A List of Common Misconceptions About Protein
Protein shakes, powders, supplements, etc. are all the rage these days. Open any fitness magazine and you’ll find articles about how effective protein is at helping you lose weight. Open a bodybuilding mag and they’ll tell you a hundred times that you should consume protein to build muscle and so on.
On the flip side, there are articles that say you do not need protein powders which contain fillers. Or 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is too much to consume even if you’re trying to build muscle.
So many schools of thought and so many myths and misconceptions. In this article, we’ll look at 5 of the most common misconceptions about protein.
1. All proteins are the same
No… they’re not. People often believe that vegetarians can get the same amount of protein as meat eaters. While to a certain extent this is true, there is a huge difference between animal protein and plant protein.
Animal proteins contain essential amino acids and are more complete than plant proteins. So, if you’re a vegetarian, you’ll need to consume a variety of veggies just to get the same amount of protein as a meat eater. Your knowledge of nutrition will need to be on point and it’s a much tougher job to get as much protein with veggies alone.
2. More protein is better
It is a fact that too much protein is actually detrimental to your health. Bodybuilders often consume more protein to build muscle. This is fine because their training requires this extra protein since their muscles are constantly being challenged and repaired.
The average person who leads a relatively sedentary lifestyle but is chugging away on protein shakes is actually doing a disservice to his health. Ideally, you should be getting about 25 to 30 grams of protein a meal. If you can get that, you’re good.
3. Consuming more protein will build more muscle
If you want more muscle, you need to exercise. There is no other way. Consuming protein shakes copiously will not build more muscle. You might gain fat though.Resistance or weight training will cause micro tears in your muscle fibers.
Your body will utilize protein to repair these muscles. As the muscles heal, the scar tissue on the muscles make them bigger. That’s how muscles are built. The protein is just a means to an end… but if you do not train to a point where you’re causing these muscle tears, you will never build lean muscle. Protein alone won’t do it for you.
4. You need to drink a protein shake immediately after your workout
This is probably a fallacy generated by the supplement industry that has people running to their shakers to gulp down their protein shakes. The truth of the matter is that it’s better not to consume anything for at least 30 to 60 minutes.
Studies have shown that this will help to keep your body leaner and also aids in building muscle. This runs contrary to what most people believe. Most people are not professional bodybuilders. You can consume your protein an hour after your workout. There’s no need to rush or be obsessed about your protein timing.
5. Eating more protein helps you lose weight
Not entirely true. Weight loss is a result of a caloric deficit. If you’re not at a caloric deficit, you won’t lose weight. Eating protein helps you to stay satiated so that you do not binge eat. Protein is also metabolically more expensive.
The body burns more calories to digest protein than it does for fat or carbs. So, eating proteins will make you less likely to gain weight. However, if you keep drinking protein shakes or you’re on a diet high in protein but you’re not watching your calories, you will NOT lose weight.
Only a caloric deficit ensures that you lose weight. These are the 5 most common misconceptions about protein concerning weight loss. Bear them in mind so that you don’t make the same mistakes that so many people do. Protein is great when consumed in moderation but it is not a miracle supplement.