The Safety Debate Regarding Dietary Protein in Strength Athletes
Debates over various aspects of dietary protein have occurred for decades in sports nutrition settings. At times athletes and educators have been at odds in these debates and all the while there has been a lack of scientiƒc consensus directly supporting the claims of either side (Lowery and Devia 2009). Debates over high-protein diets can be intense, perhaps due to a “counterculture” among nutrition educators in response to advertisers and overzealous mega-dosing athletes, or simply due to a lack of data (Lowery and Devia 2009; Lowery and Forsythe 2006). As with any nutrient that is supplemented or consumed in large amounts, safety and efƒcacy are legitimate concerns. These concerns depend upon the population studied, the methodology and variables used, and the type, amount, and duration of protein consumed (Bernstein et al. 2007; Institute of Medicine 1999; Lowery and Devia 2009). This chapter will explore the safety issues surrounding large intakes of dietary protein (not singular amino acids or special peptides) among resistance trainers and strength athletes.