More often than not, a serious fitness regime calls for a change in diet and nutrition patterns. If you are part of the fitness enthusiasts' ecosystem, it is natural to come across the conversation of protein supplementation, that if done correctly, can help you in building lean muscle mass and aid muscle recovery after a rigorous gym session. Chances are, you have also come across certain myths surrounding protein intake, especially the commonly-consumed whey protein.
Whether actively training or not, whey protein supplements can add to your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of protein, something which is hard to do through your diet alone. Yet, commonly-believed myths tend to keep people away from that daily protein shake. Here are six such myths debunked by Ian Bide, NPD Technologist, Myprotein:
Protein powder is unnatural
Whey is one of two elements of cow's milk, in addition to casein. It is in the liquid left over after making cottage cheese, which is then used to make whey protein powder formulations. Consuming it in a powder form only translates to more protein in each sip, before you begin to feel satiated. Inside your body, it will fulfil all the protein needs and can be easily digested and absorbed in the body.
Endurance athletes do not need protein
What's common across all sports, including endurance sports like running, swimming and cycling, is the gradual loss of muscle mass. As endurance sports have become popular during the lockdown, there is a greater need for people to be aware of protein's role in rebuilding and repairing muscle, after a strenuous session. Depending on your physical activity, an endurance athlete in fact, may need to go for more protein intake each day than their non-athletic counterparts.
Exercise equals protein shakes
If you have seen your buddies at the gym downing a couple protein shakes per day, and thought that's not for you, you are not alone. If you are not doing vigorous workouts, even going about your day requires energy and fuel for your body, which comes from three major macronutrients -- carbohydrates, fats and protein. For every kilogram of weight you have, you need 0.8 grams of protein. Although athletes have elevated protein needs, even average people fail to hit that adequate daily target through their meals. A protein shake can fulfill your protein needs, at different levels and intensities of exercising.
It makes women bulky
This myth is surely a repeat offender! If you are a woman avoiding protein supplementation thinking it will make you big-muscled, it's time to stop. If not paired with hours and hours of training each day for years, gaining bulky muscle mass is not possible for women. On the contrary, it helps with metabolism, satiety and bone health.
Your body can't utilise more than 30 grams of protein
While studies have shown that taking smaller chunks of protein each day could be more beneficial than having a 60 or 90-gram protein-heavy meal in a single go, it is a myth that our bodies can only use 30 grams of protein per meal. Protein takes longer to digest -- part of the reason why it helps in feeling full -- and your body knows how to utilise all the protein sent its way.
It should only be consumed after workout
Most consider it vital to go for protein powder intake immediately after a heavy workout, to take advantage of what is called a 30-minute anabolic window of opportunity. However, research suggests that this window is much longer and may not be limited to exercise time. What matters is, getting enough throughout the day and reaching your RDA for protein. This can help with muscle repair, strength and endurance, and even weight loss, to some extent.