Overcoming Negative Perceptions: The Protein Powder

As early as 400BC the ancient Greek father of medicine Hippocrates suggested the use of whey protein for health benefits.  So protein powders have been used for millenia, why is it that they are still surrounded by an ongoing torrent of negative public perceptions? Hopefully by reading this article you will learn that there are a lot of myths concerning protein powders and that there really is no need for the amount of negativity that currently surrounds them.

Myth #1 – Protein powders are anabolic steroids
The verdict on this statement is that it is completely false. Protein powders are a processed form of protein that provide a range benefits such as boosting immune system function, building muscle and overall promotion of general well-being. Protein powder is a by-product formed during the milk treatment process , is often used to make other dairy products such as cheese and is an entirely natural product.

Anabolic steroids however definitely do not come from the milk treatment process. They are a type of drug that mimics the effect of the hormone testosterone and are far from natural. Anabolic steroids are certainly not a macronutrient, which is what protein is, and they have never been identified as a dietary requirement.

There are almost no similarities between steroids and proteins so there is no need to liken an individual who uses a protein supplement to an individual who uses steroids.

Myth #2 – Protein powders cause damage to your liver and kidneys
Again the verdict of this statement is also false, protein powder itself does not harm either your kidney or your liver. The liver and kidneys are involved in removing waste products from the body, but protein is not a waste product and is needed by everyone for growth and repair. Of course if you consumed way above your recommended daily allowance of protein each day, then it may put strain on your liver. However this does not just specifically apply to protein: if you had an excessive amount of any vitamin or nutrient it would put strain on the liver.

Because of this there is no need to perceive protein powders as bad for the liver and kidneys as protein powders are used to supplement a healthy and balanced diet.

Myth #3 – Protein powders lead to Osteoporosis
Yes, you guessed it – this myth is also completely false. Studies have shown that the truth is actually the opposite of this common belief. The myth originates from a few early studies that appeared to find evidence that a high protein intake caused calcium from bones to ‘leak’ into the bloodstream in order to act as a buffer, causing the acidity of the blood to decrease. Recent studies however have dispelled this idea and have actually shown that a high protein intake can help to form stronger bones especially in elderly men and women. When you think about this it does make sense, the function of proteins are for growth and repair, why if you took protein would it cause the opposite effect?

These myths are the three most common ones that circulate and aid to maintain negative views of protein powders.  I hope that this article has helped you to understand why they are not true and that it has cleared up any worries you may have had about using protein supplements.

This guest post is from Charlie Oszvald, a healthcare & fitness specialist and guest blogger. Charlie currently works for Well Wisdom, a US based provider of organic whey protein.