Protein powder can be a controversial supplement, and there's a lot of hearsay floating around with no basis in evidence. Google can be a lifesaver, but it can also give you false or dangerous information.
In this article, we'll look at six of the most common myths about protein powder that you may have encountered and provide counterarguments.
Myth 1: Protein Powder Makes You Bulky.
Despite common misconceptions, protein powder does contribute to muscle growth when taken alongside exercise and a calorie surplus. However, it won't make you bulk up; that only happens when you take in more calories than you burn in a day.
So as long as you're eating a balanced diet and getting the recommended amount of protein, you don't have to worry about pushing through any extra bulk.
Myth 2: Plant-Based Protein Is Less Effective Than Whey.
Whey proteins are often recognized as the highest quality protein source; however, recent studies suggest that plant-based proteins can be equally effective.
As long as the powder contains similar amounts of protein and BCAAs, both whey and plant-based powders will support muscle growth. Additionally, both of these types of protein can help promote feelings of fullness, aiding in weight loss. The main issue with plant-based proteins is that they are not always complete, containing all nine essential amino acids.
Only soy can be considered a complete plant-based protein; however, you can also blend multiple plant proteins to create a more comprehensive powder which guarantees all nine essential amino acids. One example is True Protein's Vegan85 which combines pea, pumpkin and brown rice protein to make it superior to that of individual non-dairy proteins.
Myth 3: Dairy-Based Proteins Are Bad For You.
If you suffer from gastrointestinal issues after consuming whey protein, it's not actually an indication that whey protein is bad for you; it is a sign of lactose intolerance.
Whey protein comes from milk, which is a by-product of cheese-making. When consuming other dairy products such as milk or cheese, people who tend to get an upset stomach will likely experience the same uneasiness after having whey.
For those who cannot tolerate dairy well, there are numerous plant-based proteins available; however, if you are not lactose intolerant, whey protein is perfectly safe to consume.
Myth 4: Heating Or Cooking Protein Powder Destroys It.
When you bake it, protein powder doesn't get destroyed like other foods. It's just like when we cook chicken: the protein isn't broken down, so the same is true for protein powder.
That makes it a great way to bump up your daily protein intake and add some yummy flavor as well!
Myth 5: Protein Powder Is Only For People Who Go To The Gym.
No matter if you hit the gym or not, protein is an essential macronutrient. It provides a number of functional and structural benefits that go beyond just exercise, like:
Normal growth and development throughout life stages
Skeletal muscle contraction, growth, recovery and adaptation from physical activity and exercise
Adequate skeletal, smooth and cardiac muscle for normal functioning of the body and its organs
Building other functional and cellular components, including hormones, enzymes and antibodies
Building joint cartilage, hair, skin and nail cells
Transportation of small molecules within cells and around the body
It doesn't matter if you have fitness goals or not, protein is a crucial part of your diet. Protein powder is a convenient and effective way to ensure you're meeting your daily intake requirements, so your body can perform at its best.
Myth 6: You Need Protein Powder To Build Muscle.
Protein powder is not necessary for building muscle, but it is a helpful shortcut for meeting your protein goals. Protein has amino acids, which serve as the building blocks for muscle growth.
Protein powders supply your body with rapidly absorbing amino acids that excite more noticeable muscle synthesis when taken in greater amounts. True's WPC80, for example, contains 23g of protein per 30g serving.
You can still get the same benefits of muscle growth without using protein powder if you follow a diet with the right amount of protein and do resistance training.
Lean meats, poultry, eggs, dairy products, nuts and seeds, legumes, and beans are all sources of protein.