Can Meal Replacement Protein Drinks Cause These Side Effects?

If you are trying to supplement your meals with meal replacement shakes, there is a very good chance that you are not necessarily doing yourself any favors.  While it is no secret that yes, meal replacement powder is going to contain many of the vitamins and minerals that your body requires in order to function properly, they are not going to be any substitute for real foods.  With that being said, meal replacement shakes are normally going to be very safe for just about anybody who is willing to take them, the main exception being if that particular person has any type of allergies to one of the ingredients in the shake itself.  Essentially, this means that everybody who decides to take a meal replacement shake is going to be affected in a different way, which also means that everybody who takes a meal replacement shake is also going to be putting themselves at some type of risk, whether they think they are or not.

Here are some of the main side effects that you can expect to happen when you do start incorporating a meal replacement shake into your regular daily diet.

Weight Gain

While you will always be able to find some meal replacement shakes that have been designed to help you drop weight in some way or another, there are going to be others that have been designed to encourage the amount of muscle that you can gain (or just gain weight overall), which essentially means that they are going to be much higher in calories than any meal that you would normally eat.  What this means, is that if you don’t actually stop eating meals and start adding meal replacement shakes to your diet, you are going to be adding some very high calorie shakes to your daily diet.

With that being said, it is not uncommon to have people who start incorporating meal replacement shakes to their regular daily diet, also start to add some extra weight to their body as well.  In fact, even if your main fitness goal is to start adding mass to your frame, meal replacement shakes are not going to be the cure that you are looking for if you are planning on using them by themselves.  While it is true that you do need extra calories and much more extra protein in order to gain lean mass, it will ultimately result in you gaining fat and extra pounds unless you are constantly participating in a regular workout routine.  So, if you are not doing a serious weight training routine, you really don’t have any need for a meal replacement routine.

They Provide You with Digestive Discomfort

One of the main ingredients that is normally used in most meal replacement shakes is going to be whey protein.  What this means is that your meal replacement shake is going to contain whey protein in order to supply the amount of protein that the shake is claiming to provide you with.  While yes, whey protein is actually going to contain much less lactose than that of milk protein, it is not actually going to be lactose-free as many people believe it is.  In fact, whey protein is actually going to contain much more lactose than you would think, meaning that if you are lactose intolerant, you should probably try your hardest to avoid it at all costs.  If you don’t, it can very easily provide you with some discomfort that you are not going to enjoy at all.  On top of that, if you are not friends with whey protein, you can also suffer from several other side-effects that you will probably not want to be part of.  These can include:

  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Cramps

While these are not going to be life or death type symptoms, they are going to be some symptoms that you are more than likely not going to want to deal with as they are going to be extremely inconvenient.  

Nutrition Deficiencies

When it comes to the amount of nutrition that is stuffed into meal replacement shakes that you are choosing to consume, they are normally going to be fortified with several different minerals and vitamins that will make it a suitable replacement for the food that they are replacing.  However, not every meal replacement shake is going to be a well-balanced, or even suitable replacement.  In fact, you are going to come across many meal replacement shakes that actually don’t have even the minimal amount of different vitamins and minerals that you are going to require on a regular daily basis.  This is due to the fact that these shakes which you think are going to help you with your nutrition, are actually going to have a much lower quality of nutrition than the actual foods that they are supposed to replace.  

This essentially means that if you are using meal replacement shakes as your main source of nutrition, there is going to be a very good chance that you are getting less nutrition than you need, which in turn is going to result in you needing to take even more supplements to get the amount of daily antioxidants, dietary fiber, and phytonutrients.  While yes, fiber is not necessarily considered an actual nutrient, it is going to be a very essential factor that you are going to need to get enough of on a daily basis unless you are trying to not have a healthy nutrition plan.  When you don’t get enough fiber, it can actually lead you to having several different side effects, some of which include constipation, diverticulitis, and even hemorrhoids.

Lots of Harmful Additions

When it comes to meal replacement shakes, they are normally going to be classified as a type of dietary supplement.  What this means, is that they are not going to be regulated by any real type of regulatory agency.  In fact, since supplements are not checked by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the companies that manufacture the mare pretty much able to claim anything that they want, even if it is not true at all.  In fact, in a study that was done back in 2010, testers were able to discover that over 15 protein drinks that were commercially promoted and produced all had traces of arsenic in them.  On top of that, most of the proteins that were tested also contained large traces of cadmium, which is a very harmful and heavy metal.  As if that wasn’t enough, these very same proteins also showed traces of mercury and lead as well.  This is not going to be good as these are going to be some metals that are very dangerous and toxic to you if you consume them on a regular basis.  Since most people take protein supplements on a regular basis, it provides the perfect storm for a bad situation happening to you.

What this all means, is that when you have some type of chronic low-level metal poisoning that happens over time, it has the ability to produce a wide variety of different health problems, those that can include join pain, weakness, muscle pains, fatigue, constipation, and even headaches.

What About Whey Protein?

When it comes to meal replacement shakes, many of them are packed full of whey protein.  This is nothing new and it is not likely to chance anytime soon.  But what about potential side effects of whey protein, as many people are unable to stomach it without suffering some certain side effects.  Here is everything that you need to know about whey protein, meal replacement shakes and you.

It is no big secret that if you are trying to get into better shape or even lose weight, you are at some point in time going to need to start using whey protein.  But even with all of the potential health benefits that whey protein is able to provide you with, there is still going to be a ton of controversy over it and how safe it is for you to take.  

There are some people who will claim that too much whey protein is actually bad for their kidneys and will cause them some very serious damage, as well as their liver.  At the same time, there are going to be other people who swear by whey protein and make it a very large part of their regular daily diet.  In fact, this is where the big debate between meal replacement shakes and protein shakes is going to come into play.

There are some people that can easily make whey protein shakes a regular part of their diet without having any adverse side effects, while others have tried to incorporate whey protein into their daily diet but have not been as fortunate and have had to suffer through some side effects.  It is all going to depend upon that particular person and the reason they are using that particular meal replacement shake or protein shake.  

Whey Protein for the Win

One of the biggest mistakes that people make is acting like they know what whey protein is when they actually do not know what it is at all.  So what exactly is whey protein?

Whey protein is going to be a very popular dietary and fitness supplement that is made from whey, which is going to be the liquid that separates milk during the cheese making process.  So whey protein is essentially the liquid that separates during cheese making.  Once this separation happens, the whey is then filtered, refined, and even spray-dried into what is called whey powder.  

When it comes to athletes and those who are looking to lose weight, whey protein is going to be a very popular option as it is used on a regular basis to replace meals.  With that being said, whey protein is not going to be a good substitute for a meal replacement shake.  This is because a meal replacement shake is going to have all of the nutrients that you would normally get from an actual meal, but in a shake form.  As for a protein shake, it is only going to contain protein in it, meaning that you are still going to need all of the vitamins and minerals that you would normally get from food.  It is for this reason that depending upon your individual weight loss goals, a meal replacement shake or even a protein shake is going to be the best option for you and what you are trying to accomplish. 


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