The Truth about 8 Myths Surrounding Protein Shakes
Protein powders are popular household names for those looking to add some bulk to their muscles, or who want to maximize the effects of their workouts. There are a number of websites, stores, and gyms that sell these items. It's no surprise if protein powders sell like hot cakes since just about everyone, bodybuilder or not, is on the protein bandwagon.
However, there are a lot of myths floating around about the efficacy of protein powders. Here are eight myths that deserve debunking.
1. Protein shakes make you fat!
This little myth is mostly seen floating around womens fitness forums. To be sure, this myth isn't 100% true. Just about every food you see on the market can make you fat if you eat too much of it. Even vegetables can make you fat if you consume more than your body needs.
Excess calories make you fat and not some specific food item. Studies even show that protein powders help burn fat. More than just the protein powder, generally improving your diet will help prevent unnecessary weight gain. Just make sure you don't consume too much (or anything for that matter!)
2. Protein shakes will build muscle automatically
What most people don't know is that muscles grow when pushed beyond their normal effort. The best way to do this is lift heavy or at least heavy enough for your muscles to have micro-tears. The science behind this is when protein synthesis is greater than protein break down.
Protein shakes help top up your protein levels to make sure your muscles are well fed and have the nutrients they need to recover properly. Protein shakes are mainly supplemental in nature which means consuming them should be on top of your regular protein intake.
3. The body only needs 30 grams of protein each day
The body's actual protein requirement depends heavily on the person's daily needs. Their weight, their fitness goals, and the general health of a person accounts for the amount of necessary protein per day. The actual recommendation is around 0.36 grams per pound. If you weigh more than 200 pounds, but you are a bodybuilder, you'll need at least 72 grams of protein a day.
4. Protein supplements are all the same
Not all protein supplements are equal. Some are mainly muscle supplements while others are aimed towards individuals with protein deficiencies. The kind of protein powder you need also hinges on why you're taking them in the first place. Take whey protein for example. Generally, whey protein is absorbed the fastest by the body which works best as a post-workout drink while casein takes a while to be absorbed by the body and is better consumed before bed.
5. Protein shakes are low in calories
The taste of pure protein isn't exactly appealing to the palate. The people who said protein shakes taste nice are probably those who drank the ones with flavors such as chocolate or vanilla. What they may not be aware of is the sugar content in those flavored powders. Some protein shakes contain insane amounts of unnecessary calories that your body will just store as fat. There are always no-sugar options and it will be a better choice especially if you're not fond of the sweet stuff or if youre also concerned about weight gain.
6. Protein shakes are necessary to build muscle
Although protein supplements help, it's actually the principle behind their use which enables the body to grow bigger muscles. Many grow their muscles by just eating right. Even people in the old days grew strong without protein supplements. Clean your diet and get your protein from healthy sources.
7. Protein shakes are only for bodybuilders
While commercials and shows promote the use, protein shakes can also be sold to people who are looking to add healthy weight. Those afflicted with certain diseases that make eating or digesting difficult often opt for protein supplements to sustain their bodies. Recovering anorexics also can boost their protein intake to rebuild their bodies by using protein supplements in addition to eating more meat.
8. Protein shakes cause kidney damage
Indeed, there are studies that show how ingesting high amounts of protein can be detrimental to those with existing kidney diseases. But the same studies did not include those with healthy kidneys.
Bodybuilders consume a lot of protein, whether from supplements or food, yet their kidneys are healthy. Studies even show that a higher protein content in the body can lessen the risk of kidney failure, because protein can help prevent hypertension and lessen the effects of diabetes which are primary contributors to kidney failure.
About The Author:
Food Scientist. Fitness and Health Aficionado. Investor. Writer.
Robert likes to tell people how to grow their money and how to naturally lose body fat. He owns a small website catered to his passion to write about health and fitness. His main weapon against weakness is the kettlebell.