Dangers Of Protein SupplementsDr. Nitin Gupte
Dangers Of Protein Supplements In Amateur Body Builders
Most people going to gyms spend most of their time in gyms on weight training. Most gyms in India look to sell poorly trained personal trainers and make more money by selling expensive protein supplements to their members. Thus most of their members turn into amateur body builders taking expensive protein supplements without the slightest idea of the benefits, or the lack of them and the dangers posed by these supplements.
These people believe or are made to believe, that being muscular is being fit and they equate exercise with weight training. They are also told that they must consume more protein to help muscle recovery and to build bigger and stronger muscles.
Gym instructors tell people that they will lose weight when they put on more muscles. They are made to believe that they must take synthetic protein supplements to do so.
But in reality, average people need no more than 0.8 gm protein per kg body weight and athletes need 1.5 to 2 gm, both levels can be supplied adequately by balanced, everyday food. There is absolutely no need to waste money and health on the synthetic protein supplements.
For a vast majority of people, protein supplements have no special benefit in either muscle building or repair. In fact, they do more damage than good.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Our health depends upon getting a particular balance of amino acids, which is provided naturally in a balanced diet. Protein supplements provide a limited range of amino acids, thus severely disrupting this balance which can only lead to grave health risks.
Protein supplements, usually in the form of shakes, are high in calories. Our body can store excess calories only as fat and not as muscle. Thus people who consume adequate calories through food will only put on more fat when they consume these high calorie supplements.
Most protein supplements are made from casein, whey or soya protein. A large number of people are sensitive to these proteins and develop gases, abdominal pain, hyperacidity, nausea and diarrhea or constipation. People who consume protein supplements for sustained periods, and eat little heart healthy food and fibre, suffer from chronic constipation. Chronic constipation predisposes people to piles, fissures, diverticulosis and colorectal cancers. Straining at stools can cause hernias.
Generally being low in heart healthy foods and fibre, such high protein diets also lead to hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, strokes and heart disease.
To prevent these diseases, you must eat balanced nutrition including whole grain cereals, pulses, and legumes, fresh vegetables and fruits. But a balanced nutrition always supplies adequate calories for your daily requirement. Combined with high calorie protein supplements, it will surely lead to weight gain unless you take adequate cardiovascular exercises like brisk walking, jogging, running, cycling, swimming, aerobics or dancing. Most people going to gyms take little cardiovascular exercise and end up putting on more weight than losing it!
The metabolism of protein produces large amounts of acid. This causes acidosis which our body must correct. The kidneys must excrete this acid to maintain the acid – base balance within the body. But the kidneys cannot handle fluids with so high acidity and they must dilute these acids with great amounts of water. Hence the body loses a lot of water and this leads to dehydration. The body also uses calcium to neutralize this excess acid. Most of the body calcium is stored in bones. Thus the calcium is withdrawn from bones and used for this purpose.
Thus excess protein consumption causes the kidneys to excrete more calcium and this leads to calcium loss from the bones which causes bone damage leading to osteoporosis and also can cause kidney stones over a period of time.
We have already seen how excess proteins also cause dehydration. This puts excessive strain on the kidneys which are already struggling hard to eliminate excessive amounts of waste products and this leads to chronic kidney disease in the long run.
The other vital organ eliminating the toxic waste products of protein metabolism is the liver. So both of these vital organs are overloaded when you take excessive proteins. This leads to kidney and liver diseases if these protein supplements are consumed for a long period. For this reason, people with a history of kidney or liver disease must not take protein supplements.
Contamination with toxic elements is an ever present threat when producing synthetic protein supplements. A 2010 study found that some of the artificial protein supplements were contaminated with toxic metals like arsenic, cadmium, and lead, which can seriously damage your health.
So think twice before buying protein supplements!