Consistent protein intake is essential to healthy muscle growth. Serious bodybuilding and fitness enthusiasts are therefore careful about supplementing their regular diet with protein supplements such as protein health shakes and whey protein concentrates. But, many beginners are often wary about depending on such aides due to certain prevailing misconceptions about the effect of protein on the body.
Common Misconceptions about Protein
The misunderstandings surrounding protein intake are widespread, both online as well as in the mainstream media. Not unsurprisingly then, many are left with the impression that all high-protein diets are unhealthy. Some most common claims include the following:
* Misconception 1: High-Protein Diets Are Bad for the Bones – A lot of health and lifestyle articles have claimed that high-protein diets and fitness supplements are bad for bone health. The reports talk of calcium depletion caused by such products.
Research into the subject has in fact proven the reverse with authoritative studies showing that rather than causing calcium deficiencies in users, high-protein diets actually increase bone health. In reality, a high intake of animal proteins has been linked to lower incidence of bone fractures among post-menopausal women.
* Misconception 2: High Protein Intake equals Risk of kidney Failure – contrary to media reports there is no authoritative scientific proof linking high levels of body protein with incidence of renal failure.
* Misconception 3: High Protein Intake is Bad for the Heart – excessive intake of protein has also been linked to coronary damage. The American Heart Association’s (AHA) Nutrition Committee warned about potential high protein level related cardiac health problems in a 2001 statement.
Further studies have since proved that it is not high protein intake by itself that is the problem; rather, it is the excessive calories and high fat that is found in many regular protein-rich food items such as red meat that is the cause of coronary heart diseases. The health supplements such as whey used by fitness enthusiasts contain no such elements and are therefore perfectly safe to use.
As you can see, media scare tactics on the subject of protein diets have little basis in truth. On the contrary, recent research indicates that high protein diets may very well hold the key to combating obesity and diabetes. Certainly, taken in a controlled, systematic manner, proteins can only improve the body’s overall fitness levels.
Though the average male bodybuilder requires a minimum of 1.5 grams of proteins per pound of bodyweight, there is a significant variation in the amount of protein required by each individual. The two main factors to consider when calculating an individual’s optimal protein intake levels are body size and the estimated level of overall activity.
Most diets fail to fulfill all of a sportsperson’s protein requirements. Protein supplements provide a valuable source of concentrated, easily absorbable nutrients. Whey protein concentrates, in particular, meet all of the body’s amino acids requirements.
To conclude, several factors including your particular training program, genetic makeup, diet, and sleep patterns play a role in determining your fitness levels. But, the right protein supplement will definitely contribute to a better, more efficient training.