How often have you heard that protein is bad for your kidneys? Or that it can make you look bulky? If these claims were true, most athletes would be fat and sick. Yet, they’re healthy and look amazing.
Protein is one of the most important yet misunderstood nutrients. It plays a key role in metabolism, body composition, muscle growth, and hormone production. Plus, your body can use it as a source of fuel, especially when you’re on a low-carb diet.
You don’t have to be a bodybuilder or an athlete to reap the benefits of protein. This nutrient can help you get leaner, stronger, and healthier.
Let’s debunk the most common protein myths that are ruining your gains:
Excess Protein Turns into Fat
Many dieters still believe that eating more protein will make them fat. Nothing could be further from the truth!
According to science, high-protein diets support fat loss and increase metabolism.
First of all, protein helps build lean mass. More muscle leads to a higher energy expenditure. Secondly, this nutrient keeps you full longer and suppresses appetite. Thirdly, it improves body composition aka your muscle-to-fat ratio when combined with exercise.
The bottom line is: eat more protein to get full faster, curb cravings, and shed stubborn fat. For best results, add strength training to the mix.
Protein Puts Stress on Your Kidneys
Except for those with a pre-existing kidney condition, a high-protein intake won’t do any harm. In a two-year study, subjects who followed a high-protein diet experienced no adverse effects on the kidneys.
Currently, there is no evidence to support this myth. A high-protein intake is safe and beneficial for most people. What you should worry about are the trans fats, food additives, and sugar in your diet.
Cooking Protein Destroys Its Nutritional Value
A common myth says that cooking protein denaturants it. If that was true, high-protein foods like meat, fish, and eggs would lose their nutritional value after being cooked.
It’s perfectly fine to cook with protein powder. Add it to pancakes, muffins, cookies, and other homemade treats.
Your Body Can Only Digest 30 Grams of Protein at a Time
Surprisingly, many nutritionists and so-called health gurus claim that eating more than 30 grams of protein in one sitting is a waste. They say that the excess protein will be eliminated through urine. Again, this is just another myth.
According to researchers, there is no upper limit to the anabolic response to protein intake following a meal. Studies have actually found that eating more protein in one sitting triggers a higher anabolic response than splitting the same protein intake over several meals.
All Protein Is Created Equal
Most foods contain protein. However, not all protein is created equal.
This nutrient consists of essential and non-essential amino acids. Meat, fish, and dairy are considered complete protein sources because they contain all eight essential amino acids.
Vegetables are incomplete proteins because they lack one or more essential amino acids. Plus, some plant-based proteins are not bioavailable, so your body can not process them due to their high fiber content.
Additionally, there are different types of protein, and each has unique characterizes. You can opt for fast-digesting protein, slow-digesting protein, casein, protein isolate, and so on. It all comes down to your fitness goals.
Stop believing everything you hear about protein and healthy eating. Check the facts and adjust your diet accordingly. Choose quality over quantity, and give your body the fuel it needs to function at its peak.