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Ep. 8: What to know about protein and 'bulking up'

June 27, 2019

Many people, especially men, have bought into the idea that consuming protein can help build muscles fast.  Entire aisles of grocery stores are now devoted entirely to protein supplements, and more and more celebrities have jumped on the protein supplement bandwagon.  What most people do not realize is how much research exists about protein supplements and what over-consumption of protein can actually do to the body.  Perry's Registered Dietitian joins the Pulse to discuss the science behind protein and muscle building.

Episode Summary

More often, protein supplements are being considered a requirement for 'bulking up,' muscle toning, or even the weight loss that might be the first step.  Entire grocery aisles and celebrity endorsements make protein supplements sound better than they actually are.  Ultimately, no one really knows how safe protein supplements are for consumption.  Right now, protein supplements are not regulated by the FDA, which means extensive research has not been conducted to determine the actual effects on the human body.  For anyone looking to incorporate protein supplements in their routine, Informed-Choice and NSF Certified for Sport can provide guidance on which products to avoid and which ones to trust, based on their own research and quality standards.

Based on knowledge of proteins specifically, here is what we do know: 

  1. Proteins actively rebuild muscles, which is why they are useful for vigorous exercise that breaks muscles down. 
  2. Proteins are better absorbed throughout the day, rather than all at once.  
  3. Excess proteins that are not used for muscles end up being stored as fat.

In other words, if you drink a big protein-filled shake before exercising, you have to work hard enough to use up the protein, or you may gain more fat than muscle.  

Ultimately, the proteins needed to build muscle can easily come from animal-based products instead of unregulated supplements.  Milk, eggs, and lean meats are high in protein AND taste good!  Avoid the supermarket advertising and stick to products from animals that are tried and true.


Elyse Boroski, RDN provides Nutritional Counseling at Perry Memorial Hospital



NSF Certified for Sport



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