There are some really great personal trainers out there, but a lot of people don’t realize that not all trainers have a background in nutrition. And those who do often have a very limited background in it. And they tend to buy into a lot of myths and push products sold by the gyms for which they work.
One of these myths is that when people weight train, they need massive amounts of protein and that they can safely and healthfully get these massive amounts of protein from powdered shakes.
Anyone who believes this (or is just curious what I’m getting at), please read this article from The Cleveland Clinic. I’m not currently in the mood to go on another search, but the Mayo Clinic has basically the same article on its website. Feel free to look for yourselves.
The basics of these two respected clinics’ stances on protein and exercise are that:
- Even Olympic-level athletes get enough protein from a healthy, balanced diet and do not need much more protein than the average couch potato, anyway.
- Too much protein can cause kidney and liver problems, as well as a host of other not-so-good side effects.
- The protein one gets from those shakes sold at gyms is not quality and not well absorbed by the body.
My experience from the last few years of intense workouts is that the best pre-exercise fuel is a slice of whole grain toast with some natural peanut butter or a cheese and veggie omelet with some whole grain toast. The human body has existed for thousands of years and was designed to take a lot of stress while ingesting foods that are not created in a laboratory.
I’m not a dietition any more than these personal trainers are, but I think I’ll take the word of the Cleveland and Mayo clinics. They seem like pretty reliable sources to me.