Busting Common Myths About Protein
There’s fact, and there’s fiction, and there’s certainly plenty of both when it comes to the subject of protein. So we’re here to separate the horse poop from the truth, and give you the whole truth about some of the most common protein questions.
- M: Men need more protein than women.
T: This one is kinda true. Your weight, age, activity levels and other factors determine how much protein you need. But generally, men tend to need more protein than women. On average, men need about 56gms a day, while women need about 46 grams.
Want to find out how much protein you should be eating? This handy calculator can help you figure it out.
- M: Animal protein is better than plant protein.
T: It’s true that not all proteins are created equal, but to say animal protein is superior to plant protein would be a falsehood. Proteins from animals, such as eggs, fish and poultry, are considered complete proteins as they contain the nine essential amino acids that your body needs (and doesn’t make). However, plant proteins such as quinoa, chia seeds and soy also have them. Also, you could get all the amino acids from different protein sources – your body will take what it needs.
- M: You need to limit your protein intake if you’re trying to lose weight.
T: Nope, this one is complete garbage. Au contraire, protein keeps you full and your metabolism going. So when you cut back on the protein, your metabolism takes a hit, which could make it harder to lose weight. Also, the weight you lose could be muscle, not fat, and you could also experience other effects such as fatigue, muscle weakness, edema and a weakened immune system.
- M: Everyone needs the same amount of protein.
F: Not true at all. As previously stated, the amount of protein you need for the day depends on your age, weight, activity levels and other factors. In an ideal scenario, this is about 56gms a day for men and 46gms a day for women, but the number is different for everyone. So it’s best you calculate out how much protein YOU need.
- You need more protein as you age.
F: Fact. Muscle loss is a part of aging. You start losing muscle from the age of 40. Also, as you get older, your body becomes less efficient in the way it uses protein. And you could start to feel the effects in your strength and energy levels. So you do need more protein as you get older.
- M: Increasing your protein intake increases your muscle mass.
F: This isn’t true. Yes, the amino acids in protein help to repair muscle, and are crucial to growing and keeping it healthy. But protein alone is not going to increase your muscle mass – you need to strength train too.
- M: Indian cuisine isn’t rich in protein.
F: Soybeans, chickpeas, peas, lentils, and mixed seeds are staples of most Indian households. These are all great sources of protein.
So there you have it: some of the most common misconceptions about protein and the actual truth. The thing to remember is that you do need a certain amount of protein every day, and your body doesn’t store it so you have to get it from your food. Of course, for those who find sourcing and calculating the protein content in different sources, there are great protein powders, such as Origin Nutrition’s clean and delicious range. And with a little creativity, you can meet your body’s protein needs without breaking a sweat!