3 popular myths about protein that are high time to disappear
Myths about protein , You’ve probably heard about protein and how important it is to athletes, and not just them. And because the protein is so popular, it has led to some myths and misconceptions that just don’t seem to want to go away. In this article you will learn what are the three top myths and misconceptions about protein and why you should not believe in them.
We can absorb only 30 grams of protein per meal (common myths about protein)
One of the most common myths about protein , which seems to be slowly disappearing, but is still common in sports, is that we should not consume more than 30 grams of protein per meal. This myth is that if you eat more than 30 grams of protein in one meal, anything above that “magic” limit goes directly to the toilet, either because we can’t absorb more than those 30 grams, or because our body can’t use more than that. , even if we absorb them. In fact, there is a bit of truth in this myth, but the upper limit is far from what many people think.
We are not sure exactly what the source of this myth is, but over the last 10-15 years, some research has supported this claim, such as that of Areta and a team from 2013 (1), which showed that muscle protein synthesis, which actually represents the process of building muscle mass, reaches approximately maximum levels when consuming 20 to 30 grams of protein per meal. Hence the conclusion that it makes no sense to accept more than that, because the surplus is completely unnecessary and does not bring additional benefits. In fact, the cited studies on this subject are completely reliable and there is no error in them. However, some important things are forgotten.
First, it is important to distinguish between the digestion and absorption of protein and its use in our body for certain purposes!.
Science at the moment clearly shows that people do not have a problem to digest and absorb about 90-95% of the protein, as long as of course there are no health problems associated with our digestive system. One example is the experiment of Andrew Holwerda and team , in which participants were divided into several groups receiving 0, 15, 30 and 45 grams of milk protein per meal, respectively, and the results showed that all groups were brave and assimilated equally well. protein dose. Complete digestion and absorption of a dose of 45 grams of casein taken at bedtime was also observed in the experiment of Kouw and team from 2017 .
That is, we can safely digest and absorb far higher doses of 30 grams. However, although we are not limited in terms of the amount of digested and assimilated protein, the available experiments clearly show that there is still some upper limit above which additional protein does not lead to additional benefits, at least in terms of muscle protein synthesis and muscle mass building. This limit is somewhere around 40 grams. However, this does not mean that anything over 40 grams is useless and goes to the toilet.
Let’s not forget that protein is not only used to increase muscle mass, but also by a number of other organs and has dozens or even hundreds of other important functions for which the excess amino acids we get can be used. However, if our main goal is to optimize muscle growth, then yes, it is recommended that the total recommended amount of protein for the whole day be divided into several smaller portions, each of the order of 40 to 50 grams, as recommended in the scientific literature in particular are at each meal to take 0.4-0.5 grams of protein per kilogram .
However, if you accidentally or accidentally take more than 40-50 grams in a meal, do not look at the excess as “worn out”. Part of it will be excreted by the body, that’s right, but part of it will be used for other things.
Protein damages the kidneys and liver (also myths about protein)
Another common myth about protein is that in excessive amounts it is harmful and dangerous to our health. It is most commonly claimed that protein:
- impairs liver function;
- impairs kidney function;
- reduces our bone density.
However, all this has been repeatedly scientifically refuted. The work of Elswyk , Darling , Antonio and their teams is a great example of this and at the moment the data show that in the long run you can safely consume up to about 3 grams of protein for each kilogram of your body, without to worry about any problems.
However, it is important to clarify that this safety of high protein levels applies to healthy people. There are certain kidney and liver diseases that require protein restriction, but these diseases themselves are not caused by high protein intake!.
if you are healthy, eat protein boldly and don’t worry. In saying this, however, pay attention to the third myth. More protein = better results It is common for many people to think that if something gives a good result and helps, then more than that something will give an even better result. Accordingly, some people consume really high amounts of protein, thinking that more equals better. More protein = more muscle mass = more strength = more and better results.
And this is somewhat true, but after a certain limit the protein becomes redundant and does not help with anything special, no matter how much we want the opposite.
At present, scientific data clearly show that protein intake over 1.8 to 2 grams per kilogram of body weight does not bring additional benefits in terms of muscle hypertrophy, increase in strength or improve body composition.
If you want to make sure and play it safe, it doesn’t hurt to take slightly higher amounts, for example 2-2.5 g / ram of protein per kilogram per day, but all of this is generally completely unnecessary. Of course, this does not mean that it is a problem if it happens that you take more than this amount, but many people deliberately take much more in order to achieve better results, which, however, can not happen. It is far wiser to transfer these calories from excess protein to carbohydrates or fats, for example.
And because I know some of you will think about it, let me make it clear that these recommendations apply no matter how advanced you think you are, no matter how strong you think you are, and whether you use “excipients” or not. There are a number of experiments in the scientific literature (8) that subject participants to extremely severe stress, and yet no significantly higher protein requirements are observed.
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