Whenever I look up weight lifting exercises for women on the internet, I always stumble on protein powder ads. I do use a scoop of protein powder (only 11g/serving) in my morning oatmeal, but that’s it. It’s a good thickener for my thin oats and has a nice serving of protein to start off the day.
A few weeks ago I had a general practitioner talk to me about my protein intake. I have found this to be common in the clinical setting (MDs giving nutrition advice when they lack the proper training that R.D.s have) but was not prepared for my personal doctor to talk to me about it. Guess she thought that, since I am a vegetarian, I must be starved for quality protein. We talked about the sources of protein, where it comes from, and why I should be careful. Despite my insistence that I got an undergraduate degree in nutrition and am currently studying/doing my internship to become a Registered Dietitian, this meant nothing to her. Unfortunately, I handled the situation poorly and was rather, er, sarcastic with the doctor. It’s all in the delivery, must work on it. I’ll do better next time, promise 🙂
powder. They want that “ripped” look and put protein in everything. Some sites recommend up to 2 g of powder per pound of body weight. That would be 300 g of powder for a 150 lb person. Wow. (P.S., That’s a lot!!) See the below links for more information. Or just keep scrolling and read my thoughts…
Contrary to the body builders, Askthedietitian.com says that people fall for the myth because they listen to individual testimonials and not science. She suggests that informed consumers read “The Homocysteine Revolution” by Dr Kilmer McCaulley. “Thirty years ago, he compiled the research on homocysteine (an amino acid) that is an intermediary in the breakdown of methionine (an amino acid). Homocysteine appears cause and advance arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) as a result of high protein diets. Weight lifters or body builders take protein or amino acid supplements, thinking that it will make them ripped. These supplements do not build muscle and combined with an already high protein intake, often stress kidney function. The RDA for protein is 63 g (males) and 50 g (females), based on kg of body weight, not pounds (as mentioned at the beginning). Keep in mind it’s not just body builders that observe a high protein diet. Remember the low-carb craze? Well, if ya ain’t gettin’ calories from carbs, ya probably gettin’ it from protein in the prescribed diet.
Even scarier, once protein is absorbed, the kidneys filter out the remainder and if it’s not used to build/repair muscle tissue, is converted to energy or stored as fat. Thus, if you eat excessexcessexcess X 10 protein (like the 2 g/lb of body weight example), you are making expensive fat.
Ew. Cue the picture of the fat block (dun dun DUNNN).
What does this mean for you, the average consumer? No more than 20% of your calories from protein, unless you have some sort of muscle wasting (i.e. a life-threatening illness like cancer). And don’t be giving out nutrition information unless you are licensed to do so. And please let the vegetarians go and don’t harass them. They are probably starved anyways and salivating over your hamburger.
People’s lives are at stake, for cryin’ out loud!