Every guy in our gym seems to be a massive fan of the protein supplements – whey protein shakes, protein pills, amino acid supplements – now I always thought that unless you’re a professional athlete, whey protein supplements are bad for you. In the sense, they are unnecessary and a regular diet of protein-rich food is enough to get your daily quota.
But the gym jocks are a-d-a-m-a-n-t and so are most gym trainers. The mantra is “protein supplements grow your muscles.” Which is just… well, completely off the mark. Getting a shot of pure protein is one thing. Protein supplements “growing” muscles is pure sci-fi. Convinced that whey protein supplements are bad for you and wholly unnecessary, I set out to write this: As factual an article as you will find to prove that if you have a normal protein-rich diet, and you are a regular individual looking to stay fit and healthy, and not a professional bodybuilder or sportsperson, whey protein supplements are unnecessary for you.
The web is full of product-pushing experts. Websites like gymaddiction, musclebuilder, bodybuilder and mypecsarebiggerthanthenano.com throw pages and pages of stats and facts to encourage you to buy their product. I went 15 Google result pages deep while searching for “protein supplements disadvantages” for information beyond “the only disadvantage is the price.” Here’s what I found.
Forget the complex daily protein requirements, on average along, it comes down to this:
- I am 6 ft tall. So, I need 65-210 gm of protein (Spark People and Indoor Climbing).
- Most foods are not pure protein i.e. 1 gm of meat is not equal to 1 gm of protein.
- UPDATE: Thumb Rule: Take your body weight in kilograms. You need that number in grams of protein a day. Ex: If your body weight is 84 kilograms, you need 84 grams of protein a day.
Studying this chart and looking at yesterday’s food intake, I consumed:
- Chicken (225 gm or 1 serving) = 40.5 gm
- Dal (225 gm or 1 serving) = 20.25 gm
- Fried egg = 14 gm
- Wheat Bread = 8 gm
Not counting the veggies and the rotis, I consumed 83 gm of protein. So why would I need to take protein supplements when I am well within the required limit?
If I take whey protein supplements, I could be putting unnecessary strain on my kidney, let alone the extra calories that I just don’t need. And plain and simple: Why take such a wholly avoidable risk? The way I see it is this: Whey protein supplements are not needed at all as long as you maintain a healthy diet, work out like a “normal” person and eat protein rich food… and (joke to cut the tension alert) so long as you eat meat, you will be healthy and not brain damaged.
Hopefully, this put the picture in perspective. You won’t need whey protein supplements at all if you make sure you’re eating protein-rich food and make sure you’re keeping some check on your daily protein requirements.