Misunderstandings about the Power of Protein

Essay by buttkicker568University, Bachelor's November 2004

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Over the years bodybuilding has become a very popular sport. There are more and more new gyms, opening every day, providing an opportunity for everyone to get in shape and reach their goals. However, recognizing, the human propensity to search for the best results with the least amount of work, more and more false experts exploit a public thirsty for instant gratification. One particularly popular myth of late surrounds the power of protein. This paper will explain that drastically increasing protein intake does not directly increase the muscle mass of a bodybuilder. Many bodybuilders believe that the more protein they take in the more muscle they will gain; neglecting to recognize that too much protein will not benefit their body, but may even hurt it.

Protein makes up almost half of the dry weight of a body. It is constantly being replaced; therefore satiating the body's need is very important.

The idea that an individual, not involved in much physical activity requires about 0.6-0.8g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day is well settled. The amount of protein that a bodybuilder requires, apart from being "considerably more" is much more open to speculation.

The combination of the heavy weight training and anaerobic activity places the muscles of bodybuilders under significantly more stress. This is primarily because of the protein loss through perspiration and the destruction of blood cells. Both brought about by taxing workouts. Protein is used to rebuild those cells; the more intensely you train, the more protein is required to repair the body. Consequently the protein requirements of bodybuilders are anywhere between 0.925 grams and 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.

Undersupply of protein can result in different conditions such "tiredness, reduced energy, weakness, mental depression, a lowered resistance to infections and...