Protein Myths

There are various misconceptions that surface every once in a while concerning the consumption of protein. I call these “Protein Myths” and some of these can be deep rooted and pervasive.

Should you tell the typical nutritional expert you are on a higher protein diet because you’re an athlete they’ll frequently reply,

“Oh you don’t want to do this or you do not need that or it’ll result in kidney disease” with no single decent study to support their claim!

In the following paragraphs I wish to address the main protein myths that are still around today.

Myth no. 1 Athletes don’t need extra protein

This is probably the biggest protein myth of all. I mean who on the planet still thinks this is true? The reply is a lot of people, even well educated doctors and researchers who ought to know better, still believe this to be real.

Remember, our high carb, low body fat, low protein diet recommendations are alive and well using the average nutritional expert or physician

Within the last half century researchers using crude techniques and poor study design with sedentary individuals have held firm to the fact that bodybuilders, strength sports athletes of numerous types, runners, along with other highly active people dodn’t require any more protein than Mr. Couch Potato

One review paper about them by among the top scientists within the area (Dr. Peter Lemon) states “…These data claim that the RDA for individuals involved in regular endurance exercise ought to be about 1.2-1.4 grams of protein/kilogram of weight (150%-175% from the current RDA) and 1.7 – 1.8 grams of protein/kilogram of weight daily (212%-225% from the current RDA) for strength exercisers” (“Is elevated nutritional protein necessary or advantageous for people having a physically active existence style?” Nutr. Rev. 54:S169-175, 1996).

Another number of scientists within the area of protein metabolic process have found similar conclusions frequently (“Evaluation of protein needs for trained strength sports athletes.” J. Applied. Phys. 73(5): 1986-1995, 1992.) They discovered that weight training sports athletes eating roughly the RDA/RNI for protein demonstrated a low entire body protein synthesis (losing muscle) on the protein intake of .86 grams per kilogram of body weight.

They found a nearly identical conclusion as those of Dr. Lemon in suggesting a minimum of 1.76g per kilogram of body weight daily for weight training sports athletes for remaining in positive nitrogen balance/increases entirely body protein synthesis.

They came to the conclusion,

“To sum up, protein needs for sports athletes carrying out weight training are more than sedentary people and therefore are over the current Canadian and US suggested daily protein intake needs for youthful healthy males.”

Myth no.2 High protein diets can be harmful for your kidneys

To begin with, the negative health claims from the high protein diet on kidney function is dependent on information collected from those who have pre-existing kidney problems, that has virtually no relevance to healthy sports athletes. The thing is among the jobs from the renal system may be the excretion of urea (generally a non-toxic compound) that’s created from ammonia (an extremely toxic compound) which originates from the protein within our diets.

Individuals with serious kidney problems have trouble removing the urea placing more force on the renal system so the logic goes that the high protein diet should be difficult on the renal system for healthy sports athletes also.

There’s not really a single study released inside a trustworthy peer – examined journal using healthy grown ups with normal kidney function which has proven any kidney disorder what so ever from the high protein diet. Not among the studies completed with healthy sports athletes that examined this problem, or any other research I’ve read, has proven any kidney irregularities whatsoever. For instance, research conducted recently that examined the kidney (kidney) purpose of sports athletes who consume a high protein diet-that’s protein intake well over the US RDA- found no bad results of a greater protein intake about the kidney purpose of these sports athletes.

The research known as “Do Regular High Protein Diets Have Potential Health Problems on Kidney Function in Sports athletes? (Worldwide Journal of Sport Diet, 10 ) examined the kidney purpose of bodybuilders along with other well-trained sports athletes carrying out a high and medium protein diet.

The sports athletes went through a 7-day diet record analysis in addition to bloodstream sample and urine collection to find out if their high-medium protein intakes affected their kidney function. The research found the sports athletes had kidney clearances of creatinine, urea, albumin, and glomular filtration rates which were inside the normal range.

The authors came to the conclusion “there were no correlations between protein intake and creatinine clearance, albumin excretion rate, and calcium excretion rate.” In addition, animal studies done using high protein diets also neglect to show any kidney disorder in healthy creatures.

Now remember, within the real life, where an incredible number of sports athletes happen to be following high protein diets for many years, there’s never been a situation of kidney failure inside a healthy athlete which was going to happen to be triggered exclusively with a high protein diet.

Myth no.3 High protein diets cause Osteoporosis

What exactly concerning the brittle bones claim? That’s a little more difficult however the conclusion is identical. Actually, recent data not just totally debunks this myth, but shows it might be the other way round.

The pathology of brittle bones involves a mix of many risk factors and physiological variables for example macro nutrient intakes (carbohydrates, proteins, fats), micro nutrient intakes (vitamins, minerals, etc), hormonal profiles, insufficient exercise, gender, genealogy, along with a couple of others.

The idea is the fact that high protein intakes enhance the acidity from the bloodstream and the entire body must use minerals from bone stores to “buffer” the bloodstream and produce the bloodstream acidity lower, thus using up a person’s bones of minerals. Though some early studies made an appearance to exhibit greater protein intakes triggered an excretion of calcium, which may ultimately result in bone loss, recent reports have destroyed that assertion and don’t offer the declare that greater than RDA intakes of protein will result in bone loss (“Excess nutritional protein might not negatively affect bone.” J Nutr 1998 Jun128(6):1054-7).

Even when there is a obvious link from a high protein diet and brittle bones in most populations (and there’s not) sports athletes have couple of from the above risk factors because they often get lots of exercise, calories, minerals, vitamins, and also have positive hormonal profiles.

Simple fact is, research has proven sports athletes to possess denser bones than sedentary people, you will find an incredible number of sports athletes who follow high protein diets with no signs and symptoms of premature bone loss, and that we do not have ex sports athletes who’re now older with greater rates of brittle bones.

Oddly enough, a sizable body of scientific studies are now showing that seniors may actually require greater intakes of protein that’s presently being suggested (“Increased protein needs in seniors people: new data and retrospective reassessments. Am J Clin Nutr 1994 Oct60(4):501-9).

Myth no.4 All proteins are produced equal

How many times have you ever heard or seen at this absurd statement? There continues to be such an array of research through the years showing different proteins might have different biological effects, I believe the most conservative individuals are letting go of the myth.

For instance, whey protein continues to be proven to enhance immunity to a number of challenges and intense exercise continues to be proven to compromise song from the immune response that whey protein may combat, and that we know proteins for example soy, casein, etc. have numerous unique effects. Also some proteins are more complete than others, some are more digestible, some are more efficient (see table in Types of Protein Powder on this website).


The most typical suggestions about protein intakes from studies, in the bodybuilding magazines, by the various authors, coaches, bodybuilders, etc., is a gram of protein per pound of body weight daily.

So for any 200 pound guy that will be 200 grams of protein daily. Although a tad greater compared to research we must continue at this time around, it’s still a simple to follow, well established formula that clearly doesn’t have negative heath implications. Through the years the above mentioned misconceptions have been trotted out for such a long time they are recognized as true, despite the fact that there’s virtually no research to prove it and a lot of research that disproves it!

I really hope this has been useful in clearing up a few of the protein myths surrounding protein and muscle building.

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