Protein shakes and why we think they may not be real food.

15 mins read
Strawberry Shake

Do you shake or not? maybe you are a secret shaker. Perhaps you are one of those people who think protein shakes are not real food. Whether you agree or not, shakes are real and here to stay. They are packed with nutrition and making an impact, by helping people to get their health in shape.

Protein supplements

Protein supplements have been around for a longer than you think, first coming on to the market in the 1950’s. Studies were showing how important protein was for muscle building. As competitive body building became increasingly popular, body building nutritionist, Irvin P Johnson developed the first egg based protein powder aimed for body builders and athletes.

Keep fit fanatics wanted more. The first protein shake I remember trying was sweet and sickly, however I do remember losing some weight and enjoying the fruity taste, I cannot remember it filling me up though so I found I was still reaching for more food.

Over time there have been some amazing improvements as health nerds become wiser and more demanding, We hate to be blinded by marketing scams, so we do take the time to read the ingredients lists and are conscious of what we put into our body. Fortunately protein shakes have been improved, Companies aware that there is a growing trend towards conscious consumerism, have listened and are transparent with their scientific research. It is important to do your research, check the ingredients and the class of protein being used, and decide for yourself. The brand I use, I am happy with as my results have been worthwhile and they leave me feeling full and satisfied.

How many of us include protein shakes in our diet?

As popularity continues to grow for this easy meal replacement, protein shakes have now become a kitchen cupboard essential with over 46% of Americans turning to protein shakes to ensure they get their daily nutritional needs. The UK is following closely behind. Studies have concluded that as many as one in four people in Britain have consumed a protein nutritional product in the last 3 months. The demand for protein shakes is growing across Europe. The company I work with has recently opened up 11 new markets across the EU.

Shake drinkers continue to face a lot of negativity when people deny that nutritional products are not real food. However, a lot of people are more than happy to reach for supplements and vitamins, we buy millions of them every year. We see nothing wrong in adding extra vitamins to packets of cereals and fruit bars. However to combine all these nutrients into a drink and call it a meal will sometimes send REAL FOODIES into a flummox.

So why do people see shakes as something that is not real food?

A shake undoubtedly can provide us with the correct balanced nutrition our bodies require daily.

COULD IT BE IN THE NAME MEAL REPLACEMENT? The name suggests it replaces a natural meal, Do we believe that a natural meal is something created with food that has either come out of the ground, grown on a tree or is part of an animal? This would be one explanation, another could be that our minds are programmed into thinking that a proper meal should be the traditional meat and two veg. on a round plate and eaten with a knife and fork. Some worry that because protein shakes are linked to the diet market. Valued at $192.2 billion in 2019 and expected to be worth $295.3 billion by 2027, many unscrupulous companies will be jumping on the bandwagon, people are always sceptical of successful or fast growing industries, Words like Scams and Fads are banded about creating bad press. There are always people who like to point this out to you.

Shakes are not registered as real food and sit on the shelf with supplements and meal replacements. So are we putting ourselves in any danger by denying ourselves real food? After all, we are getting the nutrients we need.

People who often question my decision to be a shaker, often surprise me, when they think nothing of consuming other processed foods available in the supermarket. Some of these foods are so highly processed that they are as far from being real as could be. You only have to look at some of the ingredient list.

However, if they are not prepared to look at the ingredients of what they eat, where it has come from and if it is grown organically, meaning free of pesticides , Are they likely to ever study the natural ingredient list on my shakes. CONFUSED? I AM This list is also available on the website of my shake suppliers giving the full details.

So if you are only interested in eating REAL FOOD, I would love to hear your definition. I see nothing wrong in wanting to have organic freshly grown food on my plate. There is nothing like an orange or lemon picked from your own tree to give you your daily dose of vitamin C, Or a plate of potato’s, carrots and kale, lovingly picked from your garden. I absolutely adore the time I spend in my kitchen preparing vegetables. I would love to tell you that I have collected eggs from my own chickens and got up this morning to milk the cow in my back yard. You know I am joking right? (about the cow and the chickens)

Growing your own food is fun, but if you had to rely on it for your own survival, that is a different matter.

Recently I met up with a Russian friend who came to one of our wellness events we used to hold in Spain before Covid put a stop to them. We had an organic farmer giving an informative speech before presenting his products. He was able to sell them afterwards. My Russian friend apologised to me for not joining in the sale. “The presentation reminded me of when I was a child in Russia with my Grandmother she remarked, “We had to pull potato’s from the snow, I can tell you” she said shaking her head. “It is no fun digging up potato’s when you are hungry and your hands are frozen”

So if we want to have food that has been grown organically in soil dense in nutrients perhaps we should look to supplementing, to be sure we get everything we need for a healthy diet.

I have to admit I had also been a shake sceptic, for a number of reasons, until a couple of years ago, I always thought of shakes as being a quick fix: a temporary solution which would help you shift a few pounds, I also had assumed that they were expensive which also turned out to be misleading. I buy them through a reputable MLM company so now I am in the position to eat for free because I refer people.

Many of my friends are happy to just buy them for themselves but have been pleasantly surprised that their shopping bills have gone down. Instead of their shopping baskets catering for three meals per day they no longer need, to buy a lot of unnecessary items, they used to rely on.

In the last couple of years, I have noticed, I no longer buy bread, butter, jam, cheese, dairy milk, biscuits, cakes, packets of cereal and cereal bars and crisps. I rarely buy meat now and never buy processed meats like sausage, ham or bacon. All these foods were a part of my weekly shopping cart. I have started to produce more plant based meals and like nothing more than creating curries . It is easy to plan for a couple of meals ahead. Enabling me to buy fresh seasonal food and resulting in very little getting wasted.

When I first made protein shakes a part of my regular diet, it used to amaze me that people would ask, how long it would be before I would wean myself off them. Wondering if they thought I was taking some kind of drug or had even been lured toward joining a dangerous cult. I would try to explain that I was actually weaning myself off the high sugary diet that had been detrimental to my health and weight gain. Why on earth, would I want to go back to that particular type of real food. The toast and jam I had every morning with my sugary cereal did not seem to pose a problem for them so why question my nutritious shakes? The nay-sayers even agreed that I had lost loads of weight, was looking much healthier and so much more energy. So how much more proof did they need? One of my son’s is unfortunately my biggest sceptic, Although he agrees that the changes I have made have improved my health, he has purposely read all the negative information on the internet and is convinced I will soon have kidney failure. My last medical check-up says otherwise, No longer am I bordering on diabetes, I have no aching joints, and my kidneys seem to be in perfect working order. My other two kids both shake. My daughter especially has felt the benefits to her diet and is glowing like a moonbeam.

Vegetarians and vegans are often teased by their choices of what they feel is healthy to put in their bodies. They are sometimes perceived to be hippies or animal rights activists by people who feel uncomfortable around others who choose not to eat meat. Health conscious people are fully aware how difficult it is for some people to adopt certain lifestyles and beliefs especially if their mode of life has never really impacted on them in any way. It is only when they discover an underlying health issue that many people decide to make lifestyle changes. People often go on to become vegetarians or vegans for a number of reasons not because they want to live like hippies. Our adopted attitudes need modernising but that is difficult if people get so stuck in their opinions.

So I beg to question. What is it the nay sayers are trying to prove? Or are they afraid of being proved wrong but hate to admit it.

Actually, I believe there is no right or wrong answer. We should all be free to decide for ourselves, however, there continues to be a shake debate, amongst consumers and on my final note I should like to state that until people have done their own research and tried something for themselves their opinion cannot be validated.

Have shakes worked for you? Love to hear your story! Please leave a comment.

If you have enjoyed this article please take the time to visit my Buymeacoffee page. I am writing to raise money for a school in Jaipur India. They have had to close because of corona virus and urgently need to find new premises. If you can help in any small way it will be appreciated

Can we live on Supplements alone?

Hiya, I am Lauren, a lifestyle traveller, writer and health Nerd. Due to lockdown I decided to get on with writing my blog and catching up with friends new and old. I believe we are one world that for most of us wants to promote peace and goodwill to each other, wherever you are in the world I wish you well. I hope we connect and share our stories.

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