Let’s do a little experiment! Go and ask people on the street what they know about protein powders. Or just start by checking with your own family – including your cousin who is the self-proclaimed bodybuilder of the year. Chances are high that you will get some answers such as protein (powders) are only for bodybuilders, that one can live without protein, that to gain muscle mass, you have to eat raw eggs first thing in the morning… etc, etc! But do YOU know the truth? Can you tell apart what’s correct from what’s very (very) wrong? You know that here, at NXT Level, we swear by the truth and ONLY the truth. So that’s exactly what we will do here: we’ll debunk all the common misconceptions about proteins! Ready? Let’s go!
Myth n°1: “Protein can only be found in meat & dairy”
Oh, no! That would be very bad news for all the vegetarians and vegans out there, wouldn’t it? Luckily for everyone, a lot of plant-based foods are high in protein: for example, edamame, lentils, tempeh, beans, tofu and many more. You can find a list of plant-based sources of protein in our database here.
Myth n°2: “I don’t need protein, it’s only for bodybuilders”
Everybody needs proteins! They are the building blocks of the body, and they are present in every single cell: your hair, nails, brain, muscles, enzymes, hormones… Protein is essential, because it supports muscle growth and maintenance. Your body doesn’t store protein and can’t produce it itself, so a regular supply is needed.
Myth n°3: “The more protein I have, the bigger my muscles will become”
First things first, protein on its own won’t make your muscles grow bigger! The combination of a good fitness program and a healthy and balanced diet is what you need to grow muscle. And your body can only use about 20 to 30g of protein with every meal you have, so there is no need to overdo it.
Myth n°4: “It makes no difference whether I have one big serving of protein or small servings throughout the day”
As we have just mentioned, your body can only use 20-30g of protein with each meal. For that reason, to support muscle growth, it is better to divide your daily protein intake into small servings throughout the day.
Myth n°5: “It doesn’t matter when I have my protein shake if I want to build muscle”
Timing does matter! Resistance training associated to protein ingestion just before or after exercise stimulates muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and supports muscle growth.
Myth n°6: “There’s no such thing as having too much protein”
Actually, there is! Eating more protein than you need will not help you grow bigger muscles. Part of your protein intake is used for physiological needs, another part is oxidized and excreted through urine. However, when consumed in a caloric surplus, protein excess leads to weight gain. You can determine your daily protein needs by using our calculator.
Myth n°7: “Protein leads to weight gain”
Eating more calories than what you actually need is what can lead to weight gain. As long as you stick to your daily protein needs, and don’t have it in excess, you should not gain weight.
Myth n°8: “Protein will make me look bulky”
Absolutely not. We promise, huge muscles won’t appear overnight just because you had a protein shake! You would need to follow a specific diet and an intense weightlifting routine to appear “bulky”. So don’t be afraid to enjoy your proteins: they will help keeping you feeling satiated and maintain your lean muscle tissue.
Myth n°9: “We have no idea what’s in protein powders”
Yes, we do, and it’s pretty straightforward actually! It’s a powder with a high protein content (80 to 90%). The protein used in powders generally comes from cow milk, and is extracted during the cheese production. But there are also plant-based protein powders, of course! In addition to the protein, powders generally contain a sweetener and/or flavouring for the taste, and that’s it! As simple as that.
Myth n°10: “Protein shakes can replace meals”
That’s a big no-no! Most of your protein intake should come from your food. Protein powders are just an easy way to increase your daily protein intake, but should not replace a healthy and balanced diet. And by the way, all our programs (NXT Shape, Weight Loss and Muscle Growth) are based on healthy meals that you can easily include to your diets – no magic powder needed.
To sum it up…
Proteins have been the centre of a lot of discussions, new diet trends, weight-loss programs, and so on, for a while now. Unfortunately, this creates a lot of misconceptions and myths about protein. Remember that a healthy and balanced diet, which will provide your body with a variety of macro and micronutrients, is the key to good health. And try to eat a variety of protein sources throughout the day so that you meet your daily needs! Don’t forget to check out this page to access all the resources you need about protein.