Busting Protein Myths - AnabolicMinds.com
    • Busting Protein Myths



      By Chris Aceto Flex

      Lies, fabrications and outright fiction everywhere you turn ó you might think youíre in the midst of a political convention. No, itís just a general discussion about protein in an ordinary gym. At its core, protein is a simple nutrient. The amino acids from dietary protein represent the bricks that lay the foundation a body uses to create new muscle tissue; if you fall short of the appropriate protein intake, you wonít grow. Simple, see?

      Thatís why protein has withstood the test of time among bodybuilders. Itís vital for growth, and greats from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Ronnie Coleman have made it the cornerstone of their mass-building plans.

      Still, thereís quite a bit of misinformation passed around at gyms and on the Web regarding everything from how much protein is needed, to how much can be digested, to what form is better for bodybuilding. Here, we sort through the fact and fiction for you, tackling the seven most common misconceptions and setting the record straight..

      #1 POWDERS ARE BETTER THAN FOOD.

      Protein powders are easy to absorb, and absorption is an important part of the mass-building process. However, whole-food animal sources of protein, such as eggs, dairy, fowl, red meat and fish, have complete, though somewhat different, amino-acid profiles. Some are higher in certain amino acids than others, and this may be a reason why bodybuilders like Jay Cutler claim that serious mass canít be built without red meat. Cutler tells FLEX, ďWhen I exclude red meat, I canít add the mass and grow like I do when I eat it daily and sometimes twice daily.Ē Is it the iron, B vitamins or creatine in the meat? Maybe. Itís also likely that the unique amino-acid combinations allow greater protein synthesis.

      For optimal mass gains, donít succumb to living mainly on powders. Choose a wide variety of foods and include powders before and after workouts, and at times when convenience is essential. The variable amino-acid concentrations among different foods may exert unique effects on you that result in better growth, as opposed to sticking with one or two protein foods or a couple of foods and a protein powder.

      #2 PROTEIN NEEDS ARE STATIC.

      Bodybuilders trying to gain mass tend to stick to the same protein intake day in and day out. For example, a 200-pounder may eat as many as 300 grams of protein a day, with plenty of calories coming from carbohydrates in order to create a caloric surplus. Of course, protein and calories are the basics of muscle building. However, you can stimulate your body by mixing things up: one or two days out of every 10 or so, consume up to 400, 450 or 500 g of protein. Ideally, do this on training days to better stimulate growth. Changing levels ó specifically, instigating a surplus of amino acids in the blood ó can cause an increase in protein synthesis, the buildup of muscle mass in the body.

      Remaining faithful to the same protein intake day in and day out is OK, but varying protein intake with an occasional day or two of a very high consumption can lead to greater gains.

      #3 EVERYONE NEEDS A GRAM OF PROTEIN PER POUND OF BODYWEIGHT.

      Although the typical recommendation of a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is as close to a rule of thumb as there is ó which is why we often tout it in the pages of FLEX ó itís not etched in stone. For true hardgainers who bust their butts in the gym, that number should be increased by 50%, to 1.5 g per pound of bodyweight. Keep in mind that you wonít grow ó regardless of how much protein you consume ó if you are slacking in the gym or training like a wuss.

      The key is to match your protein intake with your training. If youíre a beginner, you probably donít train as hard as someone with a lot of experience ó and you probably shouldnít anyway ó so you may be able to get by on slightly less than a gram per pound of bodyweight. If you are a hardgainer or train with intensity on par with your favorite pro, start with 1 g per pound per day, but donít hesitate to move it up from there if you fail to make significant visible gains.

      #4 YOU CAN DIGEST ONLY A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF PROTEIN PER MEAL.

      Somewhere along the way, the idea that a body can handle no more than 30 g of protein per sitting wedged its way into nutrition circles. Thatís an old wivesí tale. Do you think Arnold Schwarzenegger grew on 30 g of protein every three hours, the equivalent of eating only four or five ounces of chicken at each meal?

      Think again. Protein digestibility and the amount your body can handle per meal is tied to how much you weigh and how hard you train. The more you weigh, the more you need; the harder you train, the more you need. In turn, the more you need, the more youíll be able to digest, absorb and assimilate. A 200-pound male will, in general, need more protein than a 160-pounder and should be able to digest more per meal. Digestibility is also linked to the amount of protein you consume on a regular basis. The more protein you eat regularly, the better your body becomes at digesting large protein meals.

      #5 DAIRY-BASED PROTEINS PROMOTE FAT GAINS.

      This myth just wonít go away. The idea that dairy-based proteins ó low-fat or nonfat milk, cheese and yogurt ó lead to gains in fat or added water retention is, well, wrong. Dairy is perfectly fine. Itís a great source of protein, and some research even shows that dairy, when combined with a low-calorie intake, could possibly coax fat loss.

      The dairy misconception could be connected to the fact that most cheeses, including nonfat cottage cheese and nonfat sliced cheese, contain excessive sodium, which has the potential to initiate water retention. However, even thatís overblown, because bodybuilders need more sodium. It drives glycogen storage and indirectly supports growth by interacting with potassium to turn on pumping mechanisms within cells that govern the exchange of nutrients that lead to muscle repair. Plus, sodium is not the culprit many mistake it to be. If you suddenly change your sodium intake, abruptly increasing it, water retention is likely to be the result. However, if you consume dairy on a regular basis and maintain a relatively consistent sodium intake, you will adapt and probably avoid noticeable fluid retention.

      #6 PROTEIN CANíT BE USED AS AN ENERGY SOURCE.

      This misconception relates to dieting bodybuilders. Some trainers advise against cutting way back on carbohydrates, insisting that a lack of carbs causes a loss of muscle tissue. However, by increasing protein intake while dieting, you offer your body alternatives to muscle tissue for use as fuel. Where a low-calorie or low-carb diet can cause muscle tissue to be broken down, an increase in protein consumption ďattractsĒ the body to use dietary amino acids found in protein as a substitute for those in muscle tissue. It does so by burning some amino acids directly and by a process known as gluconeogenesis, in which amino acids are converted into glucose. The myth breaker: increase protein when carbs go down, and youíll protect against muscle loss.

      #7 COMPLEMENTARY PROTEINS PROMOTE GROWTH.

      A cup of cooked oatmeal yields 6 g of protein, a medium bagel provides 11 g and two cups of cooked spaghetti supplies about 16 g. That may be a fact, but the type of protein derived from nonanimal sources might not be the best at creating or supporting protein synthesis. Thatís because they are not complete proteins; they donít contain all the essential amino acids the body needs to build mass.

      The entire spectrum of amino acids, including all of the essential amino acids, can be found only in foods that are animal based. Fowl, fish, red meat, milk and eggs are best because they are complete proteins; they contain all of the amino acids the body needs to grow. The proteins found in nonanimal sources are called complementary, or ďjunk,Ē proteins; they lack sufficient essential and required amino acids that are ideal for creating anabolic and recovery environments within the body.

      - See more at: http://www.flexonline.com/nutrition/....8aqWrWXD.dpuf
      Comments 20 Comments
      1. wiseman's Avatar
        wiseman -
        Too much protein turns into carbs. That's a fact. Corporations overhype protein because it's profitable.
      1. Neon Signs's Avatar
        Neon Signs -
        Not only that. But when your body turns excess proteins into carbs you produce ammonia which is toxic and needs to be disposed off. If you drink a lot of water you will probably wizz it out, but if you don't it can accumulate in your body and put some strains on your kidneys. The reality of the situation is that to grow you need calories with a decent amount of quality proteins, but there is no need to go into the excess that is advertised even in this article. 500 grams? Are you freaking kidding me?
      1. wiseman's Avatar
        wiseman -
        Originally Posted by Neon Signs View Post
        Not only that. But when your body turns excess proteins into carbs you produce ammonia which is toxic and needs to be disposed off. If you drink a lot of water you will probably wizz it out, but if you don't it can accumulate in your body and put some strains on your kidneys. The reality of the situation is that to grow you need calories with a decent amount of quality proteins, but there is no need to go into the excess that is advertised even in this article. 500 grams? Are you freaking kidding me?
        Totally agree! We need about 25-35% of our calories from protein and that's only if we're lifting, and 35% may be overboard for many.
      1. Type O Hero's Avatar
        Type O Hero -
        I do advocate high protein diets for hard training athletes, but I agree that upwards of 500g is nuts. Even if it's just every once in a while, one cannot efficiently digest that much. Doesn't mean you cant cram it into your gut though lol

        And incomplete protein sources are only crap if you're not eating them with a complete source. I know combining incomplete sources with complete ones doesn't magically turn 6g of protein from wheat into 6g of higher quality protein from egg, but I wouldn't consider it junk.

        Otherwise I mostly agree with everything mentioned in this article.
      1. emantest's Avatar
        emantest -
        Being that Chris Aceto is and has been one of the top nutritionist in the bodybuilding world, I'd have to believe these methods work.
      1. Type O Hero's Avatar
        Type O Hero -
        Ever wonder if people sometimes find something that works for them and then preach it as if it should be working for everyone?

        1,000 different ways to get from A to B... I'll take the one that doesn't involve purposefully shooting for 500g protein every so often lol... Now an all you can eat ribeye fest? 500g, no problem.
      1. emantest's Avatar
        emantest -
        Originally Posted by Type O Hero View Post
        Ever wonder if people sometimes find something that works for them and then preach it as if it should be working for everyone? 1,000 different ways to get from A to B... I'll take the one that doesn't involve purposefully shooting for 500g protein every so often lol... Now an all you can eat ribeye fest? 500g, no problem.
        I'd follow his advice in a second because he has been in the trenches with countless pro bodybuilders.
      1. EatMoar's Avatar
        EatMoar -
        Have you guys taken a physiology class at all? Your body will Not use protein as an energy source unless you have been in a resistance stress phase for an excessive amount of time. You have a large store of glycogen and fat.

        Breaking down protein is to much work for your body and it's very toxic. If you're at the point of breaking down protein for energy you are at the point of nearing your end.
      1. Reem's Avatar
        Reem -
        500 grams of protein when you're full of steroids and growth hormones like the pro's yes... Doesn't mean it's similarly beneficial for the average gym go-er.
      1. NCost's Avatar
        NCost -
        You guys really should read...he said shoot for 400,450 or even 500. You all stuck on the 500 like it's gospel. The point was to eat more than normal once in a while to help grow.

        And protein does not convert to carbs...it does convert to glucose, they're not the same thing.

        Your body will use protein as an energy source IF the body is lacking fat or carbohydrate calories for fuel.
      1. EatMoar's Avatar
        EatMoar -
        Originally Posted by NCost View Post
        You guys really should read...he said shoot for 400,450 or even 500. You all stuck on the 500 like it's gospel. The point was to eat more than normal once in a while to help grow. And protein does not convert to carbs...it does convert to glucose, they're not the same thing. Your body will use protein as an energy source IF the body is lacking fat or carbohydrate calories for fuel.
        Thank you. Someone who has a brain.
      1. wiseman's Avatar
        wiseman -
        Originally Posted by NCost View Post
        You guys really should read...he said shoot for 400,450 or even 500. You all stuck on the 500 like it's gospel. The point was to eat more than normal once in a while to help grow.

        And protein does not convert to carbs...it does convert to glucose, they're not the same thing.

        Your body will use protein as an energy source IF the body is lacking fat or carbohydrate calories for fuel.
        You do realize that glucose is what the carb gets broken down into? It's the same thing as a carb. Either way the body can only utilize so much protein before it either stores it as fat or turn it into glucose, which defeats the purpose of going low carb or high protein.
      1. fightnews's Avatar
        fightnews -
        Originally Posted by Type O Hero View Post
        Ever wonder if people sometimes find something that works for them and then preach it as if it should be working for everyone?

        1,000 different ways to get from A to B... I'll take the one that doesn't involve purposefully shooting for 500g protein every so often lol... Now an all you can eat ribeye fest? 500g, no problem.
        A lot of people think that not just about lifting but everything in life. They think just because they think and feel a certain way then everyone does
      1. fightnews's Avatar
        fightnews -
        everybodies a ****ing guru
      1. emantest's Avatar
        emantest -
        Originally Posted by fightnews View Post
        everybodies a ****ing guru
        Chris Aceto=prep guru for IFBB pros including Jay Cutler. He does know nutrition as well as being an outstanding bodybuilder himself.
      1. fightnews's Avatar
        fightnews -
        Originally Posted by emantest View Post
        Chris Aceto=prep guru for IFBB pros including Jay Cutler. He does know nutrition as well as being an outstanding bodybuilder himself.
        He knows
      1. rodefeeh's Avatar
        rodefeeh -
        Originally Posted by EatMoar View Post
        Have you guys taken a physiology class at all? Your body will Not use protein as an energy source unless you have been in a resistance stress phase for an excessive amount of time. You have a large store of glycogen and fat.

        Breaking down protein is to much work for your body and it's very toxic. If you're at the point of breaking down protein for energy you are at the point of nearing your end.
        Very true. Thanks for bringing this up.
      1. Type O Hero's Avatar
        Type O Hero -
        Originally Posted by emantest View Post

        I'd follow his advice in a second because he has been in the trenches with countless pro bodybuilders.
        Pretty sure pro bodybuilders aren't solely relying on high protein intake lol jeez

        Unless you're playing that game, it's dumb to diet and train like you are. Or to take advice like you are. Telling me someone helps pro bodybuilders doesn't mean **** to me because I don't do what pro bodybuilders do. Big ****ing difference between not taking hormones and taking hormones. Derr
      1. Type O Hero's Avatar
        Type O Hero -
        Originally Posted by fightnews View Post
        everybodies a ****ing guru
        Nailed it
      1. Type O Hero's Avatar
        Type O Hero -
        Make sure to bust those protein myths wide open! Oh, and a lot of artificial testosterone might help! Bruh..

        ****ing stupud.

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