Protein is one of the most discussed nutrients in fitness in recent years. If you are trying to build muscle or lose weight, you must have come across hundreds of protein-related articles and products. Protein is the building block of your muscles, and by extension, your general fitness benefits immensely from it.
In this article, we will discuss some common protein myths that have many people believe.
Myth 1: Protein is only good for building muscles
People focus on protein as a component of their diet because they want to build muscle mass. Protein and muscle building go hand in hand, and with bodybuilders popularizing protein supplements, it's understandable why anyone would think so. But protein is needed for other equally important areas such as hair, joints, bone, tendons, hormones, and many others. Protein also supports the immune system and regulates blood sugar. There is so much more than protein does beyond muscle building.
Myth 2: Eating less protein aids weight loss
When some people are trying to lose weight, they consider eating less one of the easiest ways to get results. Although eating less protein for weight loss may sound logical, it does the opposite. Many people tend to eat less when losing weight, and by extension, less protein. But because protein helps to speed up metabolism and keep you full, eating less of it can make it harder to lose weight.
You need healthy muscles to help you burn fat, but when the body is too low on calories, it will break down muscle tissue to produce energy.
Myth 3: You can’t consume too much protein
You can have too much of a good thing. Drinking too much water, for instance, can cause symptoms similar to dehydration. The same applies to consuming large portions of salmon or meat in a bid to increase your protein intake. Apart from leaving less room for other nutrients, you could also consume excess calories if your choice of protein is high in fat. This could eventually lead to weight gain. That's why protein supplements help you moderate your protein consumption, especially if you engage in high-intensity workouts and resistance training. As with most things, moderation is very important.
Myth 4: Eating too much protein damages the kidneys
Unless you already have underlying kidney problems, consuming too much protein will not damage your kidneys. A healthy pair of kidneys is efficient at expelling excess nitrogen that comes with consuming lots of protein-rich foods. Diversify your protein by getting your protein from both plant and animal sources, and abstain from overconsuming protein.
Myth 5: A vegan diet can’t give you enough protein
You are highly mistaken if you think that vegans don't get enough protein. While protein-rich foods such as eggs, fish, and dairy produce contain complete protein, vegans may not get much of it from a plant-based diet. However, foods like legumes, lentils, beans, and tofu are excellent sources of protein, so vegans will not be missing much.