MYTH 1: High-Protein Diets Wreck Your Kidneys
One role of our kidneys is to filter the by-products of protein metabolism and breakdown. Eating more protein won’t damage your kidneys if you’re healthy. In a 2018 study published in the journal Nutrients, 310 pre-diabetic men and women followed a specific plan to lose weight for a year. Researchers found that intakes of more than 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight a day (about double the recommended daily intake) was not associated with decreased kidney function.
A study from the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism conducted in the year 2000 found that consuming up to 2.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily (nearly four times the RDI of protein) caused no impairment of renal function. However, one very important exception to this is if you have kidney disease, talk to your doctor about your protein consumption, as a high-protein diet may worsen your condition.
Furthermore, the increase in daily protein can cause many other positive effects on the body, one in particular being an increase amount of fat loss due to the satiety effect that protein has as well as the stabilisation of blood sugar that eating a higher amount of protein causes.
MYTH 2: Your Body Can’t Handle More Than 30 Grams of Protein a Meal
This myth comes from the fact that your body needs 30 grams of protein in order to maximally stimulate muscle protein synthesis (the repairing of damaged proteins and building of new proteins). And while 30 grams per meal is optimal, according to Dr. Roussell, more doesn’t lead to additional benefits.
In a small study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers gave 17 healthy adults and 17 healthy elders either a four- or 12-ounce serving of beef. Then they took blood samples and thigh muscle biopsies to assess the subjects’ post-meal protein synthesis.
In both age groups, the 12-ounce serving (about 90 grams of protein) caused the same increase in muscle protein synthesis as the four-ounce (30 grams) serving.
The take away from this that it’s not that your body can’t handle extra protein, it just doesn’t need it.
MYTH 3: You Don’t Need A Protein Shake Right After A Training Session
Previous studies suggested the presence of an “anabolic window” — a magical time of somewhere between 30 minutes and an hour after a workout during in which you had to down protein or else you’d miss out on muscle-building benefits. However, we now know that this window is much larger.
A 2013 review suggests the window
is four to six hours. Still, it’s best to eat a meal with 30 grams of protein within two hours of finishing your workout, nutritionist Mike Roussell says. “After you exercise, your body benefits from having protein. It doesn’t need to be immediate, but best practice would be within two hours and then regularly at each of your meals after that.”
Yours In Health,
Coach Alex Kassis