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Dispelling The Protein Myths

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Lets dispel some of the myths about the dangers of excess protein consumption:

Many dietitians and medical professionals often state that protein supplements are bad for your kidneys, can cause dehydration and even be detrimental to bone health. However, many clinical trials exist to contradict these somewhat 'clouded' trials and Monkey shall endeavour to explain...It is true that many published studies show excess protein intake may place undue strain on the kidneys.....IN SUBJECTS WITH EXISTING KIDNEY PROBLEMS! Healthy individuals have nothing to worry about when consuming a high protein diet. In fact one particular study (according to Dr John Ivy Ph.D and Dr Robert Portman Ph.D) showed that when bodybuilders consumed up to 1.3g of protein per pound of body weight (2.8g/kg), kidney function was not impaired. There is also a study with female rats, which showed that kidney function actually seemed to improve with a high protein diet (all this is true providing you stick within recommended parameters).

My P.T told me that I will experience dehydration and possible constipation from consuming excess protein...is this true?

While it is true that consuming lots of protein will mean a loss of fluid through frequent urination, it is something that is easily remedied....MAKE SURE YOU DRINK PLENTY OF WATER! Will a high protein diet result in dehydration during exercise? One study using marine recruits demonstrated that dehydration due to protein supplementation wasn't an issue during exercise. In this study there was a dramatic decline in the incidence of dehydration in subjects taking a protein and carb drink versus those consuming water alone or a water and carb drink combined. One possible explanation for this may be that the increased protein resulted in higher blood levels of a specific protein which reduced water loss. Constipation can also be easily remedied by eating fibrous veg, starchy breads and pasta, as well as drinking plenty of water. You could also try adding digestive enzymes (Monkey Digestive MX) to your diet, which will also enhance the activity of all the macronutrients in your diet.

My personal trainer told me excess protein causes calcium loss...Is this true?

There are past studies that have shown protein intake between 140-225g per day resulted in excess calcium being lost from urine at a faster rate than normal. However in these studies the intake of important minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and potassium was restricted and not allowed to increase in proportion to the protein intake. Since whole food sources of protein and indeed all good protein supplements (Monkey ;)) contain the necessary amounts of these minerals in proportion to the protein amounts present...it stands to reason that increasing your protein intake will mean a direct proportionate increase in dietary calcium and other minerals. In this context the research has demonstrated that consuming additional protein results in a positive calcium balance and that THERE ARE NO ADVERSE AFFECTS ON BONE CALCIUM CONTENT.

Source: Hegsted M. et al..."Urinary calcium and calcium balance in young men as affected by level of protein and phosphorus intake" - Journal of Nutrition Sources: Journal of Physiology

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