Tuesday, January 26, 2010

No Whey to Build Muscle

As I was going into the gym this morning, I couldn’t help noticing how many large cans of a product called Muscle Milk were sitting on the counter. This product, along with many other similar supplements, comprise a $2.7 billion industry in this country. They are largely made from whey, which is a byproduct of cheese production. Remember your curds and whey?

How resourceful these companies are in turning what was essentially a minimally valued commodity into a must have for every Arnold aspiring teenage boy. With clever image marketing, they are selling a distorted story to a largely ignorant public in a largely unregulated industry.

I can speak from experience about the powerful influence these protein products have on teenagers. As one of the many ectomorphs aspiring to be a mesomorph young gym rat, I consumed many bottles of protein powders in my day. What I didn’t know in those days, and what the current crop of aspirants don’t know, is that the standard American diet is overloaded with protein. Our consumption levels are almost twice the amount that our bodies need to meet our physiological requirements and the excess protein has led to an alarming increase in the number of renal disorders.

When we add all the other bogus products that promise increased athletic efficiency, we are talking about a $25 billion industry that preys on our vanity and our desire for a magical potion.

PS : I was 160lbs as a teenager and am the same weight today

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