Protein – we all need it. Consuming enough of it and the right kind, is the difference between a “Hello,” and a “Hey, have you been working out?” Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions reported by so called “fitness experts,” in mainstream media. So today, we’re using good old Science to set the record straight. So keep reading – we are debunking 6 of The Biggest Protein Myths.
Myth #1: Protein Powder Denatures From Cooking or Baking
While this is true, it doesn’t mean the protein is not still functional or effective! When protein is heated it changes the physical structure of the protein – this change is called denaturation. Denaturation occurs at temperatures above 220 degrees Fahrenheit – so if you are baking with your protein powder, it is most definitely undergoing some changes! Think of a raw egg, when cooked it changes from a liquid to a solid but that doesn’t mean it is less nutritious or packs less of a protein punch! It is still absorbed and utilized by the body in the same manner despite denaturation. Protein powder is versatile and convenient. You can throw it in a blender, or add it to your favorite baked or cooked recipe. Whatever you choose to do with your protein powder, you can be certain you are getting your protein needs met.
Myth #2: Your Body Can Only Absorb 30g of Protein Per Serving
This is far from the truth, as the intestine can absorb up to 90% of all protein that is digested. Once absorbed, free amino acids are released into circulation and are taken up by the liver where they are then used in major metabolic processes like building muscle! If your need for protein is lower at the time of ingestion, instead of getting rid of the extra protein, the body actually just slows down its rate of digestion. Bottom line – the stomach will take its sweet time to release amino acids into the gut where they can then be absorbed and utilized when needed. One study showed that eating a 54 gram serving of protein in one meal versus four meals for 2-weeks found no difference between the groups in terms of protein synthesis or degradation. Which means, it really doesn’t matter how much or when you eat your protein, in time it will be utilized and absorbed by your body.
Myth #3: Too Much Protein Turns To Fat.
The truth is, if you eat too much of any food eventually it will turn into fat, but when it comes to protein you would have to eat a whole lot and not much of anything else to make that happen. As just discussed, when we over eat on protein – instead of getting rid of it, the body just simply slows down its digestion process until it can utilize it. During the digestion process, protein is broken down for aminos, which are then taken up by the liver, where they are then directed to where they are most needed. Making protein into fat is not a preferred or necessarily easy pathway to go down. In fact, one study showed that overeating on protein didn’t even result in fat gain, it actually contributed to gains in lean body mass!
Myth #4: Too Much Protein is Bad for Your Kidneys
This myth arose out of a 30-year old study that suggested that eating more protein increased a person’s GFR or glomerular filtration rate, which is the amount of blood the kidneys filter per minute. This study lead to the assumption that the higher the GFR the greater the stress on the kidneys. But this is not true, nor substantiated! In fact, in a review of the published research – studies found there is no significant evidence for the supposed detrimental effect that a high protein diet can have on kidney function of a healthy person, even with intakes of up to double the recommended dietary allowance.
Myth #5: Vegan Protein Powders Are Complete Proteins
Although it is true that Vegan protein powder formulations are much better than they use to be, when it comes to quality, many Vegan protein powders still fall short. Vegan proteins do not provide a full or complete amino acid profile, and as a result many Vegan protein powders are made up of various sources of vegan proteins to give a full amino profile, such as pea, soy, hemp and brown rice protein. Now while they may provide the full complement of essential aminos the body needs, they still don’t provide them in the best possible ratio that can be fully utilized by the body. That means while a Vegan protein may deliver all the aminos, they do not provide enough of the essentials to be used by the body to help stimulate the muscle building process. As a result, Vegan protein powders fall short, providing a biological value between 65% for a straight pea protein to 86% for a blended protein. Compare that to a pure whey protein, which delivers a biological value of 104 %!
Myth #6: Protein Powders are 100% Protein
This is only true if the company you are buying your protein powder from is delivering on their label claims. Unfortunately these days, many companies cut corners to save on costs by using cheap fillers and non-essential aminos to falsely amplify the actual amount of pure protein per serving. Be sure to read the nutrition facts panel carefully, including the ingredient listing. If you see cheap aminos like Glycine or Taurine high on the list, you can be certain your protein is ‘Spiked!’ Added essential aminos including the Branched Chain Amino Acids – Isoleucine, Leucine and Valine are highly involved in the muscle building process, and are needed by the body, not to mention adding them is not cheap either. To further ensure you are getting a quality product, always look for a cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practice) certification on the label, and check the company’s website to ensure 3rd party validation!
Fortunately, there is a simple solution to get muscle building, metabolic boosting protein whenever, and wherever you want.