The Whey Protein Scam In Natural Bodybuilding

Millions of spoiled teenagers are stealing money from their parents to buy whey protein in the hope that a higher intake of amino acids will transform them into muscular beasts. Sadly, whey protein is one of the oldest scams in the world of muscle.

Since the very beginning of the iron game, protein powder has been presented as the ultimate catalyzer of hypertrophy. For example, in September 1951, the Iron Man Magazine of Peary Rader reported the following unbelievable claims regarding the protein developed by Irvin Johnson:

“The case of a young man who had trained a year with little progress and weighted 169 pounds. His blood pressure was only 100. His arm measured 14 1/2 inches. He stayed there just 24 hours under the special diet treatment of Mr. Johnson and left weighting 181, blood pressure normal and arm measuring 16 3/4 inches. Mr. Johnson says, ‘no one will believe this so there is no use writing it up.” {source}

This snippet proves that the exaggerated claims in regards to the faculties of protein dust have started in the early stage of the lifting movement. Ironically, the marketing strategy has not changed to this very day. Similar ludicrous statements find themselves in the mainstream muscle media more often than one might think. The supplement sector is a multi-billion dollar industry, and when there are billions, there are also scams, lies, deception and even crime.


Some of the companies producing supplements are powerful enough to manipulate the scientific research in the field of nutrition.  The researchers have families to feed and can be bought and/or forced into spreading false information and counterfeit results.

Buy Cheap, Sell High

Most protein powder is based on whey, which is essentially a by-product of cheese that serves as pig food. (Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?)

Thanks to the lower price of whey, the first requirement for a successful business (cheap ingredients) is present. However, there is more to getting rich. One of the most important aspects of a successful business is its marketing strategy.

As Henry Ford has said:

“A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.”

This is where IFBB professionals, fake natural bodybuilders, and fitness athletes join the carnival.

If you take an apple from a public garden and try to sell it while presenting it as just an apple, only a few people will interested. However, if you take the same apple, clean it, place it in a fancy box and label it as Kim Kardashian’s Secret To a Big Butt, many mentally challenged supporters of the celebrity world will probably buy it. This is emotional conditioning a.k.a the power of marketing.

Muscular IFBB bodybuilders have no problem spreading fairy tales about supplements because they have already signed their contracts and couldn’t care less that you are robbing your mother to buy creatine, amino acids, protein powders, weight gainers or whatever else you’ve been brainwashed to believe in.

Many of the famous bodybuilders do not even use supplements as their main source of protein despite what the YouTube videos reveal.

The muscle warriors on YouTube are showing you what they eat and what supplements they take, just to sell you stuff. Supplements are rarely part of their regular routines.

Natural Bodybuilders Do Not Need That Much Protein Anyway

According to the commonly accepted rule, a bodybuilder needs about 3 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight or about 1.4 grams of protein per pound. This means that if your weight is 60kg/132lbs, you have to take about 180 grams of protein per day to grow. This is simply false.

Truth be told, most average trainees would never need more than 120 grams a day.

The powerlifting legend Kirk Karwoski stated in an interview that he eats ”only” 150-200 grams of protein a day. In case you don’t know, he was a powerlifter who had the measurements of an IFBBbodybuilder. He weighed 280lbs/127kg. His upper arms were over 20 inches, and he was very lean. In other words, an individual this big and strong did just fine on 150 to 200 grams of protein while the recommendations for his weight are 350 – 400 grams. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Moreover, lifters have been successfully convinced that due to their “busy modern lifestyles”, they cannot supply their bodies with enough protein through food. Naturally, that’s a deception too.

Is whey protein totally useless?

Technically, no. Whey could be useful in certain situations. For example, if you are hurt and can’t eat regular food, taking protein powder can help you keep the intake of amino acids up.

Also, if you like whey, there’s nothing wrong with taking it. Problems occur only when you suffer from side effects (usually stomach issues) and/or brainwash yourself into believing that you will mutate into a muscle monster thanks to the powder dust. It’s not going to happen.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours.

FAQ: Do I need to take protein to reach my natural potential?

A: No, of course. You can reach your natural potential without taking a single supplement in your life.

16 comments

  1. Ogre

    Just as I suspected. Thank you for this eye-opener.
    I am now leaving all BB supplements behind as soon as I run out of them. Just lowered my protein intake in the last two weeks, and the last one was one of the best training sessions I’ve ever had. There is so many bullshit about nutrition everywhere, it is hard to discover the truth. You have to try everything and have to discover everything for yourself.

  2. Derp

    After reading around the internet, this article is icing on the cake concerning my skepticism about protein intake higher than 1g/lb of body weight.

    My only problem is that it uses Kirk Karwoski as a reference point for protein intake, when he falls far outside the natty proportions listed in another article (5’7″, 280 lbs). I’m not saying this article is bogus, but it would have more relevance to and impact on the average person if it referenced someone who wasn’t on the juice. Maybe that would compensate for his protein “deficiency”?

  3. Chris

    Gary Lewer the former multiple Mr Australia and Mr World champion bodybuilder only ate 4 meals per day with moderate protein intake but very high carbohydrates. He competed at around 240lbs but only consumed approximately 150 grams of protein.
    One of the few Bodybuilders who spoke with common sense.

  4. Rodney Jackson

    I enjoyed this article. It’s hard to find articles that aren’t bias toward supplements. Even if there are articles that are skeptical of the effects of supplements, they want to push whey protein powder and creatine as staples. After taking supplements for the last 22 years on and off, mostly on, I’ve finally decided to let them go. I have wasted way too much money.

  5. rottenapple

    Whey protein is just protein powder and nothing more
    It’s fascinating how many people are delussional about whey – they think of it as some kind of anabolic holy grail haha
    Story about fast whey absorption is also bs – any kind of animal protein is pretty much the same thing
    Save your money and eat some low fat cheese instead

    1. joesantus

      …or cheap canned tuna packed in water.
      The real meaning of the word “supplements” is more along the idea of, “supplements the marketeers’ profit margins and bank accounts”.

    1. rottenapple

      American College of Sport Medicine recommends 1.2-1.7g per kg range, stated that recreational lifters should aim at bottom part of the range, while 1.7g/kg is reserved for professional athletes
      Why the hell should someone eat amount of protein recommend for professionals lol? You will only waste your money on protein rich food or supplements
      1.2g per kg is about 100g for a 82kg person like me – just the same number that also your doctor recommends

  6. akk

    I have Gout because of the misleading info i got 4 yrs ago about the right amount of protein one should intake to build his body, and the “MUST TAKE” protein supps to achieve his goal.
    Thanks

      1. Chuck Basher

        IF you want to gain weight, you HAVE to have a caloric surplus – in that you consume more calories than you burn. Lifting weights itself – moderate to intensely – for 50 minutes to an hour, burns around 300-500 calories depending on your weight. Your metabolism also is boosted throughout the day, meaning you’ll keep burning more calories than if sedentary.

        The average person who workouts at least thrice a week, as stated above, will probably burn about 2500 calories a day (average person who is sedentary burns around 1800-200)).

        So technically, you do have to “overeat” if you want to make lean muscle gains.

        Now, all these people talking about eating ridiculous amounts of food like 5000-8000 calories a day, JUST for a natural person lifting weights 3-5X a week is insane. Unless you’re adding a lot of cardio. Generally, you just need to eat when your body tells you to.

  7. Chuck Basher

    Not 100% true about the absorption deal; there is plenty of sources of protein in nature that are fat-free: Lentils are a good source of protein that are fat free.

    I generally think that protein powders DO serve a very helpful purpose – they are convenient and easy to consume. I also believe that you can absorb whey protein more than from solid foods, or at least the same. Especially if you mix the powder in a veggy/fruit smoothie with lots of fiber.

    I don’t know – protein powders, and supplement powders (I prefer a powder with carbs, fat, and protein for the taste – Syntha6 is good) definitely helped me gain 30 pounds (MOSTLY lean mass) in about 8 months.

    Again – you’re 100% CORRECT in that you don’t NEED them, and they’re not going to do anything special.

    But they definitely have their place in the fitness industry for convenience purposes – it’s just easier to drink a glass of 20-30 grams of protein in the morning with oatmeal, or a bagel, than boiling or scrambling up 4-5 eggs.

  8. roddy6667

    Young women with anorexia look in the mirror and see a fat person, no matter how thin they really are.
    Young men have a similar disorder. They look in a mirror and see a small, skinny, insignificant person, no matter how muscular they are.
    Both disorders are the result of a poor self image.
    Any person who is going into bodybuilding needs to ask themselves why they want to do this to their bodies. It’s not healthy. It’s cosmetic and unhealthy.

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