Today whey protein industry is worth several hundred million dollars and it has been growing in popularity. It has been a widely used protein since many years. Many athletes and body builders have benefited tremendously. However, some myths surrounding whey protein have cropped up and various rationales get discussed among the guys. This article tries to discuss some of these frequently asked questions.
I am a vegetarian. Can I have Whey Protein?
Whey protein is a byproduct of cheese production, when it gets separated from the curds. Therefore, there is no animal meat in Whey protein. However since dairy is used, it is not suitable for vegans.
Whey protein causes hair loss
Consuming whey protein is like eating any other protein from meat, eggs, etc. it should help in building the muscles, bones and hair. Therefore, the myth that it causes hair loss seems baseless. On the contrary, protein intake should help in hair growth.
- Some men have genetic predisposition for hair loss and there could be other factors such as stress, insufficient nutrition, etc.
- Link between higher testosterone and whey protein is not logical. Someone who is taking protein supplements is probably doing heavy workouts too, which naturally increases the testosterone. In fact, higher testosterone is one of goals of many body builders.
Protein supplements are mandatory to build muscle
Protein supplements are not mandatory. Natural sources (meat, fish, eggs, nuts, milk, legumes, etc.) of protein are always preferable. Supplements only address any deficiencies or gaps in our diet. Whey protein is the most easily absorbed protein and hence athletes consume it right after the exercise, which is believed to be very beneficial. This is one of the reasons for popularity of whey protein although there are mixed opinions on the effectiveness of consuming protein supplements immediately after a workout.
Is it harmful for the body/kidney?
As with anything else, whey protein too needs to be used in moderation. When possible, use natural protein sources. Stay within the recommended amounts (including other protein sources) and you will reap many benefits. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein according to U.S. government standards is 0.8 gram per kilogram of body weight for the adult. Beyond a point, more protein does not mean more muscle. In addition, drink enough water. If you already have a kidney issue, consult a doctor before starting a protein supplement.
Whey protein causes gas and bloating
Whey contains lactose and so the lactose intolerant should avoid it. They can try out a different protein variety – egg protein for instance. Another option is to use lactase digest capsules. They help in digestion of dairy products for people with lactose intolerance. Also, if you have been mixing the whey protein with milk, reduce the milk or replace it with water completely.