Let me just say this…I’m obviously no expert on the matter. And I’m sure there’s a ton of research/peer-reviewed articles out there, youtube videos, other blog posts, etc. I’ve literally only taken one beginner’s course in nutrition. At that’s it…maybe a more advanced nutrition course, in the near future, because I enjoyed it. But, through my experiences in the course, the question still remains…are protein supplements really necessary? This is my take on it.
For starters, there’s really only one person that could offer professional dietary recommendations… and that’s a Registered Dietician (RD). Again…with the society of merit and credentials, etc. #mindnumbing. From what I’ve been told, even dietary professors and medical doctors come in second place. Surprised? Surprisingly, though extensively rigorous, a medical curriculum lacks in depth teachings into the dietary world. Hell, from my own experiences, all MDs refer their dietary consultation to an RD. So, take that into your research! Obviously, I’m not an RD, but a Registered Nudist. Lol.
For one of our projects, we needed to use this site called www.supertracker.usda.gov. I supposed it’s just like any other food diary/tracker. Our objective was to enter everything we ate, over the span of 3 days. Then at the end analyze our “Nutrient Report.” I actually recommend everyone to do this, if you are so incline. You’ll definitely find out a lot of information on what you’re taking in from what you eat.
To sum up my results on protein, I was taking in a butt load of protein. My daily daily average intake of protein was 369 g. Hell, that even surpassed the “1 gram of protein per pound of body weight” saying. Surprisingly, my protein supplement wasn’t even as nutrient dense, compared to freaking chicken. I suppose that’s why they call it a “supplement.” What I know for sure, real food sources, and not supplements, are a way better options. But, I’m sure everyone already knew that.
Apparently, the only real benefit to protein supplements is if you don’t consume enough from everyday foods already. Of course, this would be a big problem in 3rd world countries and/or those under financial distress. And trust me, protein is difficult to miss in normal day foods. You get it everything…even a little bit in broccoli.
There are really just 5 main functions of protein in the body.
- Fluid balance, osmotic regulation (albumin)
- Transport (hemoglobin, oxygen carriers)
- Macronutrient, utilized for energy
- Antibodies and immune response support
- Enzymes, Ribosomes, and Hormones (genetic production)
Extra proteins in the system can certainly take various paths in the body. Excessive amounts of protein can be very taxing on the body. Too much protein can be heavy on the filtration system of our kidneys, increasing our blood urea nitrogen levels, and ultimately damaging our metabolic system. In addition, excess proteins can be converted to fatty acids and increase triglycerides in our adipose tissue (turn into fat!), leading to heart disease, obesity, etc. My head hurts.
So…is protein supplement really necessary? For me, probably not. But, I do take them anyway. Lol 😛
Black, J.S., Munoz, K.D., & Volpe, S. (2016). Nutrition: from science to you. Boston: Pearson.