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Doctor ordered me to stop taking PWO shake ... what to do?

Hey all,

My recent blood tests came back and had high levels of ALT and AST enzymes in my liver. My doctor ordered me to stop taking my PWO (2:1 carb to protein) shakes after lifting. What kind of “real food” should I take instead? Pint of milk? Any ideas?

I told him I didn’t think the increase in my levels was from the PWO, but he told me to lay off it for a month anyways … we’ll see.



A post-workout shake is just food, so unless you’re adding something else to it there’s no reason why you’d need to stop taking it.

Beef liver. Faster absorbing than dairy, less fat than eggs, more nutritious than meat.

Ummm… that seems wierd to me. What else did he tell you to stop? Alcohol? Paracetemol? (I think americans call it acetaminaphen or something like that) any other prescription drugs? Elevated ALT and AST can also be heriditary. Are you using any AA steroids/aid? Why did you even have ALT and AST tested anyway?

I wonder if taking very low doses of N-acetylcystiene would be beneficial, maybe ask your doc about that...

Either way if he only said to stop a post workout shake and didnt mention a meriad of other things many of which I did not mention then I would definetly seek a second opinion... While the worst not taking your PWO shake will do is have a minor affect on recovery and how good you look naked, ignoring other possible causes *may* be detrimental to your health.

Sounds like your Doc has his head somewhere between his ascending colon and his small intestine. Maybe you could ask him to get an x-ray to find out. I don’t see how he could possibly conclude that elevated liver enzymes are being caused by your post workout shake. Your enzymes are probably elevated because you workout and have an elevated rate of protein turnover compared to the average slug who they base the values off of. Just take some milk thistle, grape seed extract, and possibly glutathione (to target oxidized protein free radicals). Watch your alcohol intake. These are just guesses though, based on what you have said; it would be nice to know some of your other blood values. Usually when it comes to weight training or nutrition, just ask the doc then do the opposite. Unless of course it’s DocT.

What were your levels? Do you drink alcohol? Any history of hepatitis? Are you taking any prescription drugs? Do you parents have any liver problems or a history of elevated liver enzymes?

The point I'm trying to make is that the PW shake is very unlikely to be the cause of your problem.

I call this “doctor panic”. He doesn’t know what’s wrong (if anything) so you tell him you’re using a supplement and he blames that because as all doctors “know”, supplements will kill you! I think they panic on this stuff because they fear being sued later. The easiest thing for them to do is blame a supplement. In this case, there’s no reason to. Get a new doc.

I agree with Paul, I don’t see why he’s blaming the PWO shake either. Definitely get a second opinion. I’m almost certain another doctor won’t be saying the same thing.

Ask him to explain to you, specifically, how it is that the PW shake is producing this effect.

I did a medical study a few years ago and was told I had elevated liver enzymes. They didn’t define the specific enzyme or enzymes. But I was informed that just lifting weights, and eating spicy food could raise those levels. They acted as if it was no big deal, and that liver enzymes seem to be effected by so many things that it was generally not a big deal. They retested me a couple days later after I stopped lifting for a couple of days and tried to eat bland food. My enzymes dropped to acceptable levels to get on the study.

There is a supermegadubious connection between high protein diets and kidney problems but nobody’s ever heard of post-workout nutrition to cause liver problems. In fact, an MRP should be easier than any other food for your liver to filter out. Stay away from medicine and steroids, but protein… Ask your doctor for a physiological mecanism, by which your shakes can increase your liver enzymes. I don’t see one, not that I’m an expert, like the guys at Testosterone. Whey protein is very liver-friendly, with a bioavailability upwards of 150 and so is glucose, being a simple sugar.

That doc is plain crazy. Even a witch doctor knows better.

Yeah, I agree with the others that he was taking a stab in the dark. Give it a shot, though and see what happens. Had my enzymes come up high once and gave up beer for a couple of weeks then had bloodwork done again. They had dropped back down to the normal range.

What other aspects of your lifestyle and diet did this doctor cover with you. Did he derive this diagnosis/corrective measure from a meticulous review. What is the potential cause or of the elevation? If he is like most western doctors he probably did not. How long before he has your follow-up blood work done? If he did not discuss that with you then he is probably not really concerned and is full of shit.

Beer and a post-workout shake have very different physiologic and digestive responses. Alcohol is metabolized at the liver and is known to alter liver chemistry. Ditching the beer for a while is a valid suggestion, whereas ditching the post-workout shake is a randomly selected shot in the dark.

Here is a good post workout shake I have.
4 egg whites
2 cups skim milk
1 cut diet yoghurt
2 bananas.

Lots of protien and tastes great.

I thought that the protein in raw egg whites wouldn’t get absorbed the same way the protein in cooked eggs would be.

Good point Jason, and I agree with you. My original reason for suggesting Mike follow doctor’s orders was to then prove through subsequent blood tests that there would likely be no change, thereby showing the doctor that his suggestion was off base. But after rereading Mike’s post, why slow workout progress for an entire month when another opinion might be in his best interest?