Unsupervised protein shake consumption can be harmful

April 2, 2012

Nutritionists in Canada are warning teenagers to stay away from protein powders and pre-mixed supplement drinks that may have unregulated ingredients, and may end up just making them ill or fat.

Dietician Ashley Charlebois said health and muscle-conscious teenagers might unknowingly be wasting money on expensive protein supplements without knowing what they’re getting out of them.

“What is kind of contra-indicative to what most people think is [that] what is important is to actually get carbohydrates after a workout rather than protein,” she said.

According to Charlebois, there could be many potentially dangerous additives hiding in protein shakes despite the fact that Health Canada regulated health supplements. Not all manufacturers list all their ingredients, he said. Creatine is one of those substances teenagers and their parents should watch out for, as it can cause dehydration. Furthermore, there are some protein supplements have the power to go straight to the hips.

Teenagers can only synthesize 15 grams of protein at a time, but many who are trying to gain muscle take more than that. The excess protein will turn straight into energy — which, if it isn’t used up right away, will be stored in the body as fat.

If researched and taken properly, teenagers can benefit from health supplements, said Greg Semkuley, Enerex’s sales manager. He said that teens should research what kind of supplement they’re buying, and only use what is safe.

“These things aren’t a replacement for food and good nutrition on a daily basis. They’re not a substitute for a good nutritious meal, but when you are having athletes that are performing to a much higher degree, and the demands on their body are much higher, then — yeah — there are supplements that can be looked at.

Category: Pharmaceuticals

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