What's the truth about the protein cult? Dr. Paulina Wasserfurth-Grzybowska from the Assistant Professorship of Exercise, Nutrition and Health on the BR-Abendschau

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Numerous fitness influencers have been preaching a protein-containing diet for a long time. Nevertheless, the hype surrounding the food industry's products, which are particularly fixated on protein, is controversial. In the BR-Abendschau on April 12, Dr. Paulina Wasserfurth-Grzybowska from the Assistant Professorship of Exercise, Nutrition and Health took a stand on the biggest star in terms of nutrition, the protein.

Dr. Paulina Wasserfurth-Grzybowska as an expert on the BR-Abendschau
Various products with the indication of much contained protein

Nothing works in our body without protein

In the meantime, you can find them not only in the supermarket, even at the bakery next door, the food enriched with extra protein can be found on the shelves. A higher protein intake is known to help build muscle. More muscle mass automatically results in a higher basal energy metabolism and supports weight reduction, for example. But how important is protein for us, really? "Only sport is not enough," says the nutrition expert from the Technical University of Munich. This is because sporting stimuli set two processes in motion at the same time, muscle building but also muscle breakdown. According to Dr. Wasserfurth-Grzybowska, the administration of protein is actually helpful in promoting the anabolic processes and thus promoting muscle growth. And not only that; protein, which is made up of amino acids, also has a significant impact on the immune and hormonal systems. How much protein one should consume, however, then depends on one's body weight. The German Nutrition Society recommends at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. A person weighing 65 kilograms should therefore integrate about 20 grams of protein three times a day into meals to promote muscle supply.

Misleading products

In the four-minute report, Bayerischer Rundfunk also highlights the pitfalls of products that are supposedly particularly high in protein. Here the expert stresses: "Where much protein stands on it, is not always much protein in it." In the article, she compares brand-name products and often finds identical nutritional values to cheaper products without any special reference to protein. Those who regularly eat foods such as turkey cold cuts, eggs and potatoes do not need to resort to special protein products. Athletes and particularly athletic people are excluded. Their recommended protein requirement is significantly higher and must cover not only muscle building but also regeneration processes. In that case, protein shakes are a legitimate means of ensuring protein intake as quickly as possible. 

 

To the television report in BR-Abendschau

To the homepage of the Assistant Professorship of Exercise, Nutrition and Health

 

Contact:

Dr. Paulina Wasserfurth-Grzybowska
Assistant Professorship of Exercise, Nutrition and Health
Georg-Brauchle-Ring 60/62
80992 Munich

e-mail: paulina.wasserfurth(at)tum.de

 

Text: Julie Hölterhoff
Photos: BR-Abendschau