixteen he told me that I need to take protein because it repairs the damaged muscle tissue and makes it bigger. He also ordered me to do reverse dumbbell flies on the floor to improve my posture.
I decided to follow his advice and asked for “protein foods” at the local store. The woman there gave me a look which could mean only one thing – I had better chances getting the lottery numbers from her than “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 is the pharmacy store. I went there to test my luck.
The pharmacist showed me a box with shredded men on the label. In my mind, I was like “are those anabolics”. I was scared because a guy from school had hurt himself after taking anabolic steroids.
“Is this it,” she asked.
She went back to the storage room and returned with another box without muscle guys on the cover.
“That must be the kids version,” I thought and bought it.
I went home and opened the muscle box. I tested it the way drug dealers test cocaine in movies. It was legit and had a vanilla flavor that I liked. I put some in my fruity yogurt as suggested by the pharmacist.
This is how I met protein powder for the first time.
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.
In the case of muscles, the industry wants us to think that protein powder contains some sort of magic that catalyzes growth. Thanks to the power of marketing, placebo, and brainwashing, there are individuals who honestly believe that the protein in powders is more anabolic than the one in regular food. The endless amount of “research” showing that whey protein is absorbed by the body faster than lightning plays a major role in this mental conditioning.
The truth is that whey is processed/recycled pig food based on dairy products. In other words, it’s a byproduct of food and therefore cannot deliver something superior. Humans cannot create a food that’s better than what’s already available in nature. Yet the corporate fascism that reigns supreme these days has been selling love in bottles and boxes for a long time.
Having said that, protein shakes are not that bad if you are capable of understanding what they really represent. They could be a pretty decent source of protein when your mouth department is under construction preventing you from consuming solid food. They could also be helpful when you travel although I advise you to ignore the myths saying that your muscles get catabolic after 2 hours of fasting. Don’t become one of the guys who can’t go to bed without drinking their slow absorbing protein shake.
Anabolic drinks are also good when you just want to add a dose of the technological fruit flavor that we have been nurtured with.
Nevertheless, you should not expect incredible gains thanks to protein shakes. They are simply a modern way to deliver protein in a liquid form. It’s similar to the vitamin tablets that dissolve in water except that it’s protein. You don’t expect to drink a multi and get massive do you?
Protein shakes could be useful in a tight variety of situations. However, they are not a weapon that can help you overcome the natural limitations. They are simply anabolic spice.
I am sorry, but the legends aren’t true. Shakes won’t give you wings.