Our diets must focus on food first, but I have found that protein shakes break up the monotony of mostly savory food options for weight loss clients and liquid calories are highly beneficial for athletes who just can’t physically chew all the food they need to meet their needs.
Yet, people tend to think that high quality, well sourced protein supplementation is expensive. It is. For example, both Whey Cool and Pure Paleo by Designs for Health (I mostly recommend these two) are about $2 a serving, but is this more expensive than buying organic responsibly sourced meat?
Let’s do the maths…
One scoop of protein equals roughly one eighth to a one quarter…pound of meat depending on lean-ness
Therefore, if you go to Costco and buy organic chicken breasts for $6.99 a pound, the raw meat will cook down to about 12-13 oz. And we are looking at roughly that same $2 for the same amount of protein that would be in powder form. If you go to Whole Foods it will perhaps be closer to $700.
If you get bison or lean grass-fed beef you are likely pushing $3 for the same amount of protein. And fish obviously a bit more, but you also get EPA and DHA with this purchase, so that cost difference levels out as there is about $1.25 worth of fish oil in your average portion of salmon.
Thus, when we crunch the numbers it seems about even, yet most of us don’t purchase 30 to 60 servings of chicken in one go, so you front load your cost a little bit more and this tends to leave us with the feeling that supplementation is more expensive when in fact it really isn’t.
When I look these numbers, I don’t get excited when a protein supplement is 50 cents a serving. I get nervous and I start asking questions. What’s in it? Where does it come from? How did they get the price that low? Has it been checked for heavy metals and contaminants? What is the sweetening agent?
And most of time in the Wild West of the the supplement industry you aren’t going to like the answers.