Sports researchers debunked protein myths about dose size, timing and sources

Protein supplementation is one of the most researched areas in nutrition. However, misconceptions about protein abound. A new paper from a prominent research society debunks some of these myths.

The new research was published last week in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition and was the work of researchers who are members of the group. Researchers are associated with some of the biggest names in the field, including Texas A&M University, Nova Southeastern University, Lindenwood University and others.

Old myths die hard

The researchers note that misconceptions can creep in over time when an aspect of nutrition and fitness has reached a large portion of the public that engages in sharing anecdotal information online. In this situation, ideas from previous research can sometimes be cherry-picked without sufficient context, leading to biased conclusions.

For example, there is the belief that high protein intake can damage the kidneys, an idea that was first associated with a clinical population of subjects who already had kidney problems. There is no evidence that larger doses of protein pose any risk to the kidneys of healthy consumers, the ISSN researchers concluded. This was true even in the cases of bodybuilders consuming up to 5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. For a 185-pound man who also weighs 84 kilograms, that would be 420 grams of protein per day. The National Academy of Medicine recommends that adult men (not bodybuilders) consume 0.8g/kg of protein per day between 56 and 81 grams of total protein.

Related:5 best ingredients for muscle growth

Or take the issue of protein and bone loss. This arose from something called the acid-ash hypothesis. Under this scenario, it was postulated that excessive protein consumption could lead to acid build-up in the body, leading to excessive excretion of calcium, one of the main components (along with collagen, a protein) of bones. This idea had already been thoroughly denied nearly 20 years ago, but it still appears, ISSN researchers said.

Are proteins fattening?

Another myth concerns high doses of protein and whether it can make a person fat. Information has been shared that if too much protein is consumed at once, the excess that cannot be absorbed quickly will automatically be stored as fat. ISSN researchers said this is entirely dependent on diet and activity. If a person eats too many calories, whether from protein or other sources, the excess energy from food can be stored as fat.

This notion presupposed that only so much protein could be absorbed in one sitting. The ideal dose of protein was often given in the popular literature as 20 grams with doses over 30 grams starting to cross into territory where some of that protein could not be absorbed. The ISSN paper makes it clear that there is no hard evidence to support it. an upper limit, with some studies showing that the body can use doses of up to 100 grams in one session.

However, there are some foods considered sources of protein that can be fattening, the paper notes. Peanut butter and cheese are often mentioned for their protein content. But this protein comes with large amounts of fat, which means a person would have to ingest a large number of calories from fat to get adequate protein from these sources. The paper says these foods are best thought of as sources of dietary fat, not protein.

Are cheese and peanut butter good choices for protein intake?

Cheese and peanut butter are among the sources of protein used by lacto-ovo vegetarians. Regarding vegetarianism, the paper notes that it is not true that vegetarians cannot get enough protein in their diet. If they want to build muscle most efficiently, vegetarians do need to pay attention to the amino acid profile of the proteins in their diet, particularly in terms of leucine and essential amino acid content, the researchers noted.

Other myths explored in the paper include whether eating red meat is unhealthy, whether sedentary individuals still need protein, how quickly protein should be ingested after exercise, and more.

11 protein myths debunked

The researchers summarized their findings as follows:

  1. There is no evidence that dietary protein consumption harms the kidneys of healthy individuals.

  2. In exercise-trained men and women, consuming a high-protein diet has a neutral effect or may promote fat loss.

  3. There is no evidence that dietary protein has a harmful effect on bones.

  4. Vegans and vegetarians can consume enough protein to support training adaptations.

  5. Cheese and peanut butter are inadequate sources of protein.

  6. Red meat is likely to cause unfavorable health outcomes; however, processed meat can cause potential harm (eg, increased risk of cardiovascular disease).

  7. People who are not physically active still need dietary protein.

  8. Protein intake after resistance training sessions (1 hour) is not an absolute requirement to produce an anabolic environment. What seems more important is the total daily amount of dietary protein consumed.

  9. Endurance athletes need additional protein (ie, at least twice the RDA) to help with a variety of issues related to the adaptive response to exercise.

  10. Protein powder is not needed to meet the daily requirements of people who exercise. However, treating protein powder differently than typical protein foods (eg beef, chicken, milk, etc.) does not make scientific sense.

  11. For most people, consuming 2030 grams of high-quality protein is sufficient to induce a significant anabolic response; however, there is data to suggest that 100 grams may cause a higher and more prolonged anabolic response.

#Sports #researchers #debunked #protein #myths #dose #size #timing #sources
Image Source :

Leave a Comment