Our industry is filled with 'myths' and ‘bro science' so we spoke to Reflex Nutrition
to set the record straight. Here they bust some of the most common myths out there.
Myth #1: All protein comes from meat
False. You can get protein from other sources. While all meat does contain protein, it is also present in dairy, fish, eggs, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.
If you are looking for a ‘complete’ protein source, which means protein that contains all nine essential amino acids, try meat, fish, whey, eggs, some legumes like pea or opt for a convenient whey or pea protein shake
Myth #2: Protein will make me 'bulky'
False - it will not! Yes protein aids with muscle protein synthesis (the process of muscle growth) and consuming protein will aid with muscle growth and repair but it will not ‘make you bulky’, especially overnight. So manage your expectations and don’t be scared to have a protein shake. To maintain muscles or grow them in a healthy way, protein is your friend.
Myth #3: All protein is the same
False! Not all protein has the same effectiveness. To be considered a complete protein you need to have the nine essential amino acids present. The body cannot naturally produce these essential amino acids and therefore they must be consumed in your diet. Soya, whey and pea protein do contain the nine essential amino acids and are therefore classed as complete. However, it’s all about the levels, and soya protein is quite up to scratch... check out the myth below!
Myth #4: Soya protein is the same as whey protein
False – they are not the same because they have different levels of amino acids. Soya protein has higher levels of arginine, phenylalanine, and tryptophan; Whereas whey protein has higher levels of leucine, isoleucine, methionine, and lysine.
Science has shown there is association between lysine and muscle growth. And that’s why whey is considered to have a better base of amino acids... so it’s the obvious choice.
Soya protein is also seen as the cheaper alternative to whey; it has a much grainier and stronger taste than whey protein and is often not processed to a sufficient degree. This means soya protein has been shown to obstruct the amount and rate of protein absorption in the body if not processed correctly, making it less efficient for muscle growth when compared to whey or pea. *That’s why Reflex never use soya protein in their products.
Myth #5: I don't need to take carbs to recover from exercise, only protein
False! Protein will help the normal growth and maintenance of muscle BUT it does not replenish the energy stores (glycogen) that you lose when intensely exercising. That’s where carbohydrates come in, if taken with protein after exercising it has been shown to have multiple benefits for your muscles.*
When intensely exercising muscle, protein breakdown occurs and consuming 100g of carbs post workout has been shown to reduce this. Studies have also shown that providing you are taking the right amount of protein, the combination of the two macronutrients - protein and carbs - could be beneficial for muscle growth.
Myth #6: A protein dense diet will 'upset my stomach'
False. If you have balance. It’s likely that the idea that protein causes ‘an upset stomach’ stems from the fact that protein takes longer to digest than carbs and when consumed in large amounts, it can leave you feeling ‘heavy’. High-protein diets could also lead to a lack of carbohydrates consumed (meaning that fibre intake would be lower), again causing discomfort.
Modern research shows that high-protein diets have no impact on the kidney function of normal healthy adults. In terms of bone health, science has shown the OPPOSITE of what was once believed; high-protein diets are beneficial to the maintenance of normal bones! As a reassurance, Reflex tend to add digestive enzymes and friendly bacteria in to lots of their products.
Myth #7: All whey protein is the same
False. Whey from the milk of grass-fed cows is superior. And, unfortunately, not all cows are fed grass. They can be fed varied diets, some farmers choose grains, corn, soy, wheat or oats. The cow’s diet will have a big impact on the cow’s life and on the nutrient profile of the milk produced. A grass-fed diet means the milk produced may have increased levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), heart-healthy omega-3 and vitamin B2, B7 and E levels!
That’s why all Reflex cows are grass-fed!
Myth #8: Bodyweight exercises don't build muscle
False! Using your own body as resistance is an overloading stimulus for your muscle to not only gain strength, but also functional mass. With proper resistance, nutrition and rest, you CAN gain muscle through bodyweight workouts.
You can also adjust your resistance -just because you can’t physically add or remove plates as you do with weight training, it doesn’t mean you can’t progress. Rather than adding weight, you adjust it. By changing the angle of your body or the momentum around a joint, you can create a different resistance for the muscles you want to train. For example, sumo squats instead of regular squats. No gym, no excuses.
Myth #9: Vegans can't lift the same, as you can't get adequate protein unless you eat meat
False. There are studies that show there is growing evidence that replacing animal proteins with more plant-based proteins can actually benefit your health!* There are great sources of vegan protein out there, in Reflex’s Plant-Based Protein
they use a blend of pumpkin, pea and rice. And, pea is a complete protein. So of course, vegans can lift the same as meat eaters!
Got a fitness or nutrition myth you heard down the gym? DM Reflex - they’d love to bust it!