T Nation

Supp Advice: No Doctors, No Meatheads


Thought I'd check out the forums since there seems to be some knowledgeable, regular, everyday folk out here.

My question is: Are basic supplements bad for your health? More specifically, Protein Powder & BCAAs.

I ask because I have been taking protein powder mutiple times a day, and BCAA powder everyday as well. Including days I do not lift. Protein, for the reason of not being able to cook (or afford to) and BCAA for anabolic purposes I suppose.

I fully know the potential and effects (outlined in articles and what not) of protein powder and BCAA powder in terms of MUSCLE growth and strength development, but I am more concerned about ....actual health issues, pertaining to the heart, the load of the liver and kidneys (breaking down the supplements), etc.

Should I be worried about taking these supplements everyday?

TWO physicians I have seen have told me that the normal amount of protein I should eat PER DAY, is...... DRUM ROLL 40 GRAMS/DAY. I looked at him, and the other him, and said, "WAT?"
No joke. And he also advised against Fish oil pills making the statement that with fish oil/Omega-3 pills you do not know which fish they come from.

He advised I just eat a King Salmon natural over a George Foreman every week. I would if I could afford it. So physicians to me, have a certain bias and don't understand anything about bodybuilding.

And on the other side, meatheads who take and eat everything and everyone in their way without any regard for scientific research and the supplements' effects on their health, no good either.


Well like anything, if you consume to much of anything it will be bad for your health, aka even water. As for protein consumption i doubt your eating enough protein for it to be unhealthy for your kidney's, but you never told us how much you consumer, your weight, height, age, ect.

For fish oil, the RDA is 2 grams of EPA and DHA combined, now like most RDA's that is a gross understatement of what you should be consuming, i say aim for around 3-4 grams a day. I see no need to go over 5 grams, but thats just me, to one's own.

I suggest going to see a RD before going to a doctor with supplement questions, but even certain RD's don't know what their talking about (not implying i do bahah).


No doctors, no meatheads?

Damn, here I was thinking people with medical, chemical, and pharmaceutical knowledge, as well as tested-on-thy-self experience was valuable.

Good thing it's better to sit around in a circle with "just some guys" and masturbate mentally.


So, 883 posts on T-Nation and none of that would be mental masturbation? lol
Anyway, you obviously didn't pick up on the subtle implications of my post.

I didn't literally mean if you are a doctor or a meathead, do not post. It's called humor, lighten up. Of course, if you're a doctor with reasonable knowledge about the subject at hand, or someone with experience, I will be more willing to listen.

Just stating, a M.D. or a few years of medicine doesn't necessarily qualify you (as demonstrated with examples above) as a bodybuilding supplement expert. I'm more inclined to listen to a Ph.D or clinical researchers in that field, such those the articles writers for this forum.

I ask, because I haven't been able to find any articles regarding the health disadvantages to the liver or kidneys of prolonged use of protein powder or high concentrations of BCAA every single day, couple times a day.


Maybe that's because there are no "health disadvantages" associated with such use.

After all, we're talking about protein and amino acids. In other words, food.


How sad is it that this site is for 'meatheads' but he feels safe asking a question not for 'meatheads' here.


It has been proven that their is no negative factors on the kidneys when taking in excess protein. Problems with a high protein diet will only arise if someone has kidney disease already. There were studies that were printed in last months musclemag and this months muscular development. Check them out. So as long as you dont have kidney disease you have nothing to worry about. With the question about fish oil pills.

You dont have to worry about what type of fish them come from (unless you are allergic to some specific fish which would be rare to be allergic to one and not another) then problems might arise. Fish oil pills are perfectly safe just purchase them from a well known and respected company and you have nothing to worry about.


I'm a doctor, and a meathead and I hate you.


No meatheads huh? Welp, seeya' later.


As for MD's, they do not have any significant study of nutrition in medical school. If there is any at all, it is likely from another MD who has no interest or particular knowledge in it but is required to include a few lectures on it or whatever.

The level of "educated ignorance" from MD's on this subject can be pretty amazing. I guess you have seen this with the 40 g/day recommendation.

My favorite personal example was, I have had an odd issue where for periods of time such as 2 weeks or more my body temperature drops to a really low level. And by really low, I mean as low as in the 94's as ongoing daytime temperature.

Nope, it's not a thyroid issue -- free T3 and all thyroid parameters check out normal during these periods -- nor is there anything else of any kind detectably wrong with any bloodwork that has been done or in any other way.

(My own theory derived much after this first began is that the cause is the body somehow for some reason using sleep-state thermoregulation during waking hours. But that's neither here nor there to the story.)

Anyway, first time this happened I was a wreck in terms of mental function. Couldn't think really (an IQ test would have been cut at least 50 points, I'm quite sure) and I was in graduate school and had finals which I had to excuse myself from.

The first doctor I saw asked me about my diet, which I explained. On learning that I had, as she put it, a "high protein diet" she immediately pronounced me to have kidney disease and stated that this was the cause of my low body temperature.

No blood tests, no labs of any kind needed: I had kidney disease!

Because we all know protein destroys the kidneys! Don't need no tests.


Also, WTF is a "meathead?"

I trust that at least a few of the posters on this forum who, if lacking in specific education, have enough empirical evidence to make a LOT of very correct assessments.

Food does not destroy the body. The body needs food. Hence, the food (the supplemental amino acids and full proteins in powder form) would have no ill effects on the kidneys. Furthermore, barring present kidney disease or outright renal failure, one will not experience decreased function in that area.

I'm not a doctor, but I play one on YouTube.


Remember in The Sandlot, when Dennis Leary hits Smalls in the face with a baseball, then slaps the steak on his face?





so you dont want advice from people who you consider educated or from people who are experienced? who Do you want advice from more specifically than "regular, everyday folk"?


Its hard to believe you have been part of this site as long as me and somehow JUST thought about that and how stupid it sounds. Just think of it this way, that huge fucking turkey you gulped down with 3 plates of on thurs? well that alone probly put you over the "40g safe limit a day." Sooo, are you sick and peeing funny colors?


I am neither a doc nor a meathead. I'm just an international man of mystery with mojo in gross excess.

With that out out of the way, one recent scientific review indicates 1.4-2.0g/kg as being the ballpark range of safety & effectiveness for the athletic population (Campbell et al, 2007). I also seen the "sweet spot" listed as 1.2-1.7g/kg (Tipton & Wolfe, 2004). I've also seen 2.0-2.5g/kg as being a safe upper range in one review paper (Bilsborough & Mann, 2006). The average of all the aforementioned is 1.8g/kg. Things to consider are that there's a lack of research on dieting bodybuilders, as well as bodybuilders on AAS &/or creatine (as well as dieting bodybuilders on either of those types of compounds). The latter population will likely experience a higher ceiling of effectiveness than the doses listed currently in the literature.

Regarding BCAA supplementation, I hope you realize that whey is roughly 26% BCAA, and most high-quality animal-based protein sources are 18-26% BCAA. Thus supping BCAA on top of a pre-existent high protein intake is, well, brotelligent.


Well, I stayed at a holiday inn express one night and I'm qualified to answer your questions. My rates are steep, though.