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Protein lemonade is catching on, but is it really healthy?

Protein shake. Picture: Nature Zen Unsplash

Protein shake. Picture: Nature Zen Unsplash

Published May 26, 2023


As the northern hemisphere welcomes the warmer weather, many are turning to refreshing drinks to cool down and replenish their bodies.

While classic summer drinks like lemonade and iced tea never go out of style, a new trend has emerged that adds a healthy twist to these summer favourites.

Enter protein lemonade, a delicious and nutritious drink combination that adds a boost of protein to a classic thirst quencher.

This new trend is taking social media by storm and gaining popularity among health enthusiasts and fitness gurus who are looking for a tasty and satisfying way to stay cool in the summer heat.

Dubbed the perfect refreshing drink after a workout, protein lemonade is quickly becoming the drink of the season. But is it really healthy?

This trend is growing with multiple hashtags being used across TikTok, including #ProteinLemonade and #frostedlemonade. These hashtags have been used on more than 12.2M views for videos featuring the drink, making it one of the biggest trends in the fitness community.

But what’s behind this sudden trend? Some believe it’s simply a new way to mix up traditional protein shakes.

People are always looking for new ways to consume protein and protein lemonade is just another fun creative way to get your protein powder. Plus, it's quick, refreshing, and easy to make.

@its.miss.nicole 🍋Frosted Lemonade Protein Shake #hotmidlifemomsummer #premierprotein #frostedlemonade #highproteinfrostedlemonade #proteindrink ♬ Little Bitty Pretty One - Thurston Harris

Although we need to raise concerns about the healthfulness of adding lemonade to protein powder. While consuming protein powder is generally considered safe, some people may experience digestive issues or allergic reactions.

Protein lemonade also presents some additional challenges for those who are lactose intolerant. Even though protein powders are made from whey proteins, dairy-intolerant individuals may need to opt for vegan protein powders.

The trend continues to gain popularity despite these concerns. For those looking to try protein lemonade, experts suggest being mindful of the sugar content and checking the label to ensure ingredients are safe for consumption.

So, is protein lemonade healthy? The answer is not entirely clear, as it depends on the individual’s dietary needs and preferences. Nonetheless, one thing is certain: the trend is taking over social media, and many are eager to give it a try.

@mealsandmunchies Tried the viral protein frosted lemonade! Easy way to get in protein #viral #frostedlemonade #chickfila #dupe #proteinlemonade #trending #lemonade #recipe #mocktails ♬ original sound - Brooke

According to the South African Sports Science Institute, the recommended daily protein intake for athletes is 1.2–1.7g/kg of body weight. This means that a 70kg athlete would need between 84–119g of protein per day.

When it comes to protein powder specifically, the institute advises that athletes should aim to consume 20–25g of protein per serving, which is roughly about one scoop of most protein powders. Nevertheless, a person’s exact amount may vary depending on their body weight, their degree of training intensity, and their goals.

Refreshing glass of water with a slice of lemon. Picture: Laura Choutte Unsplash

Consuming too much protein powder can have potential dangers to the body.

One potential danger is that excess protein can put a strain on the kidneys, as they are responsible for filtering and excreting excess nitrogen waste products from protein metabolism. This can lead to kidney damage or dysfunction, especially in those with pre-existing kidney problems.

Another potential danger is that consuming protein powder as the only source of protein can also lead to nutrient deficiencies, as it lacks the essential vitamins, minerals, and fibre found in whole food sources of protein.

It’s important to note that these potential dangers apply to consuming excessive amounts of protein powder and that moderate consumption as part of a balanced diet is generally safe for most people.

As with any dietary supplement, it’s always best to consult with a registered dietitian or your GP to determine the appropriate amount for your individual needs and goals.

Read the latest issue of IOL Health digital magazine here.