Are protein supplements all that they seem to be?


Protein is big business, in fact protein powders and amino acid supplements are worth billions of dollars worldwide, and this figure increases year on year.


But are the affects all positive? We take a look.


Myth no. 1

The more protein you eat, the more muscle you will build.

This is the widely held belief that additional protein will build additional muscle – either through meat or supplements. Professor Thomas Sanders of Kings College London says, “this simply isn’t true, there are some quite nice trials which now shows that giving people extra protein doesn’t actually increase muscle mass, what builds up muscle is exercise and load-bearing and the body has ways of conserving its existing protein to do that“.


Myth no. 2

Protein supplements are a great way to meet your protein needs.

We get protein in our normal diet. It is found in meat, fish, eggs and dairy food, as well as vegetables such as legumes, grains, nuts and seeds. Many people consume double the amount of recommended intake of protein every day, and when you rely on supplements for protein you may miss out on all the other nutrients that natural foods contain such as iron, zinc, calcium and omega 3 fatty acids.


Snacking on protein food during the course of the day is a good way to spread out your protein intake. Snacks such as vegetables fruit or a handful of nuts to graze on are good options to a protein supplement.


Myth no. 3

There is no harm in protein powder.

 This largely depends on how much protein powder you’re taking. Up to 2 to 3 g/ kilo of body weight per day doesn’t appear to carry any health risks, but you should be more careful if considering protein intake that go beyond this acceptable level.


Any surplus amino acids you are taking get broken down and excreted, while any protein your body doesn’t need is usually stored as fat. This can lead to weight gain over time.


Other potential risks of excessive protein include constipation, dehydration, calcium loss and kidney damage. Additionally, several large observational studies have linked high-protein diets with an increased incidence of cancer, heart disease and other diseases.



In conclusion, experts on their urging caution claiming that protein powders and supplements are relatively new trend and we really don’t know the long-term effects.


With this in mind, research would appear to be a wise course of action as well as consultation with your doctor if you have any doubt.


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