My New Favourite Thing

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No, it’s not raindrops on roses, it’s raw whey powder! Let me explain.

Bodybuilder types are usually very staunch about eating “clean”; not eating anything processed or artificial. That way be dragons! So it’s a bit surprising that almost all protein supplements contain artificial sweeteners, usually Splenda, otherwise known as sucralose. On the other hand, bodybuilders don’t want to add extra carbs., especially high GI carbs to their protein shake.

I’ve always eyed artificial sweeteners with distrust. After all, saccharin has long been associated with cancer in rodents and aspartame has all sorts of doubts surrounding it and its effect on the brain, but what can be wrong with Splenda? “It’s made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar.” right? Well, not exactly.

It seems that Splenda has a rather nasty effect on rats’ gut biomes1. The FDA recommends that 5mg/kg per day of sucrolase (or 1/2g of Splenda) is safe. The rats fed between 1.1 and 11mg/kg per day of sucrolose had drastically reduced bacteria populations in their faeces at the end of 12 weeks. Total aerobic bacteria were depleted by ~50% compared to the control and anaerobes by ~75% at all doses. This study was sponsored by the U.S. sugar industry so perhaps we’ll take it with a grain of salt (or maybe sugar). The manufacturer of Splenda, quickly assembled an “Expert Panel”, three of which were listed as “Independent Consultants”, to refute these findings2. No conflict of interests were noted in the paper.

Well, quite apart from the possible adverse effect on my gut biome, splenda tastes yucky so I was delighted to discover that you can buy pure, unsweetened, unflavoured, whey powder from Bulk Nutrients, made from the milk of happy Aussie cows in Warnambool. Turns out you don’t need the Splenda. A scoop of whey powder, 1 banana and a 1/2 tsp of vanilla essence makes a yummy drink with roughly 50:50 protein to carbs.

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Now the weigh-in. I’m ashamed to admit that I have put on 100g! Ouch! A combination of complacency over last week’s loss, stress, a migraine and a couple of Christmas parties resulted in an upward surge in weight. I can honestly say that has nothing to do with Tamoxifen and everything to do with what I put in my mouth, but, at the time, it seemed to be very little; a piece of bread here, a bit of cheese there and poof!  “Consistency is Key.” Lesson learnt!

Weight: 56.5kg

Rose hip image Patrick Hajzler

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