There are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about protein. The following are some of the more common protein myths:
Protein Myth # 1: Eating protein increases how much fat you burn.
Fact: Protein's primary function in the body is to make up cells, tissues, and organs rather than to metabolize fat. Truth is, your body uses proteins to build muscle mass and use it as energy during workouts. But after an intense workout session, your muscles need the right balance of nutrients - i.e., carbs and protein - to help recover and repair.
Protein Myth # 2: People need more protein as they age because muscle loss is a natural part of the aging process.
Fact: While it's true that older people tend to lose lean body mass, this does not mean that they have an increased requirement for protein. As long as individuals are eating enough energy from food (calories) on a daily basis, their bodies can maintain the muscle they have acquired during their younger days. It is only when caloric intake drops below maintenance level that muscle mass decreases with advancing age.
Protein Myth # 3: Vegetarians and vegans always need to supplement their diets with plant-based proteins like soy because plant proteins are always incomplete or low in certain amino acids (the building blocks of protein).
Fact: Most plant-based foods have an abundance of amino acids and contain all the essential amino acids in a favorable ratio for human nutrition. As long as diets are well balanced, vegetarians and vegans can easily get enough complete proteins from plant-based sources.
healthyroo plant based protein powders contain full specturm of amino acids, vitamins and minerals.
Protein Myth # 4: Drinking milk is the best way to get enough calcium because it has high levels of bioavailable calcium. If you want strong bones and teeth, you should drink three glasses of milk every day.
Fact: Calcium requirements vary based on your age, gender, body size, lifestyle factors (i.e., physical activity level), health status, diet type (plants or animal products), and other medical conditions. Contrary to popular belief, studies show that vegans and lacto-ovo vegetarians actually have higher bone density than those who eat meat because they eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains (all high in calcium) and less saturated fat.
Protein Myth # 5: Protein powders are a good way to increase your protein intake quickly without having to eat larger portions of food.
Fact: It's true that these powders do contain high amounts of protein per serving size (25-30 grams), but it's important to keep in mind that most of them only provide small amounts of vitamins and minerals by comparison, especially if you're using the powder with just water or skim milk as a drink. The bottom line is this: be sure to check the labels on your protein powders because many of them have high amounts of calories and fat, meaning that you could actually be getting more fat than you bargained for!
Protein Myth # 6: A high-protein diet is best for losing weight.
Fact: It's true that a higher protein intake has been shown to increase metabolism and fat loss in some studies, but it really depends on the type of protein you eat, the overall quality of your diet, as well as how much exercise you're getting. Bottom line? There's no evidence that supports the notion that eating more protein will lead to faster weight loss.
Protein Myth # 7:When choosing between a whey and soy based powder, opt for whey because soy isn't as good for muscle recovery after workouts.
Fact: Soy may not be an ideal post-workout supplement if your primary goal is muscle gain because it has very low levels of leucine, a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) that is most important for muscle synthesis. Nonetheless, there's really no evidence to show that soy is inferior to whey as long as you are getting enough BCAAs from other dietary sources.
Protein Myth # 8:Taking protein supplements will cause your body to develop a dependency on them if you're only eating whole foods.
Fact: This myth has been around for quite some time and it was recently dispelled in an extensive review of the scientific literature performed by researchers at the University of Toronto. Overall, they found little evidence to indicate that consuming more than 20 grams of protein per meal will cause negative side effects if you're only eating whole foods. However, this does not mean that it's okay to consume mass amounts of protein powders and amino acid supplements (which contain more than 20 grams of protein per serving) because they are often made from inferior sources such as soy or animal products.
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