Pro­tein myths de­bunked

A CER­TI­FIED PER­SONAL TRAINER EX­PLAINS THE COM­MON MYTHS AT­TRIB­UTED TO PRO­TEIN

The Gulf Today - Panorama - - Contents - by Rachel Hosie

Once the re­serve of body­builders and weightlift­ing fa­nat­ics, pro­tein is now an es­sen­tial part of the av­er­age gym-goer’s arse­nal.

We know that to build and re­pair mus­cle, con­sum­ing enough pro­tein is cru­cial, be that through pro­tein pow­ders, meat, dairy or plant-based sources.

But with the macronu­tri­ent’s tran­si­tion to the main­stream, has the im­por­tance of pro­tein been over­stated?

There are a lot of myths ly­ing around about pro­tein so we asked per­sonal trainer, nu­tri­tion ex­pert and STAXX Bar am­bas­sador Mark Grice to de­mys­tify the world of pro­tein.

Five pro­tein myths — true or false:

1. Pro­tein is best eaten straight af­ter a work­out

We’ve all seen gym bros and gals rush­ing to glug down a pro­tein shake straight af­ter in­ish­ing in the weights room in or­der to get those all im­por­tant gains, but is do­ing so re­ally the be all and end all?

Ac­tu­ally, no. “Ide­ally it is best to eat pro­tein reg­u­larly and evenly through­out the day to keep those hunger pangs at bay,” Grice ex­plains. “Hav­ing a source of pro­tein dur­ing and im­me­di­ately af­ter a work­out is ben­e­fi­cial as it boosts pro­tein syn­the­sis

and helps to limit mus­cle break­down which essen­tially means the body re­cov­ers faster, mean­ing fewer aches and pains in the days af­ter train­ing.”

You’ll reap the ben­e­fits from eat­ing pro­tein through­out the day in­clud­ing irst thing in the morn­ing and the evening.

2. Pro­tein helps keep you fuller for longer

This is true. As with fat, pro­tein in­creases sati­ety which stops you get­ting hun­gry again so soon.

“If you’re try­ing to lose fat, this be­comes much more im­por­tant as a lot of the time you are go­ing to ex­pect to feel hun­gry when in a calo­rie deficit, how­ever choos­ing the right pro­tein sources and an ad­e­quate amount will help re­duce those neg­a­tive ef­fects,” Grice ad­vises.

3. Pro­tein is just for body­builders

You may think that if you’re not ac­tively try­ing to build mus­cle you don’t need to eat much pro­tein, but this is wrong.

“Whilst pro­tein does pro­mote mus­cle mass, it plays a cru­cial role when ex­er­cis­ing due to its abil­ity to sup­port mus­cle re­cov­ery — as well as re­pair­ing pretty much ev­ery­thing else in your body,” Grice says.

Pro­tein works di­rectly to re­pair the mus­cles af­ter ex­er­cise has caused mi­nor tears. “With­out su­fi­cient pro­tein in­take, your body won’t be get­ting the re­quire­ments it needs to op­ti­mally re­pair the body there­fore progress can be hin­dered as the mus­cles won’t be get­ting the right nu­tri­tion needed to de­velop and strengthen, pos­si­bly only enough to re­pair back to the orig­i­nal state.

“So, com­bined with the right ex­er­cise pro­gramme, pro­tein plays a cru­cial role in stay­ing lean and ton­ing up!”

4. Pro­tein boosts the im­mune sys­tem

This is a less well known but true fact, Grice says: “Low im­mu­nity is some­thing a lot of peo­ple suf­fer from and of­ten, it can come down to them hav­ing an in­su­fi­cient pro­tein in­take.”

5. The body can only di­gest around 30 grams of pro­tein at one time

It’s of­ten heard that pro­tein-rich meals are a waste of time be­cause the body can only di­gest 2030g at a time but Grice says this claim is based on a study that isn’t en­tirely re­li­able.

“Ac­tu­ally, the hu­man body de­ter­mines the ab­sorp­tion rate of its nu­tri­ents de­pend­ing on many fac­tors,” he ex­plains. “If some­one was to have a large meal with 50g pro­tein, then the body would know to slow down di­ges­tion in or­der to ab­sorb all the nu­tri­ents.”

Grice rec­om­mends you eat 1g of pro­tein per 0.5 kilo­gram body weight as a start­ing point: “Gen­er­ally, if some­one was ei­ther look­ing to in­crease mus­cle or de­crease fat then I would in­crease their pro­tein in­take to just over

1.1g per kg they weigh.”

Pro­tein is not just for body­builders but for all who work­out as it plays a cru­cial role in mus­cle re­cov­ery.

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