Many people say we need to consume protein in order to build muscle. That implies that the protein we eat is stored in our muscles. If that were true we would all look like body builders, but… we don’t. What could be going on? Well, instead of going to the muscles, the protein is wasted through the kidneys. What is stored in our body is not the protein but the fat that we eat. We can see lots of fat on lots of people and, unfortunately, it is increasing all the time.
However, there actually is a way that protein builds muscles!! … the protein does it by changing hormones (I suspect that part of it has something to do with testosterone). But beyond that, when you eat a lot of meat and dairy and even isolated soy protein (found in many soy products), soy powders and whey powders, the IGF-1 levels go up. IGF-1 stands for “insulin like growth factor” and is a hormone that causes growth. It’s a great thing to have in milk because the purpose of the milk is to help a baby animal (or a human baby) to grow to adult size. However, after that size is reached IGF-1 will still promote growth.
Hmmm… so it will grow bulging muscles but it will cause other things to grow too. Things like cancer cells and general growth which causes you to grow older more quickly. Wow! So the question becomes… are big muscles really worth the elevated levels of IGF-1? I guess that is up to the body builders to decide but I believe I’ll stick with my weight resistance exercise. I’d rather lift weights than raise growth hormone levels and age faster but as always… it’s up to the individual to…