If you workout often, you’re no stranger to protein supplements. There are hundreds, if not thousands of them in the market today. And they all claim to build muscles and help you recover after workouts.
Globally, the protein supplements market was valued at USD14.o billion in 2018.
This value was due to an increase in health and fitness centers and increasing health consciousness of people. This figure is estimated to grow to about USD 21.5 billion by 2025.
But the big question is do protein powder supplements actually help or is it all a big empty hype? Can you workout without them? And is it your only source of protein?
To help us answer these questions, we need to debunk some of the myths and misconceptions around protein supplements. But before that, let’s take a moment to understand how protein supplements work.
How do protein supplements work?
Protein supplements contain certain enzymes called proteases. Proteases break down the protein into amino acids that build and repair muscle tissues faster and more efficiently and promote natural growth.
Bodybuilders and athletes rely so much on protein supplements because of the intensity of their workouts. Essentially the greater the intensity, the greater the amount of protein their muscles use to repair itself.
Increasing your protein intake means your muscles get more time to recover and grow faster too.
Given all these benefits, it is important to note that protein supplements are not the magic you need to stay healthy and fit. For starters, they are often expensive.
And there are numerous ways to provide your body with all the protein it needs in a cost-efficient way. The amount of money you could spend on protein supplements can be half used to alternatively give you the best results.
Besides the cost factor, there are other myths about protein and its related supplements. In the rest of this article, we’ll debunk them and find the truth behind them
Myth #1: Drink protein shakes right after workouts
Here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter the time you take your protein shakes. What matters is the fact that you have to take the protein.
Several studies show insignificant results of taking protein drink right after your workout compared to taking it hours later.
Myth #2: You need protein from supplements
Protein supplements, as the name suggests, literally means adding up to the protein we already have in our bodies that might be little.
Unfortunately, we have been brainwashed to thinking protein supplements are the only ways to introduce more quality proteins to our bodies. The loophole to this claim is we can get healthy quality protein from other sources too.
Hemp seeds are rich in all nine essential amino acids like animal protein which makes it a perfect substitute for protein supplements.
Also, there are several red meat alternatives that have high quality protein.
With just three spoonfuls, you’ll be getting close to 17 grams of good protein. Sprinkle them on your salads or cereals or blend them in your smoothies in place of protein supplements.
Also, Greek yogurts are also excellent substitutes for protein powders. In addition to improving gut health, yogurt has quality proteins as much as 17 grams in about three-quarters of a cup. Be sure to read the nutrition facts on labels well to get the right one.
Myth #3: Protein powders will make you lose or gain weight
If you are taking supplements and live a sedentary lifestyle, the body will break down the excess protein into substances that will go through glycolysis, like carbohydrates.
And the end products will be stored as fats. So that is when the fats begin to develop.
Myth #4: Protein consumed over 20-25g per meal would be wasted
Protein consumed over 20-25g per meal doesn’t necessarily go to waste.
According to a study by Areta and colleagues, participants were offered different amounts of whey protein over a 12 hour recovery period after they performed the same exercises (leg extensions).
The group that consumed the servings of 20g protein had greater muscle protein synthesis.
As a result, the researchers suggested that higher dosages don’t offer any additional benefits but rather resulted in a slow rise in muscle protein synthesis.
Myth #5: Proteins are dangerous for kids
Children, after their infancy, have high metabolism rates because of the rapid development of their muscle tissues.
Feeding your kids with sugars, junk food, and unhealthy carbs are the dangers that could cause you the health of your child. Because kids have high metabolism rates, more proteins could be helpful
Myth #6: Proteins can destroy your kidneys
According to the International Sports Sciences Association, it is false that too much protein can destroy your kidneys.
Healthy kidneys work even harder to work on the excess proteins that are in the body. Excess protein puts unhealthy and damaged kidneys under pressure to work.
So if your kidneys are weak, you should be mindful of how much protein you consume.
Myth #7: You won’t build your muscle without protein supplements
The majority of us take protein powder, believing that they are the magic to building our muscles. Without them, our muscles will never get bulky.
Protein supplements only get our muscles to recover faster after workouts. You probably could build muscles without them. Truth be told, you can grow your muscles by eating natural sources of quality protein.