Andrew is an exercise science major going into his junior year at Central Connecticut State University. Andrew runs track and field at CCSU and is a certified nutritionist with the International Sport Science Association (ISSA). When you see Andrew around the facility, say hi!
Concerns with Protein Supplementation
Protein supplementation has become increasingly common within a fitness driven community. Although, over supplementation of protein in one’s diet can be detrimental to their health. With modern day focus on fitness and a growing fitness industry emerges myths, especially with the nutrition side of things. One of the biggest weight loss “myths” or “hacks” you may have heard put a focus on a “low-carb, high protein diet”. When people hear this, the first thing they do is go to their local supplement shop (GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, etc.) and pick up a tub of protein thinking they have found the answer to their solution; especially athletes. False. While protein is necessary to maintain the body and build muscle, carbohydrates cannot be neglected. That is why low-carb, high protein diets do not work in the long run. Yes, you will initially lose weight because your overall caloric consumption drops, but then your body will fall into a state of chronic fatigue as it has to work harder to obtain energy elsewhere. First stop after all your carbohydrates are depleted, protein and muscle tissue. If you are consuming high amounts of protein and little to no carbs, protein will be converted into carbohydrates for energy through a process called gluconeogenesis. Another thing to note with high protein consumption is the stress added to one’s kidneys. Excess protein leads to excess nitrogen load in urea, which can cause fluid imbalance leading to dehydration. Dehydration is never good. There are many ways to avoid health issues related to excess protein. The first step is to calculate, roughly, how much protein you need for your specific fitness goals. This way you are not consuming overly excessive amounts. The most important preventative measure, get the majority of your protein through the food you eat on a daily basis. By doing so you also ingest the two other macronutrients, carbohydrates and fats. Keep in mind, protein supplements are what they say… “supplements”. They are not necessary, especially with a balanced diet.