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Can protein shakes cause baldness? Discover the link between protein shakes and alopecia in this article.
If you are used to consuming protein shakes or shakes for the purpose of muscle building, then you may not be aware of the negative consequences this can have on hair health. So if you want to be muscular while keeping your beautiful hair, know that some of these protein drinks are to be avoided. Indeed, these protein shakes are packed with additives that can strongly affect hair loss. And these are more specifically additives intended to promote muscle mass such as inorganic growth hormones and creatine. So if you don’t yet know all the consequences that this protein consumption can have, continue reading this article… we explain everything to you.
What is male alopecia?
Alopecia or male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is a genetic disease that reduces the size of hair follicles, which then stop growing, and results in hair loss and permanent hair loss.
This is due to the action of testosterone, which turns into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This transformation accelerates the hair cycle. The hair will then renew itself more and more quickly until it no longer produces anything but a fine, invisible down. Can protein shakes cause baldness?
What are proteins?
Proteins are large molecules of amino acids, naturally present in all living beings. They help in proper development. Proteins have a structural role for the muscles, but also for the skin, the nails and the hair. Amino acids are the basic unit that makes up proteins. Despite the existence of a large number of different amino acids, the body only uses 20 of them for the production of proteins in the body.
Of these 20 amino acids:
- 11 are made by the human body itself
- 9 must be provided by food, because the body is unable to synthesize them in sufficient quantity. We are therefore talking about essential amino acids.
And it is these essential amino acids in particular that our hair needs.
Average daily protein intake
On average, an adult needs 0.50 g of protein / per kilo of body weight / per day (about 45 g for a woman and about 55 g for a man). This is the equivalent of two servings of meat, fish, tofu or nuts, per day.
What are the sources of protein?
Essential proteins are present in particular in healthy food. We often think that eating meat is the best source of protein, but think again, animal protein can be replaced by vegetable protein, opting instead for a diet rich in legumes, nuts and grains.
The new dietary guidelines of 2016 have also highlighted the importance of protein sources other than meat. It is also not necessary to completely banish animal proteins from our diet, but it is very important to opt for a healthy and varied diet on a daily basis, to ensure that we stay healthy.
What are protein shakes?
Can protein shakes cause baldness? Protein drinks or shakes are obtained by mixing water (or milk) with concentrated protein powder (from animal or vegetable products). This protein concentrate slowly releases amino acids into the body, which reduces muscle breakdown. Consumed regularly, these protein drinks therefore promote muscle mass.
So, can protein shakes cause baldness?
Can protein shakes cause baldness
Protein and other nutrients are essential for hair growth and development. But in too high concentration or overdose, proteins, and especially protein drinks, can harm hair health. Can protein shakes cause baldness?
Indeed, studies have shown that regular consumption of protein shakes considerably accelerates hair loss in men. This is due to inorganic hormones such as dehydroepiandrosterone, contained in the additives of these protein drinks or shakes. These additives are also known as androstenolone, and creatine.
Androstenolone and creatine increase free testosterone in the body, which promotes muscle mass. But this also leads to an increase in DHT, which, remember, causes alopecia in humans.
In summary, the consumption of protein shakes can trigger the process of hair loss, in subjects who are predisposed to it.
What can I replace my protein shake with?
If you regularly consume protein shakes or drinks, and are prone to alopecia, it goes without saying that you must stop this consumption quickly, if you want to keep your hair!
Know that you can easily replace this protein intake with white meat, eggs and fish. In large consumption, these foods will provide the proteins necessary for muscle development, but you will then avoid the harmful consumption of hormones present in chemical protein drinks. You can also opt for a diet based on vegetable proteins, for a healthier lifestyle and stronger health.
How to avoid animal protein?
We know it well today, it is clearly not necessary to consume meat at all meals. You can then choose a vegetarian diet, or at least limit meat consumption to 1 or 2 times a week. The meat can be easily replaced by fish, eggs or even vegetable proteins, such as tofu, quinoa, bulgur…
We know how difficult it is to change your eating habits, but it is important to keep in mind that a healthy and balanced diet is essential for your body and your health.
What foods are high in protein?
Lentils, beans, split peas, fava beans … are excellent sources of protein, and are also inexpensive.
The green vegetables
And in particular broccoli which is one of the most protein-rich green vegetables (with an intake of 3 g per 100 g), but also kale, Brussels sprouts…
Fish and seafood
Seafood has a double benefit, it is an excellent source of protein and is also generally low in fat. Fish, although slightly higher in fat, contains essential fatty acids and lots of protein. Tuna, salmon, mackerel, are the richest fish in protein.
On average, one egg contains 6 g of protein. Fried egg or hard-boiled egg for breakfast, as an omelette for lunch or as a snack during the day, the egg is one of the best protein allies.
Milk / dairy products
Milk and dairy products contain calcium in particular, for strengthening bones, but are also full of essential proteins. Yogurt in particular is a combination of casein and whey protein.
Chicken or turkey, are lean proteins from poultry.
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Léa is a prolific writer specialising in beauty, with a primary focus on hair transplant procedures and a wide range of other beauty-enhancing techniques. Her insightful articles are trusted by professionals and consumers alike, offering a blend of expertise and engaging style. Lea’s work has appeared in top publications, and she’s known for demystifying complex beauty topics, making them accessible to a broad audience. Her passion for the transformative power of beauty shines through her writing, making her a sought-after contributor for leading beauty brands.