Whether you’re a workout newbie, or a gym pro so seasoned that you introduce yourself to incoming staff—you’re probably taking protein. The thing about lifting weights is that you get hungry—really hungry. Supplementing your diet with protein powder is an easy and effective way to assist in muscle recovery after an intense workout. But this humble servant of muscle-builders everywhere is still faced with a lot of controversies. Myths about whey protein abound, but before you give up on this excellent supplement, check the facts while we clear up these common myths on whey protein.
1. Whey Protein is Unnatural
We’re not sure where this one came from, but we hear it all the time: “you shouldn’t take whey protein because it’s unnatural”. Look, all whey protein is, a dairy-derived protein. Cow’s milk has two protein compounds: whey and casein. There you go, that’s where whey comes from.
2. Protein is Protein
We often hear people saying that protein is protein and it doesn’t matter where you get it from. Your body requires 22 amino acids for optimal function. It makes 13 of those on its own and it gets the rest from food. Foods that provide essential amino acids are complete proteins. These complete proteins come from animal-based foods. So yes, while plenty of stuff has protein, that doesn’t mean any protein will do. High-quality whey proteins are formulated to supplement your diet with complete proteins.
3. It is Bad for Your Kidneys
There is a lot of debate on this one. Yes, there is some evidence that a high consumption of it can contribute to the formation of kidney stones. However, in healthy individuals there’s no conclusive evidence that whey protein hurts your kidneys. If you have a history of kidney stones or increased risk factors like obesity or a family history, consult your doctor before supplementing with it.
4. Only Bodybuilders Need Whey Protein
Runners and endurance athletes often focus a lot on carbohydrates, but good endurance athletes know that too much carbs and not enough protein will put you in the catabolic stage, where your muscles are broken down to provide fuel for your workouts. Not a good situation.
Basically, for the first hour you’re working, your body is using stored glycogen to power your muscles. Then when you get to the second hour, muscle protein starts to provide that fuel. To prevent this, endurance athletes and cardio connoisseurs should drink a fast-acting muscle recovery drink with it to prevent things like muscle loss, compromised immunity, and fatigue.
5. Whey Protein Makes You Gassy
Look, protein isn’t the easiest thing to digest. That’s just a fact. That’s why it keeps you full for so long: your body’s still working on breaking it down. If you’re taking a whey protein supplement that doesn’t have any digestive enzymes, you might experience some excess flatulence as your body tries to digest all the protein you just ate. This is why its key to make sure they whey protein you’re taking is a high-quality product that includes digestive enzymes to avoid any uncomfortable or embarrassing side effects after all your good gains in the gym.
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