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More is not better for gym-goers

More is not better for gym-goers

IN the world of fitness, a silent storm is brewing — an excessive intake of protein among gym-goers that often impacts their health.



Manpreet Kaur Paul

IN the world of fitness, a silent storm is brewing — an excessive intake of protein among gym-goers that often impacts their health. Protein is the fundamental building block of muscles, and its role in recovery and growth is undisputed. However, more isn’t necessarily better.

Plant sources Lentils, legumes, beans, peas, soy products, nuts, seeds, whole grains, buckwheat, quinoa, millets, oats.

Animal sources Poultry (chicken, turkey, duck); seafood (fish, crustaceans), eggs; dairy products; red meat (mutton, pork, lamb, goat).

Gym-goers, driven by lofty goals and social media’s sculpted ideals, often get caught in a nutritional tug-of-war. The temptation to exceed the recommended daily protein intake can result in a host of medical issues — from kidney strain to digestive distress, the body can suffer when subjected to excess protein. It’s crucial to recognise that the body’s capacity to absorb and utilise protein has its limits, beyond which the excess will go to waste or harm.

The unregulated supplements only add to the problem. Available in the form of powders, bars, shakes, etc, the quality, authenticity and safety aren’t guaranteed, as it is an unregulated market. Awareness is the only solution. It is best is to consult registered dietitians or nutritionists.

Our bodies require protein to repair tissues, produce enzymes and regulate various bodily functions. The recommended daily intake for sedentary individuals is around 0.8-1gm/per kg body weight.

Weight/resistance training and rigorous workouts cause breakdown of muscle fibres and protein is needed for muscle repair and growth. Protein intake from 1.2 to 2 gm/per kg body weight is optimal for gym-goers aiming to maximise muscle gains.

Consequences of low protein intake

Muscle loss: Protein deficiency, particularly among gym-goers, can cause muscle loss and the body struggles to repair and build new muscle tissue.

Slow recovery: Deficiency can prolong recovery time between workouts.

Decreased strength: Insufficient intake can result in reduced strength and endurance without the necessary amino acids to support muscle function.

Dangers of excessive consumption

Prolonged unsupervised intake of protein among gym enthusiasts can have serious health consequences.

Kidney strain: Excessive protein can increase the workload on the kidneys, potentially leading to kidney damage in the long term.

Digestive issues: High protein intake may lead to bloating, gas and constipation.

Red and processed meats, such as bacon, hot dogs, deli meat, sausages, and cold cuts should be avoided.

An average Indian meal is protein-deficient

  • A staple Indian diet has more carbohydrates like rice and wheat and less protein.
  • Traditional cooking methods like frying cause degradation of proteins and other heat-sensitive nutrients.
  • Every meal should include at least one source of good protein.

— The writer is a nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Faridabad


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