Do you drink your breakfast?

Smoothie does it

Many people complement their diet with vitamins and supplement products, hoping to improve their health, boost their workout performance, or even defy the ageing process. We’ve seen a massive boom in supplement products in recent years, protein powders and bars in particular have become increasingly popular with sports and fitness fanatics.

However, some of the marketing campaigns we’re exposed to can be confusing for consumers. With sculpted cover models flexing their muscles, it’s easy to see how our choices can be influenced — remember that slightly controversial Protein World campaign from last year? Some of these marketing messages can leave people confused about what their body really needs. The huge range of products available makes it something of a minefield for consumers, so we decided to ask the expert.

Top 5 things to avoid in your protein shake

Our very own Jenny T knows a thing or two about getting the optimal balance of vital nutrients. Whilst it’s best to get your protein from real foods, sometimes we might fall short due to our hectic lifestyles or an intense workout. Here’s Jenny’s top 5 things to avoid in protein shake:

1. Soy Protein
The concerns with this ingredient range from its production and quality to the negative effects on health including inflammation, possible thyroid disturbance and hormone disruption.  

2. Sugar
If you need to add sweetness to your shake then do so naturally. Bananas and tropical fruits are very sweet naturally and can help recovery after exercise if added to your wholefood shake.

3. Artificial Sweeteners
There’s enough evidence to suggest that these can cause major metabolic disruption. You’re better off sticking to naturally available sugars i.e. those available from fruit or natural stevia.

4. Too many gums
These are used to thicken protein shakes but they can cause digestive disturbance. Natural thickeners include flax meal or psyllium husk. If you want to make your shake thicker at home you can add frozen banana or ice. There’s no need for potential problem-causing gums in protein powders.

5. Hydrolysed Protein
If whey protein undergoes the process of hydrolysing it changes the way the protein interacts with your cells, making it far less effective and potentially allowing toxins to build up. Whey protein isolate is the most useful and most easily converted protein available.

So, where do you find a nutritious, naturally clean whole food shake? We got the NutriBullet out and put some of these products to the test — all things considered, Jenny’s clear favourite was Purition.