Regular workouts at the gym are an excellent way to stay healthy and fit. If you hit the gym pretty often, then you are definitely conscious about your fitness, lifestyle, and how you look. A well-toned body or those six-packs is for sure worth a second look. But if you are the one who is hooked up on protein shakes before, after, or during your workout sessions, then you could be in for some bad news!

Protein shakes are the easiest way to give your body the requisite amount of protein during workouts. This protein is required to prevent any muscle injury and also to help build muscle mass and burn fat. But these protein shakes come with their own set of cons as well! A recent study conducted at Belgravia Center has linked protein drinks to hair loss. So if recently you have been seeing a lot more hair fall or thinning on the crown, you definitely know who to blame!

So does this mean that protein is bad for your hair? Absolutely not! On the contrary, protein is very good for your hair since your hair follicles are mostly made up of protein. So if protein is right for your hair, how are protein shakes related to hair loss? There are certain additives found in protein drinks, which interfere with your hormones and lead to hair loss. These additives that lead to hair loss are creatine and artificial growth hormones (DHEA). Both of these lead to an increase in your testosterone levels, which are then broken down by the enzyme 5-alpha reductase into DHT. DHT is basically a chemical that damages hair follicles and stops new hair growth. DHT is also the hormone linked to hair loss in males. So if you already have a family history of androgenetic alopecia or male pattern baldness, then increased amounts of DHT can very well speed up the balding process.

Here it is crucial to keep in mind that protein shakes in itself don’t cause hair fall or hair loss; instead it is the additives in protein shakes that lead to an increase in the hormone testosterone, which ultimately leads to hair loss. You would also be surprised to know that it is not only protein shakes, but if you are also into endurance training and resistance training like weight lifting, then also you can be hit by excessive hair fall. Activities like heavy weight lifting also increase the levels of the hormone testosterone, thereby leading to hair loss.

Does that mean you shouldn’t be going to the gym or having protein shakes to save those locks of yours? In protein shakes, the ones containing DHEA and creatine should not be consumed to prevent hair loss. Instead, you can look for healthier organic substitutes. Also, protein intake can be done through dietary supplements by eating a diet rich in protein like meat, legumes, soy, tofu, fish, and dairy. Similarly, when it comes to working out in the gym, it’s better to stick to cardio machines like a treadmill, elliptical trainer, stationary cycles, stepping, and rowing machines, which on the contrary, helps to reduce levels of DHT in the bloodstream. Aerobic exercises like spinning, running, swimming, and walking can also help maintain your testosterone levels.