Bodybuilders tend to have the highest protein intake in their diet, but there are a few bodybuilders who have the lowest intake.
According to new research from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the highest intake is for bodybuilders aged 20 to 29 with their average intake around 14 grams of protein per kilogram bodyweight.
This is well below the 10 grams per kilo recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
In fact, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that bodybuilders are at higher risk of developing protein-induced allergic reactions than non-bodybuilders.
The study, published in the Journal of Allergies and Clinical Immunology, analysed the intake of protein from 24 different bodybuilders and found that the average protein intake of these individuals was between 9 and 11 grams per kg bodyweight per day.
A high protein intake is one of the reasons why bodybuilders tend have the best immune system in the world, according to Dr Jurgen Fischbach, a medical oncologist at the University of California, San Francisco.
“We think that bodybuilding athletes are at least as good as non-athletes at keeping their bodies and organs healthy, but the immune system may not be as robust as it would be for a non-boutique athlete,” Dr Fischbeck said.
“That’s one of our concerns with bodybuilding, but this research points to the importance of maintaining adequate protein intake.”
Researchers also found that bodybuilder bodybuilders were also the most likely to have experienced at least one protein allergy reaction, with over 80 per cent of them reporting at least two allergy reactions.
“There are a lot of different reasons that people get an allergy reaction,” Dr Michael Cavanagh, director of the NIAID’s Center for Protein Science and Health, said.
“[There are] protein allergies, sensitivities, autoimmune diseases, etcetera.”
‘A real health issue’ Dr Cavanag, who is also director of health and nutrition research at the Institute of Clinical Immunopathology, believes bodybuilders may have higher protein requirements than non boutique athletes.
“Bodybuilders may not have an allergy problem as they don’t eat a lot [of protein], but it’s possible that there is a genetic component,” he said.
While bodybuilders generally have higher requirements for protein, he said, there may be some variation in the body’s response to protein in this group.
“It’s possible to be an allergen-free athlete and also have a protein intolerance,” Dr Cavag said.
It may be that the body develops resistance to protein and can therefore cope with lower amounts.
In the case of bodybuilders, this could be due to a genetic predisposition to the type of protein they consume, or to genetic alterations that occur in the immune response to proteins, such as an increase in the activity of a protein kinase gene.
Dr Cavaig said that although protein allergies may occur, he believes there is also a “real health issue” that needs to be addressed.
“I think that the immune systems of most people is pretty robust,” he added.
“When we look at the bodybuilding community, they tend to be relatively immune, but it is not clear if this is a result of genetic predispositions, or the fact that they are bodybuilders.”
The study also found evidence that body builders have a higher risk for protein intolerance than non bodybuilders.
“One of the things that we were interested in was whether there were any differences in the incidence of protein allergy in bodybuilders versus non bodybuilding people,” Dr Terence Friesen, a professor of nutritional sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said in a press release.
“The data suggests that there may indeed be a genetic basis to the immune responses to protein.”
The researchers also found a correlation between bodybuilders’ and non bodybuilder’s protein intakes.
“While bodybuilders seem to have higher dietary protein requirements, the protein intakes of non- bodybuilders appear to be more than the protein requirements of bodybuilding individuals,” Dr Pankaj G. Sharma, a clinical professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Metabolism and Diabetes at Mount Sinai, wrote in an accompanying commentary.
The researchers said their findings should encourage those with a protein allergy to make a healthier diet, and recommended that the public get to know the benefits of consuming protein from a healthy source.
“People with an allergy can use a protein-containing food or supplement to maintain their immune system, but if they have an autoimmune disease, a nutritional supplement could help them maintain their health and reduce their risk of an allergy,” Dr Sharma said.
Source Independent title Bodybuilders have highest protein intakes in their diets, but protein is important article Bodybuilding bodybuilders also tend to consume higher amounts of protein than non bodies.
In fact the average bodybuilder had around 8.5 grams per kilograms of