The Big Protein Myth

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I believe that if all the ads, all the magazines all the articles we read about protein all the time really worked we should be having lean bodies’ muscular bodies and we should be at the right weight. But unfortunately protein has been a subject as been discussed over the last ten years its become an industry its become a billion dollar industry and there are so many myths around protein. Its not only preventing us from reaching our health goals but its also causing more disease and problems and today I want to discuss about this protein.

Do we really need that much protein. What is protein shakes. How does protein work in the human body? Do you need to become non vegetarian and start eating animal meat and eggs if you want to get more protein? M not over here to tell u to become a vegetarian and give up your non veg but m over here to tell you how does protein exactly work.

The human body uses the food u eat and it breaks down the protein in your food into amino acids which then generates the right amount of protein needed for your muscles and your cells. U don’t eat protein and it just doesn’t go into your muscles. The common misconception is I take a scoop of whey protein and eat a high protein meal and that protein goes directly into the muscles. It doesn’t work that way.  Your body first breaks down protein into amino acids. It’s the amino acids that contribute towards proper lean mass that gives muscle fuel and gives power to your cells. There are 23 amino acids. 15 of them your body can make every single day. The balance 8 amino acids also called essential amino acids must come from other sources and other foods that we eat. So 15 of the amino acids are generated by the human body and the balance 8 amino acids to make the complete quality protein that your muscles need comes from foods like beans, green peas, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, carrot, kale, spinach, nuts, seeds, sprouts yes that’s all vegetarian foods contain the 8 amino acids your body needs to make complete quality protein. Eggs, red meat too have fantastic protein in along with fats and other hormones but you can get complete amino acid profiles from vegetarian foods. U will find gold Olympic medallists, vegan body builders, pure vegetarians who run marathons and triathlons eating vegetarian protein. U can get sufficient protein even if you are a Jain or all your food is plant based or even if you do not have a dairy. Its not about quantity of proteins. We have been confused by the media and many people over the years about the more protein u have more grams of protein per pound of your body weight is what we need. But excess protein comes with its own problems because it not quantity. Its quality. I could get 30gms of protein in a scoop of whey protein which is not qualitative and does not have a complete amino acid profile. I could get just 7 to 8 grams of protein in two to three tablespoons of pumpkin seeds that has all the amino acids and will give my body what it exactly needs. So its not about quantity. Its about quality.

The human body can absorb 9 to 12 grams of proteins at each sitting. So taking 30grams of protein per meal is too much protein for some people. Body cannot absorb that much of protein. Excess proteins get stored as glucose which gets converted to fats. Hence people who keep taking excess protein for better muscle build end up getting abdominal fat because excess protein does not get absorbed at one time. So we need to monitor and spread our protein intake throughout the day. So if I am taking sufficient protein in breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner and pre workout and post workout, it’s more than enough. Having casein protein before sleep is the worst thing. Although the ad makers feature it as a slow release protein and it will fuel our muscle work, but it’s not the case. Moreover casein is a carcinogenic element found in our dairy which is extremely detrimental to our health. Casein is used to make glue and gum which is definitely not for human body. Building muscle, building lean mass or using protein to lose weight is more about amino acid profile. When it comes to muscle building you need a little bit of protein but more of the Human Growth Hormone and hormone called Testosterone and that’s what we never look at. We just calculate how much protein we can get. But if you have low growth hormone levels and low testosterone levels in your body, it doesn’t matter how much protein you have. In fact excess protein causes a reduction in the serum testosterone. Testosterone is what builds muscle mass and lean mass both in men and women. Women also have testosterone and human growth hormone in their bodies. Every time you generate more human growth hormone you have more muscle mass and lean mass. In case of so many children their mothers come and say that please give me a high protein plan so that my child can grow taller. But they don’t understand that it’s not the protein but the human growth hormone that will work.  What inhibits the human growth hormone is a sedentary lifestyle. Consuming processed foods, sugar, alcohol, smoking, sitting in active for a long time depletes the human growth hormone. What stimulates the human growth hormone is an active lifestyle like skipping, jumping and basically any activity that has your contact of foot to the ground multiple times. This in turn stimulates immunity. High human growth hormone means high testosterone. Too much stress, junk food, thyroid issues reduce the testosterone levels and with these low levels no matter how much protein you consume it’s of no use. Because weight loss and the right weight gain are all hormonal based. It’s based on the amount of testosterone and growth hormone you have.

Now many of you may have an obvious question as to how do body builders do it. They consume so much protein. Yes of course they consume so much protein and they also consume a lot of testosterone too with a lot of rest. They also consume other anabolics which lame men like us don’t do. So they are actually pumping themselves with a lot of testosterone levels to balance the amount of protein that they have. So its basically all about Testosterone and the Human Growth Hormone. Everything I talk about is only hormones. Right hormonal balance is needed because hormonal imbalance does not break the protein the right way. As a result you cannot build muscle nor have a lean body. So the idea is balance your hormones by taking a balanced nutrition. Also you need to know that one needs to eat the right kind of fats to generate right hormones in human body. So when you get right source of fats from the right olive oil or the right coconut oil, nuts, seeds they all have essential fatty acid, you help body generate hormones like testosterone and human growth hormone. So instead of shying away from good fats and increasing more protein we should have the right amount of good fats and right amount of proteins. Not excess protein because excess protein is stored as fat and you will put more pressure on your kidneys to flush out the excess protein. So one must understand that if you are consuming a protein rich diet and you are not putting on muscle and you are not losing weight, it is also because of a vitamin deficiency. Because one of the main functions of many vitamins is to convert the protein we eat in amino acids that our body can absorb. So if you have a vitamin deficiency your body is not synthesizing protein the right way. So it’s not about how much protein should one eat. A handful of nuts, a tablespoon of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, a bowl of peas, raw fruits, vegetables and seeds all this is good protein. A balanced diet will give anyone the right amount of protein the body needs. So instead of adding more protein to our diet we need to look at why isn’t our body breaking protein the right way and why isn’t it absorbing the right way. So get the right amount of fats in your diet.

Also people eat every two hours thinking that the metabolic rate may increase which is wrong. Proteins take roughly three and a half to four hours to digest in our system. If you eating every two hours, you making your digestive system constantly work. Digestive system uses most amount of energy in your body. And if it is constantly using this energy to breakdown the amount of food you eat, your metabolic rate is actually slower, because metabolism is a function of energy. A high metabolic rate is the efficiency of the body to use energy to burn excess fat. But if body is using this energy to breakdown food that you eat every two hours, this makes stomach produce stomach acid every two hours which means at some point you have more acid in your system. And when you are acidic, you are destroying amino acids, you cannot lose weight, you cannot build muscle. So idea is eat a balanced meal. Let your body completely digest it and then eat your next meal. Eating every two hours is a myth. It will not boost your metabolism. It will make your digestive system weaker. Moreover your body is not looking out for nutrition so frequently. Give body what it needs during its meal times and in between let it rest in between. Let it digest and absorb nutrition. Let it build cell health and immunity. Let it build your muscles. That’s exactly how human body works. So stop eating every two hours. It’s not a happy life if you are always thinking about your health and cooking and filling up your lunch boxes and wondering what your next snack going to be.

Being healthy is easy. It’s just become too complicated today. So when it comes to protein use nature. U can use shakes like vegan shakes, green powder shakes at times. Like sometimes I also use vegan shakes when m at places where I can’t get decent enough vegetables or nuts or fruits. But don’t use these as a simple way out. A pre work out snack can be a fruit and some nuts. A post workout snack could be some fruits or peanut butter or almond butter or nuts. Keep it simple. If you need a shake use a good quality shakes. Use a shake that does not have lactose or dairy protein in. So you can use a green pea shake or a brown rice shake or any of the countless vegan shakes that don’t have aspartame and have a complete amino acid profile in the body. So even when it comes to children, less is more but give them quality protein. You have to understand that excess protein is not going to help you to lose weight. It’s going to make you put on weight and cause other multiple issues in the human body.

So be smart when it comes to protein. You can get protein from vegetables and also from potatoes. A lot of people get potatoes out of their diet as it has carbohydrates. But it also has nice profile of protein in it. Its not a high protein vegetable but has enough protein that body can use to break down into amino acids. Proteins are building blocks of cells, muscle, immunity and everything else. It is true that the more lean mass you have the faster you burn your body fat. You can build that lean mass by looking after your hormonal health. Testosterone and Human Growth Hormone is that all you need to remember when it comes to proteins, everything else is available in nature.

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