Updated: Apr 18
Let’s talk about protein supplements. I remember a few years back when I was new in this field I thought proteins is a synonym for steroids. That is because be it relatives or my Mom everyone has once told me Beta ! you know these powders they use in the gym, they are all bad things and should never be consumed, it will harm you in future.
Unfortunately, protein powders have a very bad reputation in India because of the heavy amount of adulteration involved, people think these aren’t natural. How often you meet people who have recently joined a gym and they keep on saying I don’t mind eating millions of eggs, meat chicken because “Dude I want to keep it natural, these protein powders are steroids”. What most of the people fail to understand is the difference between synthetic artificially made harmful supplement called steroids and naturally derived supplements called whey proteins. Every fit INDIAN whoever started going to the gym has always doubted the safety and legitimacy of bodybuilding supplements at some point. But ultimately, these opinions change over time. These same individuals use the internet and educate themselves. So all you Indians out there who gym regularly, I feel your pain. The hardest thing is to convince OTHERS of the safety and benefits of supplements. The general public — Parents, spouses and other people who have never seen a dumbbell in their life, these people have HUGE misconceptions about these supplements. This is mainly because of the lack of correct fitness education among the majority of the Indian population. I’ve heard people come up to me and say things like “Protein shakes? More like shakes of poison.” Among the general population, the word “supplement” is almost always associated with steroids which they think will lead to infertility for no reason. Indians tend to jump to conclusions and assume that simple protein shakes will have the same effect as steroids — Hair loss, kidney failure, impotency, etc. The list is endless. A list of endless and baseless myths.
Let’s get into the deep science of protein supplements. How are proteins made?
There are some doctors, not all, but some who suggest all stay away from proteins because those powders might harm your kidney or liver or the obvious! I respect their noble profession and respect what they have studied but most importantly they see their patient, not in a positive aspect of health and fitness but to cure a particular disease. So there are doctors who haven’t read much about protein supplements, what goes in the making of these supplements and most importantly who should be taking them and who should not. And we all know that most of the Indian parents are influenced by the family doctors and if the family doctors don’t know enough about this subject in this vast field of health that does affect the child who is trying to adopt a fitness lifestyle.
The most commonly used source used protein is a whey supplement. The primary raw material used is something which we obtain while making paneer from milk. Now, this whey is put through the process called micro-filtration where this liquid part is converted into a solid form of whey which is used for making whey protein. That’s all this is, it’s a concentrated form of milk that’s very high in protein content and it’s a very good quality protein. This is something which everyone should know, it’s just a form of dairy.
But unfortunately, most of the people associate the process of weight training with bodybuilders who use anabolic steroids. Now, these are artificial products which are made in the lab which CAN harm your health. So most of the people mix this whey protein which is just a derivative of milk with something like anabolic steroids which is a much more serious substance which can harm your health. Now, what India needs to know about protein supplements but more importantly Indian parents is that-
Safe-They will not harm your child’s health.
Helps Build Muscles Mass.
Helps in fat loss.
Might even help the child in growing taller.
Who should consume Whey protein?
The short answer is anyone who does any kind of physical activity can consume whey protein, your age doesn’t matter your gender doesn’t matter. Now the thing is if you are just sitting idle at home watching TV firstly that is horrible for your health and for that you can hit your protein goal by your home food only. But if you are doing exercises maybe running cycling swimming and most importantly lifting weights where protein requirement is much high. So in order to hit the protein goal of the day you need to take protein supplements to gain lean mass as well as growing taller.
Protein supplements are perfectly safe even if you are a girl, it’s not gonna make you bulky or put on weight but rather it will help you burn fat. They are very convenient to get to your protein goal. Why? Because every single scoop of protein shake has roughly about 25 g of protein in it, that is equivalent to eating 4 whole eggs.
Disadvantages of Protein?
A lot of people thinks that consuming protein can cause kidney stones in their body. The science behind kidney stones is that they formed because of the high acid level in the bloodstream. Yes, protein supplement does increase that level but you can counter that by increasing the intake of water. Now if you are eating chicken, fish, and eggs and then you are consuming protein shakes and also you remain dehydrated then you are not giving your body enough fluid to flush out from your body that is what leads to stones. So take care of your hydration levels. How to take care of that? If your urine is clear most of the time you are in a safe zone.
Protein shakes might result in acne, so if you are consuming whey proteins and getting adult acne and not able to figure out why maybe leaving supplements for a while might be a solution.
Should I consume it or not?
Throughout we have talked about the pros and cons of whey and the question comes is it really necessary to consume whey protein on a regular basis? Already told it depends on the amount of protein your body requires. If your goal is to gain muscle mass then you should consume at least 1.5 times your body weight, and if that amount can be covered through natural protein like eggs or chicken then you can choose to not consume whey. But since whey provides you 25–30 g of protein in a single scoop people often prefers consuming it since it gets easily digested within 15 minutes after consuming it with water. For vegetarians, it becomes even more important since there is hardly any lean source of protein available in the market which can fulfill the protein requirements of the body. Just always prefer buying protein from sources who provide 100% authentication.
So that’s it guys I hope this will help you get an idea about protein supplements. What are they? Are they harmful? Should I consume it or not?