Can I stop using whey protein?
Does whey protein cause harm in teenagers who are not yet fully grown? [closed]
I heard the same thing from my parents and grandparents when I was around your age. "The powder stuff can't be good for you", "it will make you fat", "it's like doping, stop taking it", "you will get kidney stones" ... you understand what it is about.
I think it's important that you don't just come to a site like this one and blindly follow the answers we give you, but that you understand the whole process and understand the logic and justify it for yourself. I am going to set out some facts first, give you my opinion, and you can come to your own conclusion. If you don't believe the things I am saying let me know in the comments and I will publish a couple of articles / magazines as well, but I will keep it reasonably "technically easy to understand" so that you can understand.
First of all, you need to understand how to curb their growth in the first place. The most common reason seems to be inadequate nutrition. Think about it, if you don't eat your vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins, what will your body use to make itself bigger and stronger? Nothing. It's similar to trying to build a house without bricks or wood. How are you going to build it? You just can't do that. Note that this usually also occurs in the very early years, for example from birth to around 7-8. Since you haven't had a stunted growth so far, it is pretty certain that you had a good (at least not terrible) diet so far.
Since you sound like a healthy teenager (no serious illnesses), we can rule out a serious deficiency in the immune system from birth, and therefore you are fine in this regard too.
Now the most common other causes of stunted growth are genetics, serious illness, complications during your childbirth, and now my favorite cause and one that will mess EVERYONE is due to your hormones.
The hormonal part of the above is where basically every single parent gets their myths from. You see, back when my parents were teenagers, they would watch the Olympics and Olympic weightlifting. A common theme of all weightlifters was that they were very small athletes, at least when compared to some other athletes in the Olympics. Over the years, women tales after women tales later, somehow people came to the conclusion that these weightlifters are short because they lift heavy weights. Now what is one of the most common things to do when lifting weights? Supplement with protein!
If you look at the bodybuilders of the 80s and 90s, they are all rather average height or shorter (with the exception of Arnold). What do bodybuilders eat to get bigger and stronger? Protein!
The truth is, whey protein is just a supplement. It is similar to the Flinstones vitamins we took as children. When we cannot get enough nutrients from our daily food (diet) alone, we turn to nutritional supplements such as whey protein, vitamins, fish oils. Do you know what else is high in whey protein? MILK! That's a little ironic, isn't it? But don't we hear that drinking milk makes our bones stronger and makes us grow? But how can that be when milk is just a mixture of whey and casein protein? Well ... as I am sure you understand by now, ingesting whey protein (or ANY proper supplement for that reason) provides your body with extra nutrients that you can't get from your diet. Whey protein helps with growth. Think about it, how could something that gives you extra nutrients possibly stop you from growing?
Where the myth comes from, as I mentioned above, bodybuilders and weightlifters in general were little athletes, and at least where I'm from (Eastern Europe) any parent will believe that lifting weights stifles growth, and the result is protein on lifting is tied and gets a bad rap with people who just refuse to think ... assuming they are only concerned about their children.
The ACTUAL reason these athletes are short lies in many things and no one can narrow it down to just one thing. I know for a fact that many weight lifters (especially the professionals) will start using anabolic steroids as early as their teens if they are still growing. Do you remember how I said that hormones play a huge role in growth? Well, anabolic steroids are the grandfather of hormone supplements and they cause your hormones to be very irregular and unbalanced. This is because when you take steroids, you inject yourself with extra hormones. So your body thinks, "Hmmm, if I already have all these extra hormones, I should stop making my own," and so it stops your natural hormone supply. As a result, if used improperly, your body will never really recover and your growth will slow down significantly. MUCH more is going on in this process, but this is enough to argue.
The next time your parents make such a claim, show them this whole answer and keep working hard, you needn't worry.
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