I always hear that real food sources of protein yield results superior to those gained from protein powder, but why is this?
Also, can anyone validate that they have gotten better results by using whole food vs. protein powder? What were the results (increased muscle/less bodyfat)?
I find protein powder more convenient, less constipating/easier to digest, and cheaper (when ordered in bulk) than chicken breast, but am wondering if my results would be better if I switched to a completely whole-food diet.
Protien powder is a supplement. That's really all it should be used for, IMO. If you need extra calories/protien, have a shake. Powders aren't some magic dust. You can get big w/o them.
But his question is WHY is whole food better than protien powder? I have heard a million times that eating 20g worth of protien from chicken is better than me drinking a shake, but why? Whats the reasoning behind this, why can't we just eat bars, and drink shakes all day(except for boredom factor of course)?
Height: 5' 11"
maybe cuz you get more than just straight protein from chicken and beef and whole foods. also the digestion rate, you dont always want a shake thats gonna be outta you in a matter of minutes.
the grass could be greener, and itll always be greener on the other side, but you just never know....this could be the one
Meats have vitamins and minerals. Zinc, iron, B-12 especially, good fat if lean, less processed.
its a slower protein than whey. but its not necessarily better. protein is protein, whether from a tub or a bird.
My question wasn't whether or not you can get big without protein powder, but rather whether or not you can get big and/or cut with protein powder.
The argument that meat would have more vitamins/minerals may be true, especially for red meat. But that aside, are there some muscle-building, fat burning effects that meat has over protein powder?
Yes. It's still calories anyway you look at it. Whether it's whole food or powders, as long as you get enough, you get big.Originally Posted by ebrunner
For bulking purposes, powders are good because they are digested quickly. Easy way to get the extra calories needed. For cutting, not so good. You're more likely to be hungry later. It's a liquid for the most part so there's pretty much no digestion when you drink a shake. IMO, when you cut, shakes should be a last resort food. Whole foods work better because they keep you feeling full longer which will help keep food intake down.
As long as meat doesn't have any significant fat burning, muscle-hardening effects, I'm going to continue my powder usage, even while cutting:
1. I would have to prepare large amounts of meat ahead of time, and then it's too easy to eat extra portions.
2. When I'm chewing on something, my brain registers that I'm eating, and it doesn't want to stop--when I drink something, the pleasure of chowing down is gone, and I feel like I'm just having somthing to drink. I can focus more on my true hunger signals.
3. I have a sweet tooth, and the shakes hit the spot, keeping me from craving ice cream all the time.
4. I actually find a shake made with some psyllium husk seed to be very filling--more so than meat. This could be purely psychological satisfaction--I enjoy the taste of a shake much better than eating meat. Plus, the psyllium husk forms a gel in one's stomach that leaves them quite full.
whole food has the vitamins and minerals and stuff that help with the muscle building process. its just more nutritious.
I hope someone else chimes in and gives a real convincing explanation because I think everyone is just throwing darts here hoping to hit the bullseye, but not really knowing the true answer. I always preach that whole food is better, but until this question was posted I never realized I don't even know the reasoning behind it.
For now, just to add to what everyone else has said, protein powder is processed food, and the human body was not made to consume processed things. This argument is the same as why oats are better for you than cereal (aside from GI).
To my understanding, Whole Foods are much more natural and a neccessity for life. The way I view it is that you can live without taking supplements but you cannot live without eatting. I know this is not the greatest responces, but I think it makes sense. And besides whole food is more nutritionally dense, and (hopefully) in most cases is a pure source of nutrients. Shakes are man made, hence they are synthetic, (i think that the correct term) and have limitations on how much they can actually enhance the body.
Case in point, I have been taking shakes, but lately I have been only taking one a day and trying to eat more, and I have noticed that I am getting stronger and bigger.
A kid at my gym has one of the biggest chests i have ever seen as well as being overall very built, I asked him what he takes, and all he said was that he "eats, eats, and eats", and never touches those "shake S**Ts". So in relation to your question, Whole foods are optimal, and shakes would simply be a supplimental alternative if whole food is not available.
so what if I eat a cereal made of oats!!! HA !
This is the kind of anecdotal evidence I'm looking for--thanks. One question, though: did your calories/carbs/protein/fat remain the same when you switched from shakes to whole food?Originally Posted by Bboy486
Anyone else have experiences to share?
Last edited by ebrunner; 09-02-2004 at 10:07 AM. Reason: grammar
There are only a few drawbacks that I can think ofOriginally Posted by Vido
1) Whey protein is digested rather quickly, which is not really that advantageous other than pre and post workout.
2) Whey protein sometimes lacks minerals and vitamins you get from whole food protein sources
3) It is a processed food. However, I don't think it is as bad as other processed foods people consume. Furthermore, a lot of the whole food many of us eat isn't really any better, unless people eat organic.
Personally, I consume about 4 scoops of powder a day, sometimes more if I don't have a lot of food around the house. I most often mix the powder with whole foods (in my oats) or have shakes with my whole food. I've gone periods of time without powder, and never noticed a difference.
"It is often said, mainly by the "no-contests", that although there is no positive evidence for the existence of God, nor is there evidence against his existence. So it is best to keep an open mind and be agnostic. At first sight that seems an unassailable position, at least in the weak sense of Pascal's wager. But on second thought it seems a cop-out, because the same could be said of Father Christmas and tooth fairies. There may be fairies at the bottom of the garden. There is no evidence for it, but you can't prove that there aren't any, so shouldn't we be agnostic with respect to fairies?"
"Out of all of the sects in the world, we notice an uncanny coincidence: the overwhelming majority just happen to choose the one that their parents belong to. Not the sect that has the best evidence in its favour, the best miracles, the best moral code, the best cathedral, the best stained glass, the best music: when it comes to choosing from the smorgasbord of available religions, their potential virtues seem to count for nothing, compared to the matter of heredity. This is an unmistakable fact; nobody could seriously deny it. Yet people with full knowledge of the arbitrary nature of this heredity, somehow manage to go on believing in their religion, often with such fanaticism that they are prepared to murder people who follow a different one."
"Bah. You know I hate poor people."
Well think about it, basically the shakes are substitutes, and you are really looking to eat like a champ to gain muscle. So with that thought, if i do not take the shake I need to eat food to make up for the protein and calories.Originally Posted by ebrunner
It really all depends what your goals are. For me I am looking to maintain 3000/day and my shakes only accounted for like 180 cal. So the food I needed to replace was to get me to the 3000 mark so nothing to great (save for the protein) and i found that using tuna would do the trick.
Originally Posted by T_Chapman
ZINC WILL MAKE YOU HYOOOOOGE!! ($ to lyle)
Proteins in meats not only have vitamins and minerals but the protein you get from those meats are more thermogenic your body uses them more efficiently. The protein you get from supplements are good for right before or right after you work out but your body doesn't asorb but maybe 65-80% of a shake where your body will absorb 80-90% from the meats you eat or proteins you get from nuts cheeses and so forth. Shakes are good supplements for a quick needed influx of protein in the morning right when you wake up and after you work out, but best results will be had from whole foods.
sublime99, where did you get those %'s from?
not zinc magnesium sterate will make you hyooooooooge
From what I've heard, meat protein is more thermogenic than protein powder--i.e. meat requires more calories to digest than shakes. I've always assumed meat would be superior to protein shakes for cutting, but never heard any anectdotal evidence to support this. I've never heard what the actual difference in thermogenic effect is between meat and protein shakes, and if this difference is significant enough to affect bodyfat.Originally Posted by sublime99
However, if only 65-80% of a shake is absorbed, while 80-90% of whole food protein is absorbed, than the thermogenic effect may be offset by the digestibility--if you drink a shake and only absorb 65% of it, you are really only getting 65-80% of the calories on the label, whereas with whole food you are getting 80-90%. Therefore, the shake may be useful for cutting because 20-35% of the calories are passing through the system unabsorbed.
If we knew the thermogenic effect of both protein sources, we then could add the thermogenic effect to the digestibility, and find which source would be best for cutting (while the other would be best for bulking).
You have to count the calories of anything that goes into your body. Whether or not it gets used efficiently is another issue.
While I'm not saying powders are bad, they are still just supplements. And some of you guys are making it far more difficult than it needs to be, and Vido hit the nail on the head a fwe posts up...
Humans didn't evolve and survive hundreds of thousands of years on protein powders cooked up in some factory, we survived on dead animals. Just look at it that way.
You also have to take into account the type of protein powder you're talking about. A blend of casein/whey/egg/soy/whatever is going to be closer to real food than whey. I think that as far as body composition goes (disregarding health completely) a protein powder blend will yield the same (or very similar) results as eating whole food.
However, ebrunner, if you're discussing how cheap protein powder is, I will assume you are talking about whey as the blends are considerably more expensive. In this case, whole food is going to be better for health AND body composition.