Food supplements are increasingly used in bodybuilding. However, some consider them as doping products and criticize their use. Many beginners wonder if they should use it too. Is their consumption really justified? Isn’t a healthy and balanced diet enough by itself? What are the dangers and mistakes not to be made?
Are protein food supplements essential for bodybuilding?
What you eat daily changes your metabolism and therefore your figure. This is why your diet must be adapted to your goals. If you want to facilitate the synthesis of muscle fibers, you will need to have a relatively large protein intake: around 1g to 2g / kg of body weight per day . If you weigh 75 kg, aim for between 75g and 150g of protein per day to be spread over 3 or 4 meals. This is quite possible with a conventional diet!
There is no more efficiency in taking casein and whey (milk proteins, powder) in addition to a conventional diet turned towards a protein intake . For a similar protein intake (between 60g and 80g / day) the results are similar (same loss of fat, same gain in muscle mass, same gain in strength). All subjects had undergone the same training for 12 weeks. It therefore calls into question the value of this type of food supplement. On the other hand, excess protein intake can have harmful and dangerous effects on the body (renal failure, inflammatory conditions, fatigue, cramps and muscle pain, etc.).
You will understand, do not exceed 2g / kg of body weight per day and continue to eat a balanced diet (fruits, vegetables, carbohydrate intake, dried fruits …). To sum up, taking protein powder is not at all compulsory in bodybuilding. A classic, balanced diet geared towards a protein intake of around 1g to 2g / kg seems just as effective. However, consuming it will allow you to supplement your daily protein intake. They will allow you to eat less meat and save money. In the end, it is not one or the other but both!
Protein powder: the 3 mistakes not to make
Believe it is more important than training
Some vegetarian or vegan athletes (with a lower protein diet) are very muscular because they have been training hard for years. On the contrary, others regularly consume protein powder without convincing results because they are not sufficiently assiduous in training.
Achieving your goals will only take hours. Food supplements can only be a “plus”. 90% of the results will be determined by your training.
Believe it replaces a balanced diet
If you eat protein powder and eat pizza and Coca Cola in the evening after training, it doesn’t make sense! You are asking your body to density and store fat. It is not uncommon to see people consuming food supplements to gain a good conscience while totally neglecting the rest of their diet.
Classic food obviously remains decisive.
Consume in excess
As we said earlier, medical recommendations give 0.8g / kg per day of average protein intake for a sedentary subject. For a sports subject wishing to develop his muscle mass, it will be better to aim between 1g and up to 2g / kg per day . ⅔ of this protein intake must come from a conventional diet, ⅓ only from food supplements. Do not exceed 6 months / year of excessive protein intake.
Exceeding these thresholds can expose you to possible health concerns. Seek medical advice. 2g / kg per day is enough to progress!
What may be the risks?
Protein powder is derived from dairy products most of the time. These are therefore concentrates or protein isolates which are not harmful to the body. However, some brands add additive products that can be harmful (colorants, flavor enhancers, preservatives, etc.).
The counter products on the internet (called either high concentrations or cheaper) sometimes have a composition even more dubious. We recommend buying products that have been tested and validated by the health authorities in the store.
Contrary to what is sometimes heard, if you are young and healthy, a diet rich in protein does not seem so dangerous for your health, at least in the medium term (2). On the other hand, if you are already on medication, if you have kidney failure, it is not recommended to consume too much protein. We recommend consulting the advice of a doctor.
We also recommend staying reasonable: between 1g and 2g / kg per day is more than enough to build muscle safely. The main thing, we remind you, is to play sports to feel good in your body and stay healthy!