The Truth About Protein Supplements

Not long ago, an article about a dead Vietnamese MC gained attention as it was claimed by numerous reputed news sites that he died because of consuming whey protein powder during his weight lifting regiment. The result of this is significant. Why? Because that claim is simply NOT true. There have been thousands of articles and experiments on the benefits and the drawbacks of whey protein and other protein supplements. Yet, thousands of people in American alone consume this product regularly as a supplement in their diet. However, when the official statement was publicly made by the doctor, who treated the MC, it turned out the MC died because of other causes completely unrelated to whey protein. Unfortunately, the damage was already done and the image of whey protein has been tarnished. So I have taken it upon myself to rebuild the reputation of whey protein and use this opportunity to clear up the misconceptions  for those who are or are not currently using it but are frightened by the news and the myths. I myself am also a gym fanatic and am heavily disappointed to hear such accusations. I feel it is my duty to clear up these misconceptions before any further damage is done in our community.

  1.  “Does it give instant change to your appearance?” This is one of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to whey protein. For some reason, it is believed to be a drug that can instantly get you the body of The Rock or Arnold Schwarzenegger. Sadly, that is a big NO my friend. Whey protein is extracted from milk, which only helps you get that fit physical appearance of your dream but in order to get it, you can’t expect to escape countless hours of hard work, benching and curling those metal bars. In a sense, think of whey protein as any other sources of protein such as meat and nuts. Do you get that muscular body by simply eating meat and nuts…?
  2. “I am already eating enough meat so whey protein is unnecessary.” First of all, it is great that you are choosing to get your primary source of protein through your daily meals. It is absolutely correct that you can get the necessary amount of protein through consuming protein-packed food such as meat, eggs, nuts, and even certain vegetables. However, the ideal intake of protein is a gram of protein per pound of body weight. So unless you are eating 8 chicken breasts a day,  then opting for food as your only source of protein, while wanting to achieve a bodybuilder’s body, is the best decision. Truth be told, even if you do consume that many chicken breasts a day, it is likely that you are missing out on other important sources of nutrient since you are cutting them out of your dietary plan in order to get that optimum amount of protein. So what’s the point of meeting that daily intake requirement of protein to get that healthy body when your diet is unbalanced and unhealthy?
  3. “Why should I spend money on whey protein when I can build muscle by hitting the gym regularly?” As much as I want to agree with you, sadly, that is wrong in every sense of the word. I spent over a year hitting the gym regularly, thinking my dietary plan was not important to my workout regiment. As a result, I spent a year in the gym and saw virtually no changes to my physique. Fortunately, thanks to Mr. Quynh, our beloved UNIS fitness guru until recently, I came to a very important realization. What you do in the gym is 40% and what you do outside the gym, including your diet and sleeping habit, is 60%. In short, what you do in the gym is simply tearing your muscle tissue, not making them. Then your body repairs and rebuilds them in your sleep, in your meals and pretty much throughout the day when you are outside of the gym. In order to do that, your body requires amino acids (BCAAs), which your body can only get from certain foods – and protein powder. Though you can get them through eating regular food, it is likely that it is not enough for your body to repair your muscle tissues after hours of hard work in the gym. Hence, that is why whey protein is packed with these chains of amino acids. Why would you break your balanced, healthy diet in order to stuff hundred grams of meat down your belly when you can still maintain a balanced diet of meat, carbohydrates and vegetable AND simply adding to your diet 1 -2 scoop(s) of whey protein?
  4. “Whey protein is bad for my kidney?” It is true that for your body to break and absorb protein, it requires more water and energy . Hence, if you do not drink enough water a day, it can damage your kidney. However, with or without whey protein, your kidney can still be damaged if you do not meet your body’s daily requirement of water. So unless you are giving your body less than 2L of water a day, there is really nothing for you to be worred about.
Examples of different protein supplements, courtesy of

In short, protein powder is NEITHER a drug nor a magic pill that gives you instant muscle. It is a food supplement that can be included in your diet to maximize the potential growth of your muscle after countless hours at the gym. If you want to get the most our of those precious hours and see true, concrete changes, then whey protein is the a helpful addition. Just to be clear, I am not trying to promote whey protein in any way because I believe each and everyone of us has the rights to choose what is best for ourselves. However, I also believe each and everyone of us should be informed and equipped with the CORRECT knowledge in order to make those important decisions. I believe if you have a thorough understanding of whey protein then it can really do more goods to your body than harms. So please, do not look at whey protein as a drug, but rather as any other food that you have in your diet.

Other researches and facts on Whey Protein that you can look at: