Everybody, from long-time gym vets to fitness novices, knows about protein powder. It’s one of the most well-known, easy to use supplements on the market, and its ease of use makes it accessible to anyone, from pros to newbies. However, in spite of all this, there are still a few misconceptions surrounding this supplement. And we’re here to discuss some of those myths.1. Protein Makes Women Bulky
As with almost any form of weightlifting, there is a fear among women that they could put on a large amount of muscle and become bulky, especially when taking protein powder. But see, here’s the thing…only YOU can get yourself ripped, and while taking a protein shake after your workout does indeed help you build muscle, it’s far from being able to make you bulky, unless you’re really going heavy with the weights. Additionally, there are a large number of other factors that determine how much muscle you can gain, including hormones, your body structure, and the kind of training you do, among other things. In short, taking some protein powder after your workout has as much of a chance of giving you bulky man-muscles as any other protein-rich foods, which is to say none.
2. Protein can damage your kidneys
Now there are actually studies out there that show that ingesting high amounts of protein can be detrimental to your health if you already have some form of kidney disease, due to protein being unable to pass through the kidneys if they’re inflamed. But here’s the thing; these studies only focused on those who already have a kidney disease. They didn’t account for anyone with perfectly healthy, functioning kidneys. Bodybuilders take in protein all the time, and their kidneys seem none the worse for wear. In fact, there are studies that show that protein can actually lessen the risks of kidney failure occurring in the first place, largely be lessening the effects of diabetes, the biggest contributor to kidney failure. So, unless you’re downing a two-pound tub of protein every day (although there is a guy who ate a whole 5LB tub of mass gainer once, you can check out our blog on it HERE), I wouldn’t worry about any ill effects on your health.3. You Have to Take a Protein Supplement to Build Muscle
Everyone knows a protein supplement can give you an edge when it comes to muscle building. However, there are those who would tell you that you absolutely have to take a protein supplement in order to put on any muscle. This claim is 100% false. The only thing you really need in order to build muscle is a good diet, hard work and diligence. While protein powder does help your muscles get the macro-nutrients they need to grow, this does not make them an absolute requirement for muscle building. If you’ve got a good training program, and you’re eating right, and you're getting in your protein from natural sources, you should see muscle growth, with or without any protein supplements.4. Endurance Athletes Don’t Need Protein Powder
Everyone knows that protein powder helps with building muscle. It’s the feature that’s most advertised about protein. Yet for some reason, many people believe that protein powder is only really useful if taken after weightlifting, excluding endurance training like running or cycling. This is a pretty big mistake, as endurance training still works muscles in your body, and these muscles also need to recover after your workout. So, for all you runners and cyclists reading this, protein can help you build muscle just as well as weightlifters, so don’t miss out.
5. All Protein is The Same
To those who haven’t had much experience with protein, all forms of protein look the same. This outlook can’t be any further from the truth. As anyone who makes regular use of supplements can tell you, there are many different variants of protein on the market to choose from, each one behaving differently. To wit, we have:
- Whey protein, which is what most people refer to when they talk about protein powder
- Isolate protein, which is a low carb, low sugar, easily absorbed form of protein
- Casein protein, which is a form of protein that is designed to slowly release its protein content over an extended period of time
- Hydrolysate, the highest quality, and most expensive, protein available
Bottom line, no two protein variants are 100% the same. It’s important that you know which variant is the right one for you, in order to get the most out of it.