Many people resort to protein powders, thinking that it is the best way to get protein and build muscle. How credible is that? Is protein powder harmful?
What is protein powder?
Protein powders are powdered forms of protein made mostly from plants (soybeans, peas, rice or potatoes), eggs or milk, according to Harvard University.
Powders may contain other ingredients such as added sugars, artificial flavors, thickeners, vitamins and minerals, and the amount of protein per scoop ranges from 10 to 30 grams.
The supplements used for muscle building contain relatively more protein, while the supplements used for weight loss contain relatively less.
Do we need to eat protein powder to build muscle?
Of course, protein is a necessary ingredient for building and maintaining muscle, strong bones, and many other bodily functions, but you can get enough protein from natural food, such as pulses, dairy products, and meat, and your body can get all the protein required to build its muscles from these natural sources.
What are the side effects of a protein supplement?
There are several problems with protein powder:
Eating protein powder can lead to weight gain in the form of fat, not muscle. This happens if a person takes protein powder without doing enough exercise, and the total calories he took in are more than he needs.
As protein contains calories, it enters the metabolism cycle in the body, and its surplus can be converted into fat.
Also, it may surprise you that protein powder not only contains proteins, but also may contain a high percentage of sugars, which means more calories.
Overall, women need 46 grams per day of protein, and men need 56 grams. On the other hand, one scoop of protein powder contains 20-25 grams, which means that you can easily exceed your daily need.
If you are taking protein powder, you may end up introducing too much into your body, and this puts a huge load on your kidneys, which may have negative effects in the long run.
In 2018, the nonprofit group the Clean Label Project released a report on toxins in protein powders. Researchers examined 134 products for 130 toxins and found that many protein powders contain heavy metals (lead, arsenic, cadmium and mercury) and BPA, which is used in plastics.
Do not take protein powder unless under medical supervision, otherwise your kidneys may get tired and you will end up with a small belly that suddenly appears instead of muscles.
Natural Sources of Protein An egg (6 grams) 6 ounces of yogurt (18 grams) A handful of nuts (4-7 grams) 1 cup milk (8 grams) 2 ounces cooked chicken (14 grams) .