Myths and truth about protein

What is protein?

Sports protein is a protein supplement for muscle mass gain. Most often, the source of raw materials for its production is normalized and purified from water, casein and fat whey of cow's milk - that's why the protein is called whey protein isolate.

There are many unscientific myths about the protein - starting from the fact that it is harmful to health and is not recommended for beginners, ending with the fact that since the human body can not absorb more than 20 g of protein at a time, it is necessary to drink a sports protein every two hours for muscle growth.

Rating of the most effective sports nutrition for weight gain and rapid muscle mass gain.

How much protein is digested at a time?

Many are convinced that no more than 20 g of protein can be absorbed per meal. Despite the fact that this contradicts physiology( in fact, any amount of meat will be absorbed by the body by 90-95%, but this will take some time), the upper end of the assimilation of the protein still exists.

Apparently, the regular use of large doses of sports protein reduces the percentage of assimilation of its constituent amino acids. The mechanism of this process is rather complicated, and the specific values ​​of the "maximum protein dose" depend on the individual needs of the organism at the current moment.

How to eat protein?

Scientific research suggests that the maximum conversion of protein into muscle tissue is achieved by consuming 20-25 g of protein isolate at a time. Higher doses do not give an increase in the efficiency of muscular set, even though the body fully absorbs the protein.

In this case, it is not so much the amount of sports protein that is important, as the time of its use and the combination with carbohydrates of a high glycemic index. The best stimulus for the growth of muscle mass is the intake of 15-20 g of protein and 40-50 g of carbohydrates immediately after the end of the strength training.

Is the sports protein harmful?

Very often you can hear that athletes acquire serious illnesses from the use of sports powdered protein. As evidence, "facts" are given, according to which "it is proved" that excessive consumption of protein is detrimental to the kidneys. However, there is no real confirmation of this myth.

Indeed, in 1973 an experiment was conducted according to which mice were not fed for five days, then they were given large doses of protein, which led to an increase in toxins in the blood and negatively affected the kidneys. Obviously, the results of this experiment are difficult to consider in relation to people.

Protein: side effects of

Most of the side effects that occur with the use of whey protein( from diarrhea to acne) are not caused by the protein itself, but by its low level of purification from lactose and the use of substandard additives to give the protein a pleasant taste and thick consistency.

Cheap protein brands can adversely affect even an entirely healthy organism, not to mention people with food allergy or chronic diseases. That's why before buying it is important to carefully study the composition of the sports protein for the presence of suspicious ingredients.

A short guide to the basic strength training program for rapid muscle mass gain.

Which protein is better?

The opinion that there are fast and slow proteins is born of manufacturers of sports nutrition and in many ways is an exaggeration. The real difference in the rate of assimilation of "fast" whey protein and "slow" casein is no more than 15-20%.

In addition, there is no evidence that slow protein( casein) should be consumed every day before going to bed. Despite the fact that it can be useful to professional athletes, beginners are more important not to think about casein, but to monitor the total amount of protein in the diet. Do I Need Amino Acids?

Amino acids are just part of any protein. They are found in powdered protein, in meat, fish, buckwheat, and in many other foods. Even BCAA amino acids, so important for the metabolism of athletes, are available in sufficient quantities and in normal foods.

The use of liquid amino acids or BCAA is recommended during training for fat burning, as they protect the muscles from catabolic processes of decay. However, beginners who train with the goal of gaining muscle mass, it is better to drink normal whey protein.


The maximum dose of protein assimilation does not exist, but the use of more than 20-25 g of protein at a time does not appear to provide additional benefits for muscle mass gain. Most of the health problems associated with taking protein are due to its secondary ingredients.

Scientific sources:

  1. Mayo Clinic: Whey Protein, source
  2. WebMD: Whey Protein Side Effects, source
  3. The Protein Book, Lyle McDonald, source