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Are whey protein shakes good or bad?

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In this video we discuss whether whey protein shakes are good or bad.

The answer is that whey protein shakes are neither good nor bad. Whether they should be considered “good” or “bad” just depends on the context and someone’s goals.

Whey protein is pretty clearly what we would call a yellow light food. It’s not nearly as healthy as something like broccoli (a green light food), but it’s certainly not as bad as a can of soda either (a red light food). So it has some good and not so good aspects, which is why it’s a yellow light food.

-provides a good amount of easily digestible protein
-It’s very quick and easy to have on the go
-increases glutathione production, the body’s master antioxidant

Not So Good:
-Dairy is a very common food allergy and food sensitivity
-If whey protein is used as a substitute for, instead of a supplement to, real whole food that can be problematic
-The overwhelming majority of whey protein shakes have crap ingredients (artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and sugar)

So what are some examples of contexts where whey protein can be useful
-An athlete using whey protein as a final supplemental addition to an otherwise real whole food diet.
-Someone who is not eating very healthy who is using whey protein as a temporary(!) stepping stone towards eating more healthy food.

So, if you’re going to use whey protein make sure either a) that 80-90% of what you’re currently eating is real whole food or b) that you’re using whey protein as a temporary tool to get you closer to that goal of 80-90% real whole food.