Protein - we all need it. Having enough of it and from quality sources, is the difference between "Hey" and "WOAH, have you been working out?”. However there seems to be a lot of misconceptions about protein, its benefits, negatives and effects.
This article is based on our best friend SCIENCE, so let’s set the record straight!
Myth: Protein Powder Denatures From Cooking or Baking
While this is true, it doesn’t mean the protein becomes ineffective. When protein undergoes a heading process it changes the physical structure of the molecules, this is called denaturation which occurs at temperatures above 104.4 degrees. Therefor when baking with your protein powder it will defiantly undergo some changes, the same way that when a raw egg is cooked it changes from liquid to solid (yet still maintains a protein punch). It is still utilised by the body in the same manner despite the denaturation, protein powder is versatile and convenient. You can throw it in the blender, mix it, stir it or enjoy it in your cooking. Whatever you choose to do with your protein powder, you can rest assured you are still getting your protein needs in.
Myth: Your body can only absorb 20g of protein per serving
Woweee this is a good one, and far from the truth! Your intestines absorb up to 90% of all protein that is digested (may vary dependant on individual bodily functions). Once the protein is 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 utilised 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 utilised and absorbed by your body.
Myth: Too much protein turns into fat.
Black and white - yes this can be true! If you eat too much of anything your body will eventually turn it into fat, but when protein is concerned you would have to eat a whole lot of it and not much else in order for it to have this effect.
Myth: 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.
Myth: Whey Protein Makes You Fat
Truth – Whey protein doesn’t make you fat. Only eating an excessive amount of daily calories can make you gain fat. Eating a proper amount of daily protein will ensure maximum muscle gains. On the other hand, if you under eat protein, you make it harder for your body to add muscle.
Fortunately, there is a simple solution to get muscle building, metabolic boosting protein whenever, and wherever you want.
And it tastes good too!
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Bray GA, et al. Effect of dietary protein content on weight gain, energy expenditure, and body composition during overeating: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2012. 307:47-55.
Martin WF, Armstrong LE, Rodriguez NR. Dietary protein intake and renal function. Nutr Metab. 2005. 2:25.
Paulsson M, et al. Thermal Denaturation of Whey Proteins in Mixtures with Caseins Studied by Differential Scanning Calorimetry. J Dairy Sci. 1990. 73(3): 590-600.
Ten Have GA, Engelen MP, Luiking YC, Deutz NE. Absorption kinetics of amino acids, peptides, and intact proteins. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2007. 17 Suppl: S23-36.