Protein is an essential part of a healthy diet. We know that to build and repair muscle, consuming enough protein is crucial, be that through protein powders, meat, dairy or plant-based sources. Most people who workout will know that protein is an important part of nutrition and muscle growth. However, many people avoid adding more into their diet due to a number of protein myths and misconceptions. Protein seems to cop a lot of misunderstanding. On one hand, it’s blamed for weight gain, on the other; it’s seen as an essential food source only suitable for body builders. Here are some common protein misconceptions.
Myth 1: Protein will make me bulky We can absolutely assure you that taking quality high-protein will not make you bulky. A diet that’s low in fat and carbohydrates and high in protein can actually help tone and define. For many people, particularly women, there is misconception that protein shakes will make you bulk up or gain weight. This is not true. People who have the primary goal of bulking up tend to lift heavy weights and consume lots of calories in addition to ensuring they get plenty of protein. If you follow a balanced diet, take the right supplements and have a workout routine tailored to your goals.
Myth 2: Protein only comes from meat and eggs This is something many women, particularly vegetarians, sometimes struggle with: they don’t want to eat meat every day. There are plenty of sources of protein that don’t involve eating meat like beans, lentils, tofu, nuts, cheese etc.
Myth 3: You only need protein if you work out Without an adequate protein intake, our bodies don’t function nearly as well. Protein transports various substances throughout the body, helps replace worn out cells and aids in growth and repair. It also helps strengthen your immune system, maintains a healthy weight, keeps your metabolism ticking over and keeps you performing at a high level both in and out of the gym.
Myth 4: All protein is the same Protein is in multiple products including meat, beans, dairy, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds and tofu. However, not all the sources of protein are the same. When it comes to protein, not all sources are the same. Animal proteins are known as ‘complete’ sources of protein, meaning they provide all of the essential amino acids (building blocks of protein) that we can’t make in our bodies and have to get from our food. Plant based sources of protein on the other hand are known as ‘incomplete’ sources of protein, meaning they don’t contain all of the essential amino acids required.
Myth 5: More protein, more muscles While protein is the building block of all cells in your body, and is incredibly important for muscle repair, simply consuming more protein won’t automatically lead to muscle growth. To do that, you must also ensure you’re working out. That’s especially important as you get older when it becomes harder to retain and build muscle.