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6 Biggest Myths About Protein

Myth 1: Protein is Protein

Truth: This is the worst generalization in the history of nutrition that I have ever heard. First off, there are thousands of different types of protein at the molecular level. It appears there are two sides to every protein debate: isolate vs. concentrate, quick release vs. sustained release, and whey vs. casein.

The absorption rate is the speed at which protein is digested. Quick-release proteins like whey hit your muscles faster, ideal for post- or intra-workout shakes when your muscles are literally starving. Sustained-release proteins like casein have a much slower absorption rate, hence the recommendation to drink a casein shake at night. So what’s the right answer? Both!

If you’re not going to go out and stock up on multiple types of protein powder, find a good combination of whey and casein with a high P-cal (percentage of calories from protein). No need for fillers. 

Myth 2: Too Much Protein Is Hard On The Kidneys

Truth: What drunk told you that? He’s probably on his fifth shot of tequila and should probably worry more about the alcohol’s effect on his kidneys instead of protein’s effect. And if you believed him, then you better be putting that bottle down, too. Unless you’re on renal dialysis or slamming a full two-pound canister of protein powder each day, your kidneys will be fine.

Just to be clear: when you’re digesting a lot of protein, you do need to be drinking a lot of water. But you’re doing that anyway, right?

Myth 3: Cooking Protein Denatures It

Truth: You can’t cook the protein out of your powder. There is no smoke point (for those familiar with cooking fats). Think of it in terms of beef. Assuming you don’t roast it down to charcoal carbon, that rare steak has just as much protein as the well-done version.

Myth 4: A Protein Diet Guarantees Weight Loss

Truth: If you’re not actively using it, your body can break down excess protein into molecular substrates that’ll end up going through glycolysis just like carbohydrates. If you’re not using it, expect it to all end up in the same place. So you will get gains…in your gut.

Myth 5: Endurance Athletes Do Not Need Protein

Truth: Just like… birds don’t need water? If you’re building those slow-twitch muscle fibers, likely at even longer training sessions each day than your buffer buddies, make no mistake about it: your body is starving for the building blocks to rebuild the muscle. Protein is a universal macronutrient surpassed in our bodies only by the water itself, and a majority of us aren’t consuming enough protein, to begin with. So even if you’re not training at all, you could still probably use an extra protein shake each day.

Myth 6: Your Body Can’t Digest More Than 30 Grams At A Time

Truth: Do you think we would be here today if our bodies could only use 30 grams of protein per meal? The simple truth is that more protein just takes a longer time to digest and be utilized. Remember the difference between casein and isolates? Digestion of a standard meal is still incomplete after five hours, and amino acids are still being released into your bloodstream and absorbed into your muscles. Chow down!

I hope this article has cleared the air. Eat Healthy, Exercise and Stay Safe 🙂

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