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#424723 - 02/03/10 09:26 PM Need Protein Supplements? No.
JoelM Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 6355
Loc: Georgia, USA
http://www.livescience.com/health/protein-supplements-100202.html



Most health stores are tainted with the irony that so few of their products are actually healthy, from herbal potions of unknown purity and utility to dietary supplements capitalizing on recent trends in weight loss or hair gain.

Now, two more studies question a longstanding staple at the health store, protein supplements, usually sold as a powder with testosterone-fueled names like Muscle Max 500 or Mega Monster Mass.

Such supplements are top sellers. But a growing body of research shows you don't need protein supplementation unless you are a professional-level athlete in intense training or perhaps gravely ill from starvation or a wasting disease, and even then the need would be a case-by-case call.

The new studies highlight the fact that the most benign thing about protein supplements is that you're only wasting money. You reap little benefit and instead put yourself at risk for kidney, bone and heart disease.

Do the math

Medical researchers have advised against protein supplements for years for the average person. But many sports trainers continue to push them on amateur athletes simply because they don't know any better.

You do need protein when you exercise, particularly when you try to build muscle through weightlifting or other forms of resistance training. The process of building muscle involves causing damage to muscle filaments and then rebuilding them, and this requires more protein.

Yet unless the Mr. Universe competition is in your future, your diet likely supplies all the protein you need. The math is quite simple. When training, you need about a half gram of protein per pound of body weight. So a 180-pound male needs about 90 grams of protein a day. That's the amount of protein in a cup of milk or yogurt with breakfast (8–12 grams), a can of tuna with lunch (40 grams), and a six-ounce steak with dinner (42 grams).

Meat has a generous 6 to 10 grams of protein per ounce. But even vegetarians can get enough protein from vegetables, even while training hard.

Experts whey in

A study published last month, in the journal Nutrition, surveyed more than 1,000 adults at 50 ordinary commercial gyms and found that nearly half the men were taking dietary supplements, largely protein powders, with no supervision. None needed protein, the researchers concluded.

Similarly, a smaller study — a master's thesis by Martin Fréchette from University of Montreal — probed the diets of elite athletes, part of the Canadian Sport Centre Dietary Study. More than 90 percent of these athletes were taking dietary supplements, on recommendation of trainers or friends; only 25 percent could explain why they were taking it; and of those using protein supplements, more than 80 percent already had sufficient dietary protein intake.

More disturbing is how the protein habit starts early.

A 2008 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research documented how protein supplements are common among high school athletes, who take the stuff largely on recommendation from coaches and friends under the misconception that protein equals strength.

False fuel

Few people in the United States suffer from lack of protein. The average non-exercising adult only needs about 60 grams a day. People who add powered soy, whey or other protein sources to their diet usually are just adding calories with no impact on muscle growth.

No studies have identified definitively short-term health problems from excess protein, but this has been associated with kidney failure, osteoporosis and heart disease. The reason is that unused protein cycles through the blood and ultimately breaks down into urea and acidic byproducts. These byproducts strain the kidneys as they filter through and likely trigger bone to release calcium. Very recent studies reveal how protein causes inflammation and increases the risk of clogged arteries.

Some protein powders, namely the ones with thunderbolts on the label, contain more than 100 grams of protein per serving. That protein alone is 400 calories, but usually other ingredients bump up the total to nearly 1,000 calories. You'd need a serious workout to process all that.

Some bodybuilders feel they need a gram of protein per pound of body weight, depending on the intensity of the training. If you do use a supplement, then it is best during or just after a workout so that the damaged muscles can use that protein for repair.

Note, however, that despite the word "fuel" in the names of many supplements, your muscles aren't burning protein unless you're in starvation mode. If you have the luxury to belong to a gym and spend time purposefully exercising, you're likely not starving.



Edited by JoelM (02/03/10 09:31 PM)
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#424771 - 02/06/10 01:03 PM Re: Need Protein Supplements? No. [Re: JoelM]
Dereck Offline
Prolific

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10413
Loc: Great White North
Interesting info Joel; and I can agree with much of it. Here are some stuff I posted quite some time ago.

Quote:
Now weight lifters will need to increase what they eat and one of the things you will need to increase is your protein intake. Now this can be done through foods or supplements but this will have to be your choice. You may find that the time to prepare something vs. the cost to purchase something goes one way or the other; you choose for you.


The use of Protein as a supplement I still stand by you can get from food, but supplements can be an easy way to ensure you do get more. If you are not feeding the muscle you are not growing.

Here else is what I posted before and why Protein is important.

Quote:
I would also suggest after a heavy workout that immediately within an hour period that you take some protein and here is why.

The body has a built-in survival drug hormone called “cortisol”. Immediately following a high-intensity workout the body pumps this hormone whose function is to carry off protein to the liver where it converts it to glucose, which provides energy for the body. The longer and harder the workout the more cortisol is pumped. Why is this important to replenish protein? The largest supply of protein in your body is your muscles … so this is the first place attacked by the cortisol and why it is important to replenish the protein immediately. When the protein is destroyed in the muscles this is known as a “catabolic state”. Another reason that this is important is that our immune system is based on proteins and if this is attacked by the cortisol this can weaken our defense mechanisms.


I can speak from experience, over the past year I have been sick way too many times. I've been working out a lot and if you add in my age, the longer it takes for me to recover, and I was not taking any supplements nor eating more, I believe this added to this. I have now began to take protein supplements again. Now when choosing which one, it will be up to the user to look at the label and go beyond the hype and look at the facts. Which one has the best protein with the fewest garbage calories? And if you go in with the understanding that this is a supplement and you can also do it with food, then you are starting to get slightly smarter then the average lifter.

Your article listed half of gram of protein per body weight if you are a weight lifter. Your article listed the average non-exercising adult only needs about 60 grams a day; these numbers are fairly close to what I posted earlier.

Quote:
Now how much protein does one need to take? The answer is not as much as you think you do. Non active people need .36 grams per pound of bodyweight per day. For an active person such as a weight lifter it is recommended that you need 0.6136 grams per pound of body weight per day. (i.e. 200 pound athlete would required 122.72 grams of protein per day). Remember more is not better when it comes to protein intake. In fact there are studies that show that excessive protein intake over extended periods of time can possibly seriously damage your liver or kidneys.


Both are guidelines. And from what you posted to what I posted in January of 2006, it is nice to see that we are speaking the same language. I guess I am one of the people that does know why they are taking protein.
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#426360 - 04/06/10 02:04 AM Re: Need Protein Supplements? No. [Re: Dereck]
ScottBolinger Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/23/07
Posts: 13
usually people thats spounts off about whats bad for ya, are people that havn't used the products.

it's a no brainer that you use protein if your a serious athlete, as well as vitamins and mineral tabs. Thats pretty standard. A protein mix will help with energy and keep your energy level up at a longer period of time, and it also helps with recovery. But, be picky about what you take. Talk to the store clerk, that person usually has plenty of inside infor and may give good advise as to what protein to take to what ever level of athlete you are. And it depends on if your trying to build builk or maintain and tone, or lose weight.
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#426361 - 04/06/10 02:09 AM Re: Need Protein Supplements? No. [Re: ScottBolinger]
ScottBolinger Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/23/07
Posts: 13
there have been several studies on what to take and when to take. Some say to take a protein mix before and after a workout. Taking someting within 45 minutes after a work out because thats when your body will utilize nutriance the most and give yourself a faster recovery. And I think that type of thinking is good for bulk builders.

just take your regular vitamin and mineral tabs, maybe add a extra 500 miligamrs of vitamin C, garlic tab and ceyenne extract and do your protein drink before your heavy routine. Don't worry about a after workout drink , unless it's something light like a gatorade.
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#426363 - 04/06/10 08:29 AM Re: Need Protein Supplements? No. [Re: ScottBolinger]
JoelM Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 6355
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: ScottBolinger
usually people thats spounts off about whats bad for ya, are people that havn't used the products.


"Christopher Wanjek is the author of the books "Bad Medicine" and "Food At Work." His column, Bad Medicine, appears each Tuesday on LiveScience. "

And what are your credentials, Scott?

Quote:
it's a no brainer that you use protein if your a serious athlete

The article says:
But a growing body of research shows you don't need protein supplementation unless you are a professional-level athlete in intense training or perhaps gravely ill from starvation or a wasting disease, and even then the need would be a case-by-case call.

My guess is that 99% of the people on this site and 99% of the people that use protein supplements are not professional-level athletes.

Quote:
Talk to the store clerk, that person usually has plenty of inside infor and may give good advise as to what protein to take to what ever level of athlete you are.

Excellent idea! Go to the person who is making money off of you buying stuff and ask him what stuff you need to buy.
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#426364 - 04/06/10 08:35 AM Re: Need Protein Supplements? No. [Re: ScottBolinger]
JoelM Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 6355
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: ScottBolinger
there have been several studies on what to take and when to take. Some say to take a protein mix before and after a workout. Taking someting within 45 minutes after a work out because thats when your body will utilize nutriance the most and give yourself a faster recovery. And I think that type of thinking is good for bulk builders.

From the article:
Some bodybuilders feel they need a gram of protein per pound of body weight, depending on the intensity of the training. If you do use a supplement, then it is best during or just after a workout so that the damaged muscles can use that protein for repair.



Also from the article, in case you missed it:
A study published last month, in the journal Nutrition, surveyed more than 1,000 adults at 50 ordinary commercial gyms and found that nearly half the men were taking dietary supplements, largely protein powders, with no supervision. None needed protein, the researchers concluded.

Similarly, a smaller study — a master's thesis by Martin Fréchette from University of Montreal — probed the diets of elite athletes, part of the Canadian Sport Centre Dietary Study. More than 90 percent of these athletes were taking dietary supplements, on recommendation of trainers or friends; only 25 percent could explain why they were taking it; and of those using protein supplements, more than 80 percent already had sufficient dietary protein intake.
_________________________
We should all take ourselves seriously...and then crumple that image up and toss it out the window.

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#426419 - 04/08/10 05:22 PM Re: Need Protein Supplements? No. [Re: JoelM]
jonwade Offline
Member

Registered: 09/21/06
Posts: 34
Loc: Essex, UK
Personally I prefer to eat eggs and tuna (I really love them both). But if you want to lose weight and keep building / repairing muscle while exercising supplements are handy. All you really need is a 100% whey shake though. It just helps you to get enough protein while at the same time limiting calories consumed / fats etc.But just one shake after you workout, and that is not going to lead to any health problems.

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#430141 - 09/25/10 09:51 AM Re: Need Protein Supplements? No. [Re: JoelM]
Landus Offline
Member

Registered: 12/28/05
Posts: 373
Loc: UK
I would like some help as research and reading has me in a balance between taking supplements or not. I'm going to be at the gym again soon 3x a week and I'm also a veggie.

I'm happy to hear that taking protein throughout the day can be enough... but do I still need to have some after a workout?

That's about all I'm lost on so far,

many thanks

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#430143 - 09/25/10 11:19 AM Re: Need Protein Supplements? No. [Re: Landus]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Much depends on your goals, and the type of training you intend to be doing, but on the whole, for recovery to be as quick as possible, it is a good idea to have 30-40 gramms of protein within 40 minutes of the end of your workout. This is considered a 'magic period' in which the body will absorb and utilise protein for repair at its most efficient. I always have a heaped scoop of whey in 500ml of low fat milk straight after training. This gives me around 40g of protein along with the carbs and a bit of fat in the milk for energy. Works a charm smile
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#430395 - 10/10/10 09:08 AM Re: Need Protein Supplements? No. [Re: Cord]
Landus Offline
Member

Registered: 12/28/05
Posts: 373
Loc: UK
Thanks that's a big help. I'm going to be training in the day 2x a week for strength/mass with sparring in the evening, and 1x a week cardio/power.

I've been looking for the 'pure' whey that I've heard mentioned but I keep getting SUPER whey 3000 etc. Any help with a good product of just whey in the UK?

I won't invest just yet but I'm not sure yet as a veggie if I can get my 70g protein a day (I'm 140lb, that's how it works right?)

Many thanks

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#431428 - 01/31/11 05:32 AM Re: Need Protein Supplements? No. [Re: Landus]
alexander10 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 01/22/11
Posts: 6
I am fitness trainer.so this is right that Some bodybuilders feel they need a gram of protein per pound of body weight, depending on the intensity of the training. If you do use a supplement, then it is best during or just after a workout so that the damaged muscles can use that protein for repair.I kam completely agree with this.

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#431526 - 02/14/11 07:08 AM Re: Need Protein Supplements? No. [Re: bryce14]
Matakiant Offline
Member

Registered: 02/08/11
Posts: 121
Yay for advertisements!

I stand firm by the belief that you DO NOT need protein supplements for your training.

The body can get all of your necessary nutrients from normal plain food, the argument of ''time'' and etc I can get to an extent but most people I know, even those who say they take the supplements, powders, shakes w/e due to time constraints are overdoing it.

1 gram per lb of bodyweight is enough, going over that is feasible in some days with more intense training etc.

More more is not good for your body. Too much protein shakes&powders will do damage to your kidneys, by too much I mean too much daily in grams.

The body can only take about 30-50 grams of protein per meal (dependant on your musclemass and metabolism)

Though studies do show that if you eat only 1-2 large meals per day the amount is increased.

Ehh to stop my ramble you can do protein supplements if you do them right but eating naturally is always better for you.

Personally for me cooking is a nice ''mental oooldown''

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#431529 - 02/14/11 12:43 PM Re: Need Protein Supplements? No. [Re: Matakiant]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Originally Posted By: Matakiant
I stand firm by the belief that you DO NOT need protein supplements for your training.
The body can get all of your necessary nutrients from normal plain food


Couldnt agree more

Quote:
the argument of ''time'' and etc I can get to an extent but most people I know, even those who say they take the supplements, powders, shakes w/e due to time constraints are overdoing it.


That doesnt really make sense. Are you saying they are overdoing it because they should make time to prep natural food, or are you saying they already get enough natural food without the supplemental protein?

The reason I ask is because a lot of shift workers have ever changing daily life structures in which convenience food plays a part - yes I know, they should be spending their days off prepping and freezing down tupperware containers of meals to take with them to work, but seeing as how we are dealing with reality, not ideals, given the choice between an MRP or a whey shake, and a 3 cheese and bean burrito out of the vending machine, as a long term strategy born of necessity, the supplement is a better option for health and meeting nutritional needs.

Quote:
1 gram per lb of bodyweight is enough, going over that is feasible in some days with more intense training etc.


Protein assimilation is not noticeably affected by intensity of exercise, and current thinking puts 1g per lb bw as excessive. Its 1.5g per kilo lean BW ie, your protein intake is based on living tissue, not total weight including inert stored bodyfat.

Quote:
More more is not good for your body. Too much protein shakes&powders will do damage to your kidneys, by too much I mean too much daily in grams.


Possibly, but not always, and you would have to be having a consistently extreme amount of protein over a long period of time. Its unlikely to happen in reality.

Quote:
Ehh to stop my ramble you can do protein supplements if you do them right but eating naturally is always better for you.

Personally for me cooking is a nice ''mental oooldown''


Again, you are not wrong, but what you have time for in your circumstances, others may not. Sometimes you have to work with what you can, not what is best.
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#431530 - 02/14/11 02:55 PM Re: Need Protein Supplements? No. [Re: Cord]
Matakiant Offline
Member

Registered: 02/08/11
Posts: 121
What I mean by overdoing is still in terms of grams. And lets be fair here once people start getting into the whole supplement thing they, usually, get in more and more, first with protein then with vitamins then with oils, acids etc... All fine and dandy if done properly but with protein I mostly know people who just consume too much

And a ''long'' time for your kidneys could just be a few years or more dependant on how much someone overconsumes..

And that 1 gram was just a generalisation I made based upon my own body and physical activities.. 1 gram is still a safe border even if you over-think your physical activity, bodybuilders and such go even up to 2.5 or even more, but that is just ridiculous and bad for your health.

And hey now I cook fast! You can eat natural etc with organisation in your life, I'm not saying it's some great goal to go after but I do think it is a lot better than drinking shakes, powders and eating vitamins for your nutrition..

I could go on the subject of numerous studies discrediting both sides of the argument but that's irrelevant really in this day and age it's about your own preference and in the case of wanting natural foods how much you are willing to bother with it.



Edited by Matakiant (02/14/11 02:56 PM)

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#431534 - 02/15/11 09:00 AM Re: Need Protein Supplements? No. [Re: Matakiant]
underdog Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/18/04
Posts: 1270
Loc: Mansfield, MA U.S.A.
What about for females? I've been on and off protein supplement drinks over the course of a lifetime. When I've discussed it with my doctors, the consensus has been to not do them. Kidney damage has been their concern. Then I typically get into the belief system that there is this secret body of knowledge in the gym that the people who research diets and needs just don't know about. That just seems silly to me.

I'm not using any supplements right now. I'm just sticking to the recommendations from the U.S.D.A. for my age gender and gradual weight loss adding 1 oz of meat/beans and writing EVERYTHING down on my weight watchers program. This seems to be working for me in that I feel good, have good work outs and I'm losing weight and getting stronger.
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#431551 - 02/16/11 09:16 AM Re: Need Protein Supplements? No. [Re: underdog]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
You know, eating well is not that difficult. You need each meal to provide you with sustained release energy, material to maintain/repair muscle tissue, and a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats, to promote proper hormone production and organ function.
By and large, in broad strokes, thats it.

What complicates things is not new nutritional requirements or secret knowledge, rather it is lifestyles and learned eating habits that no other animal on earth has to deal with. Odd/long working hours, technology increasing sedentary time, a society that promotes eating as a pastime, not a necessity.

THESE are the things that upset our nutritional balance. Obesity and food-related health issues are behavioural, not nutritional.

Metaikant is not wrong in what he/she says regarding the pitfalls of supplements- the key is in the name supplement- if your basic diet is good and balanced, then you have no need of them.

Schemes like weight watchers dont tell you anything you dont already know, what they do is give you a structure, and a reason/motivation to look through the distortions and distractions of the world we live in, and eat in accordance with what your body needs, not what your mind wants.

And you should NEVER listen to food/exercise advice issued by your general practitioner - in a 6 year medical course, a doctor spends less than a month learning about the role of exercise and nutrition. If you ever have any real concerns, then your GP can refer you to a clinical dietician (not a 'nutritionist'), who has devoted years to the role of food on a medical level.
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#431558 - 02/16/11 04:27 PM Re: Need Protein Supplements? No. [Re: Cord]
Matakiant Offline
Member

Registered: 02/08/11
Posts: 121
Yeah Cord is more eloquent than me laugh

For me it is ''easy'' since I've grown up with food being a necessity and a pleasure at the same time.

Learning to cook early, getting a feel of the now so very mystical to some younger kids and even adults country life and so on all helped to create the natural attitude I have towards food and later the nutritional knowledge I gained through reading.

And I've managed to eat healthy & natural even when I've worked 12-16 hourt night shifts.

I've managed to do it with even more knightmarish work arrangements and through 2 months fo never ending renovations now I still eat healthy, though I have no room to work out any more or practice any kicks frown

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#431560 - 02/17/11 02:06 AM Re: Need Protein Supplements? No. [Re: Matakiant]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Originally Posted By: Matakiant
though I have no room to work out any more or practice any kicks frown


ah, but there is no real excuse not to ....... wink
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#431651 - 02/28/11 03:07 AM Re: Need Protein Supplements? No. [Re: underdog]
Stormdragon Offline
Who Dares Wins
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/05/04
Posts: 3409
Loc: Salem, OR
Originally Posted By: underdog
What about for females? I've been on and off protein supplement drinks over the course of a lifetime. When I've discussed it with my doctors, the consensus has been to not do them. Kidney damage has been their concern. Then I typically get into the belief system that there is this secret body of knowledge in the gym that the people who research diets and needs just don't know about. That just seems silly to me.

I'm not using any supplements right now. I'm just sticking to the recommendations from the U.S.D.A. for my age gender and gradual weight loss adding 1 oz of meat/beans and writing EVERYTHING down on my weight watchers program. This seems to be working for me in that I feel good, have good work outs and I'm losing weight and getting stronger.


Kidney damage from protein supplements is really very rare. And it happens when you have an ungodly amount. I used to take 2 or 3 50 gram protein drinks a day and 2 or 3 high protein meals. Didn't hurt me a bit. Doctors tend to lean to the side of being over protective so you can't sue them for giving you advice and then you having problem. That said if what you're doing works for you great. My grandma has done very well on weight watchers.
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#431654 - 03/02/11 01:39 AM Re: Need Protein Supplements? No. [Re: Stormdragon]
Mark Jordan Offline
Member

Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 138
Loc: Burbank, California
Daily protein intake is important because it helps maintain a healthy metabolic rate among others. And we need approx 0.75 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

I don't worry about kidney problems when taking protein supplements as long as there is proper water intake in order to properly expel uric acid from the body. There is more kidney problems caused by taking paracetamol than taking protein supplements.

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