You ever notice the amount of TV ads these days that market protein rich foods? It's almost as common as the ads for prescription drugs. You would think that protein is the most important thing your body needs and that the more you have of protein the better.
This is dangerous, as most people don't realize that they are already getting enough protein. The average person only needs 46 grams of protein (women) and 56 grams (men). The average male can only utilize 15 grams of protein at a time. What happens to the excess protein? It turns to fat or gets wasted out of the body.
If someone eats enough, they have enough protein, whether that person is plant based or a meat eater. So why are we spending money on protein powders? This billion dollar industry is selling tons of powder to consumers who tend to believe the hype about protein. Bodybuilders may think they will build more muscle with protein. Someone might think they will lose more weight with extra protein. But that person may also be compromising his or her kidneys with the extra protein. Plus, protein powders raise the IGF-1, a growth hormone that could raise someone's risk for developing cancer.
For those trying to build muscle... I was not able to build as much muscle when i was having the protein powders. Yes, I probably wasn't working as hard as I am now, but it also goes to prove that muscle develops with a healthy diet and lots of hard work.
The protein craze is a gimmick. There is no short cut to building muscle... you have to workout hard. I'm not saying we don't need protein; everybody needs it for survival. But the amounts that so many people think we need is insane. Everyone from personal trainers to even some doctors (judging from what I hear from some of my Facebook friends) discuss the importance of protein. My personal trainer used to tell me to have 200 grams of protein per day. I followed his advice with pea protein powder but it never helped me. The only thing that helped me build muscle was by eating whole foods.