7 Protein Myths

We set 7 myths straight about the most important muscle-building nutrient.

#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. That’s an old wives’ 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 you’ll 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 won’t go away. The idea that dairy-based proteins — low-fat or nonfat milk, cheese and yogurt — lead to gains in fat or added water retention is, well, wrong. Dairy is perfectly fine.  It’s 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 that’s 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.

 

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