T Nation

Protein Supplements Study


Is there any studies that support the use of protein supplemenation in either the average person or especially athletes/weight trainers? My professor very sternly stated there is absolutely no proof it helps in any way and I'd like to offer her some other insight if possible. It doesn't help that she is about a 110 lb marathon runner and thinks the fact that I use Metabolic Drive is a waste of money and dangerous to my health.


Sounds like people just need to get a hold of some common sense.

Protein supplementation, is just that, an addition to a well balanced intake of nutrients.

It won't be the thing that makes or breaks one's ability to see gains.

It's not much different than food, seeing as how it comes from food, lol.


Tell her it's just a refined milk (?) source. Not much more refined in fact, compared to her special K.


I love how professors think that their opinion is the be all and end all. I have a professor that I swear to god gets his lectures out of the Men's Health magazine.


What the hell is the deal with profs lately? This is the third time I have heard of them stating that protein supps are worthless this month. I'd like them to explain how I got to the size and weight I am even though I use a protein supp and have for years.


There really isnt a reason if the person is getting their necessary protien from food. Its just for ease of use and also to get protein in without cholesterol (turkey, some fish, chicken) or saturated fat found in non-lean red meat. It hasnt been found to be dangerous though if used.


Hmmm. Well, it's a little confusing as to what exactly she's trying to say.

If she's saying athletes/weightlifters don't need MORE protein than the average person, or if she's simply objecting to using protein powders specifically....as opposed to eating whole foods as a protein source.

I'd get that cleared up first.

There are gads of studies out there about protein.
Here are a couple of my favorites from Dr. John Berardi:



Both are great articles/roundtables discussing the need for more protein in athletes and weightlifters.

I'd also ask her where she's getting her information from. Have her prove HER point to you.

Health risk?
Ask her what risk she is specifically talking about and where she read it. Also ask her what about metabolic drive...what specific ingredient...she thinks is dangerous to your health and what is the specific study that proves this?
(i'd be willing to bet you she can't tell you)


The only risk that I am aware about when supplementing protein is it is possible to develop kidney stones. Patients that had developed the stones were notorious for not drinking enough water and that and that alone was the only reason why the stones developed in the first place.

Simple answer, drink plenty of water every day on a consistent basis and this problem will be avoided all together. After all, our bodies are 75% H20...keep it that way.


I think the problem is that because of her background as a distance runner she relies very heavy on carbohydrates and she hasn't dealt with many people who weight train or are in power sports. I try to give her reasonable examples to prove my point but she wants nothing to do with it.

She feels that weight training athletes dont need any more protein than anyone else, and should follow the food pyramid. The Berardi links were good but I don't think she will buy into that.I laughed when she said creatine would make one students testicles fall off, so I don't think she likes me anymore.

Not suprisingly shes also a personal trainer. But I dont know who goes to a middle aged skinny women to learn how to become muscular.


different strokes for different folks. She's into running, so being muscular isn't a concern for her most likely.

If any of the authors on this site were to be permanently injured and couldn't train would their knowledge be any less effective?

just playing devil's advocate here

btw- the creatine thing would make me laugh too


Oh my god.
She's a fucking idiot and a discrace to thinking athletes.
Don't even listen to her...she's talking out of her ass and i would imagine can't back up anything she's saying with real info.

Tell her that when you want to be an emaciated, bitter twig, you'll accept her nutrition advice.

Can't BELIEVE she said that about creatine.
This is a TEACHER!!!! Lying to STUDENTS!!!

Reminds me of a great quote i heard about physicians...it completely applies to "professors".

What do you call someone who graduated dead last in medical school?



Maybe she is a complete moron, but judging from the creatine comment, I have a feeling she might be trying to get you guys riled up so you go out and do some serious thinking/research on your own. Think about it, would you want to look into this if you didn't want to prove her wrong?

Actually, upon second reading of your post, she isn't listening to what you say to defend your position, so she is just a moron. Nothing worse than a close-minded professor. Tell her what she wants to hear on her tests/essays and move on.

If you are so inclined you can make a case to the dean (after she's assigned your grade for the semester) that she isn't worth having as a professor at your school


you may have your work cut out mate. You'll be hard pressed to find any data that states a protein shake is better than normal food - which i reckon is her stance, despite the good point raised above concerning less "bad" fats etc.

Whey however is a proven aid for gut health (not sure about all the added flavours and crap some companies throw in). Find well constructed studies that offer benefits of taking whey.

heres a link for a start: -



Go through the works cited lists after the articles and go directly to the referenced sources of info. Use these to compose your own arguement against what she is claiming. Then, lodge a formal complaint with the dean of students and demand a refund for that class. But first- engage her in a conversation where she spews crap like that, and get it on tape.


Learn the truth but regurgitate whatever crap she states when you take the tests.

Don't waste your time arguing with this person.


I believe that the following 3 articles have discussed protein intake to the point of ridiculousness.

Protein Prejudice

Protein Debate

Dear Mom and Dad

There are subtleties involved here -- there's a different between protein requirements and optimal intake -- there's a difference between protein's effect on building muscle and on accelerating protein turnover -- there's a difference between protein for ergogenic benefit and protein for metabolic advantage.

So if your prof says "you don't need more protein" you can ask "for what - growth and development? building muscle? accelerating protein turnover? muscle preservation on a low carb diet? increased thermic effect of feeding?"

Also ask: "at what level are you suggesting is adequate for each of the above?"

Also ask: "what if someone is only eating 2 meals a day?"

There are a million "protein issues" that need discussion. Dont oversimplify or allow her to either.

And, for the record, protein powder IS NOT necessary. Most people can get all they need to boost performance, improve body comp, build muscle from whole food.

But they don't.

So they either have to eat more whole food or take some supplements to make up for what they're missing from whole food.


Tell her that soy protein isolate shake she uses ,while she dances to richard simmons,is no more refined(in fact,even more) than most whey protein suplements.


Creatine makes your testicles fall off. Hmm, I thought we would have been talking about testosterone. :slight_smile:

If she said that to me, I think I'd be tempted to search pubmed, and especially this site, and print off all the citations on creatine, and slap her across the face with all the reams of information. After I got my grade. Then I'd go to the dean and make my case to have her removed.

As far as the protein issue, it'd probably be easiest to build references off of the Pre/Post workout nutrition subject, since there's been a recent abundance of studies. Specific attention should be paid to the studies on the effects of BCAAs on postworkout. Other protein info will be hard to come by "proving" an increased need, since athletes can become more efficient at protein usage (see Berardi's articles). Good luck anyway. There's plenty of info out there if you look in the right areas.


WRONG-O!!!!!! Protein powders are useful for many reasons, one of the biggest being the speed of absorbtion and peak blood amino acid levels.


go to www.infotrieve.com or www.pubmed.gov and search protein and athletes or a similar linked term and you will see PLENTY of studies.