One of the key character traits of the millennial generation is that they are often impatient with their progress. Teens who play rugby are often tempted to gain size or strength by using protein shakes and whey powder. While protein supplements can help you achieve these goals, taking them from a young age can have severe effects on the body – and not just in terms of getting “buff”.
DANGERS OF WHEY POWDER FOR TEENS
If you are still at school and using whey powder, you may want to think twice before mixing that next shake.
- Creatine reliance. Your body creates enough of its own creatine for muscle growth and recovery. If players supplement with creatine from a young age, they may shut down their own body’s creatine production, creating problems for their body if they decide to stop taking these supplements.
- Stomach troubles. Whey protein contains high levels of lactose – a sugar found in milk. Our bodies are designed to be able to break down a small amount of lactose in our diet. Too much lactose and you could become lactose intolerant – resulting in painful stomach cramps.
- Brittle bones. When protein supplements are overused, the high protein levels in the body causes the blood to become too acidic. The body; however, has a defence to regulate the pH levels in the blood – calcium. As the richest source of calcium, the bones are sapped of their nutrients, leaving your bones weaker than they were before.
- Kidney stones. In the process of moving calcium to the blood to regulate pH levels, calcium also gets sent to the kidneys where a build-up can cause kidney stones to develop.
At the Investec International Rugby Academy, we believe that part of being a true sportsman is to develop your body for game in the most natural way. The key to healthy muscle growth and recovery is a balance between protein and calcium. As long as players are including both in their diet, they should still be able to achieve the desired results without the unnecessary consequences above.
Natural Protein and Calcium Sources
Who said natural protein isn’t delicious? Make sure you eat plenty of:
- Greek Yoghurt
- Cottage Cheese
- Lean Steak/ Mince/Roast Beef
- Pork Chops
- Chicken/Turkey Breast
- Beans, Peas, Lentils, Nuts