A journey towards an athletic body can be tiring and confusing. It is confusing because many of the beginners are not aware as in how should we initiate the process, what change should be followed and who should we trust!!
These days, every aspiring athlete is aware of the importance of protein powder. But, yet ends up making mistakes in selecting the right protein for him/her.
Always remember, each sportsperson has their unique requirement for protein and if over consumed, it may have detrimental effects on your health.
Potential Health Risks of Excessive Protein Supplementation
- Excess Loss of Urinary Calcium: Bone volume is made up of about 50% protein and about one-third of its mass. Thus, higher intake of protein leads to increased calcium excretions which can, in turn, leads to bone loss or osteoporosis. Female athletes may also suffer from amenorrhoea (absence of menstruation), due to excess of urinary calcium excretion.
- May Affect Proper Liver Function: Animal studies have confirmed the adverse effect on liver due to increased intake of protein.
- Might Affect the Kidneys: High protein consumption than the required amount may lead to impaired renal function.
- Dehydration: It was observed in one of the studies that as the amount of protein consumed went up, the degree of hydration progressively went down, leading to an abnormal increase in blood urea nitrogen levels.
Hence, it is important to understand the exact requirement of your protein, before consuming any protein supplement.
The protein requirements of athletes are influenced by the following factors:
- The intensity of the exercise
- Duration of the exercise
- Age and Gender o
- Level of the training
- Energy Content of the Diet
As per the RDA, normal adult requires 0.8-1.0g per kg ideal body weight. An endurance athlete requires 1.5-2.0g per kg ideal body weight and resistance and strength athletes require 2.5- 3g per kg ideal body weight.
Why these specific protein requirements?
These requirements are designed to maintain nitrogen balance in the body for the average adult; a negative nitrogen balance indicates that muscle is being broken down and used for energy.
Dietary proteins are constantly working hard to provide energy to the body and hence in the process of the low protein intake, it leads to using of excess muscle protein resulting in negative nitrogen balance. This is a critical concern for athletes, who are regularly involved in bodybuilding and endurance activity.
Along with the above function, protein plays a major role in many body activities:
- An important component of every cell in the body.
- Essential for basic wear and tear of the tissues.
- Essential for strengthening our immune system.
- Regulates the activity of cells and organs by stimulating the action of enzymes and hormones.
- Builds lean muscle mass and increases metabolic fat.
- Provides satiety by accelerating the action of satiety hormone-Leptin, thereby decreasing binge eating practices. This reduces the risk of obesity to a large extent.
It can be difficult to consume all of the protein needed daily through whole foods alone. Supplementing is a great option to ensure adequate protein intake, especially when Indian diets are deficient in protein.
Thus, now we understand that proper intake of protein (neither less nor more) is a must and very important factor to consider. Consult our qualified team of nutritionists to understand your protein requirement today!!
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