Why Your Protein Shake is Giving You Acne.

"Lose weight! Build muscle! Every nutrient you need in one shake!"- Every protein shake company.

From mlm's (multi-level marketing AKA pyramid schemes) like Herbalife or Shakeology, the sports nutrition store, to your personal trainer and gym, everyone is telling you to drink up to shape up and get healthy.  But, what you don't know about protein shakes can trigger or exacerbate your acne and here's how it happens.

The Protein

I'd say 90% of people are drinking whey based protein and meal replacement shakes.  Whey is one of two main proteins found in cow's milk, with the other protein being casein, is cheap to produce, and there's an abundant supply as its a by-product of the cheese making process.

The Trigger

To put it simply, whey throws off the balance of your hormones in your body.  It contains a little hormone called Insulin Growth Factor-1 (or IGF-1 for short). This hormone is what makes baby cows grow, and we even produce it in our own breast milk for growing newborns.   Not only does IGF-1 make baby cows grow fast, but it makes us build muscle tissue quickly which is why its a popular choice for protein shakes. 

The human body is a finely tuned machine that has millions of checks and balances to keep everything in working order.  Our bodies regulate IGF-1 in small doses, but when you're drinking a 10oz whey based protein shake 1 to 2 times a day, hormonal chaos ensues in the body.

So, think about it.  IGF-1 is telling your body to build muscle tissue fast fast fast!  It's also telling your body to produce oil fast fast fast!  It's telling your body to produce skin cells fast fast fast! 

Excess oil + excess skin cells = acne breakouts

In addition to IGF-1, most whey based protein powders are not organic and contain Bovine Growth Hormones. These hormones were injected into the cow to speed up their growth and milk supply, which is double the trouble for acne prone skin.  Cows treated with these hormones produce milk that is rich in Omega 6 fatty acids.  Omega-6 fatty acids cause an inflammatory response in our bodies.  So, not only does whey contain acne causing IGF-1 and Bovine Growth Hormones, but Omega 6 fatty acids that makes and keeps our skin in an inflamed state; sensitive to everything we put in and on our bodies.

Alternatives to Whey

So, now that you know why whey based protein powders are causing you to break out, let's give you a great alternative.  We like organic, non-gmo plant based protein shakes with our favorite being PaleoMeal DF(dairy free) by Designs for Health.  It is an easily digestible plant based protein shake that'll help keep you full, and build muscle tissue, without all the acne causing side affects of consuming whey.   

Now, I know what some of you don't believe that whey based protein powders have that much of an affect on our body, but if the food we put in our bodies don't really affect us, then we wouldn't be needing that morning cup of coffee every day.  Taking whey out of your diet is only one aspect of a whole body approach to treating acne, because as nice as it sounds, a magic cream in a jar will not fix those breakouts. True lasting results come from diet, lifestyle, acne safe skincare products, and professional treatments to get and keep your skin clear.

Book a consultation with us to get your skin clear.