Protein – the most popular word in the fitness business. Every starter knows it. Seasoned bodybuilders rave about it. Protein is almost the physics of bodybuilding. But, what’s important can also attract myths. And when it comes to protein, ‘they are plenty’. Let’s attack some bad ideas straightaway…

Myth #1: You need to consume large amounts of protein to build muscle.

Remember the math of protein and creatine we discussed earlier?. We used to think of muscles as solid tissues made entirely out of protein. That’s a myth. More than 80% of your muscles are made of water. Just a few grams a day can go a long way. Don’t have to overdo it.

Myth #2: All protein is created equal.

That’s a myth. Proteins from different sources have different efficiencies. The word is ‘bio-availability’. Whey protein has a better amino acid profile and is far more easily digested than soy protein. Bio-availability is a measure of how much something you ingest is actually available for the body to make use of. That means, we’ll have to choose protein sources that offer the highest bioavailability.

Myth #3: You need to consume protein immediately after a workout.

Protein has a long half-life. That means it doesn’t break down so quickly.. A scoop you take could stay in your system for weeks. So, it really doesn’t matter if you take protein before workout or after or first thing in the morning. Only thing that matters is that you consume it adequately.

Myth #4: The more protein you consume, the more muscle you’ll build.

Agreed. Protein is vital for muscle growth but that doesn’t mean more proteins always equals more muscles. It’s not uncommon to find people who don’t consume much but have toned muscles and those who follow a protein heavy diet and don’t produce noticeable muscular differences. The ability of your body to make use of the protein and use it to bulk your muscles has several other factors -, protein type/source, bioavailability, the kind of workouts you do, your nutrition, carbs, fats,  and most importantly, your genetic profile. Just don’t put all the blame on protein!

Myth 5: Protein Supplements are Harmful to Kidneys

A study published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases followed 1,624 adults with normal kidney function for over two decades and found no association between high-protein diets and kidney damage. This myth, though, runs on steroids. They make it such a scary thing to just have enough of it. But, do regular health check-ups and make sure your dosage of everything is in balance.

Myth 6: Protein Supplements Cause Weight Gain

Well, it’s complex but beneficial. Protein actually aids weight loss. It helps burn fat. How, you ask? Protein is hard for the body to break down, so it burns fat for the energy it needs to digest protein. Fat reduction straightaway. But then, it may add weight to your body, but that’s pure lean mass. You should be proud of that.

Myth 7: Protein Supplements are Only for Bodybuilders

Not true. Every muscle in everyone’s body requires a sufficient amount of protein to maintain the integrity of its existence. Everyone needs proteins and must consume them. It doesn’t have to be supplements, but it has to be proteins.

Myth 8: Plant-Based Protein Supplements are Inferior to Animal-Based Protein Supplements

ABSOLUTELY NOT. Protein is a molecule, and it is exactly the same no matter where you find it. Vegan, meat, whatever…if they have protein, it’s good for you. But also, be careful about other stuff like contaminants and purity and bioavailability while choosing.