tv Addicted to Protein BBC News June 18, 2017 12:30am-1:01am BST
in london's grenfell tower disaster "wasn't good enough". 58 are missing — now presumed dead. a mis—trial has been declared in the sexual assault case against entertainer bill cosby. the jury was unable to reach a verdict after more than 50 hours of deliberations. the prosecution wants a re—trial. nato says seven us service personnel have been wounded in an insider attack at an army base in the north of afghanistan. an afghan soldier is said to have opened fire in the city of mazar—i—sharif. a traditional polynesian canoe has returned to honolulu in hawaii, completing the first—ever round—the—world voyage by such a vessel. the boat took three years to journey around the globe. now on bbc news ‘addicted to protein‘ — an investigation into the multi billion—pound supplement industry. i'm training to run a marathon,
and it's going to be tough, so i need to be as fit and strong as possible. a lot of people have told me about the need to take protein supplements, notjust to build up my muscle but to help my muscles repair as quickly as they can. so do i take supplements or not? i want to be fitter, i want to be more athletic, i want to be stronger. it's a multibillion—dollar industry. anything with protein written on it will sell. work out, take protein, don't eat carbohydrates,
you will look like an adonis. that was my thinking. the amount of protein supplements people have been buying has been growing massively in the last few years. i get what it does, it builds and repairs muscle. but some dieticians argue that people just aren't taking it right. ali. hi, there, how what you doing? hi. nice to put a name to the face, how you doing? thanks for having us here. yeah, yeah, yeah. so how's. .. how's work going for you, then? yeah, the nine to five life, i guess. started in september. to be honest, at the beginning it was overwhelming just going from university to working day in, day out, nine to five. but plenty of banter going around so, you know, it'sjust a nice place... nice place to be, really. so talk to me about what made you start wanting to bulk so quickly? i've always thought in the back of my head that i need to put
on some weight at some point. and my mum was always harking on to me, she was like, every time i go home, "0h, ali, you're really thin, you're not eating," this and that. i was like, "you know what? i need to put on a little bit of weight now." my friends were a factor when it came to going to the gym, and i'd seen that they'd had some sort of good results. and they were taking protein so, for me, it was like i'm going all in. i'm just going to join the gym, i'm notjust going to start running, i'm notjust going to start doing, you know, one day of badminton a week. i'm going all in. you bought the biggest bag possible? i threw the kitchen sink at it. literally, yeah, the biggest bag possible. so how much protein are you taking every day? i'm taking about, sort of, 50 to 60 grams also in the morning with breakfast, just as a protein shake in the morning, and then after my work—out in the evening. so basically two protein shakes
a day, about 50, 60 grams each. so about 100 or so grams. that'sjust in protein powder. but then also what i did was i went from eating two to three meals a day to sort of four slash sometimes even five meals a day. so around 120 grams of protein supplements a day, costing around £60 a month. but how does he know that's the right amount for him? you said this is, you know, just an experiment for you. are lots of people you know also experimenting with protein like this? if i'm honest, i wouldn't say anyone really knows how much they should be taking. it's just word—of—mouth, really. you see how much your friends are taking, we take roughly that much. i want my mental perception of myself to be better. people i speak to, 100, 150 grams isn't massive. it's pretty much the norm. but i know people who've taken way more. and i ask them, "why are you taking so much more?" and they're like...
"no idea." i think definitely the protein is making a difference. it has to be, because... well, it better be, because i pay money. are people needlesslyjust buying into a trend, or are people actually doing themselves some harm? we need a scientist. what the protein is doing is when we digest and absorb it, it's broken down into its amino acids, and the amino acids will do two things. they'll stimulate the muscle to grow, but they also provide them actual building blocks to actually be incorporated into the muscle, to grow new muscle tissue. we know that as an athlete or anyone involved in training we probably need a little bit more protein than a regular person. the best way, in my opinion, to do this is by food, but the supplements can be a convenience if you're not able to do it. it's a multibillion—dollar industry, and because of that a lot of people are being advised to take it, not because they need it
but because there is a fast buck to be made upon it. and just because you got a celebrity who may have lost a little bit of weight or gained a bit of muscle mass, this doesn't suddenly turn them into an expert. they may have got rid of the cold but they're not a doctor. so these celebrities often try and push it for an ulterior motive. and my concern is that, initially, that we're taking away hard earned money from people and wasting their money. we've brought ali to liverpool to see if his supplement regime is working. so we're putting him on something called a dexa scanner, which counts how much of ali's body is muscle. height is 184.1. you're going to lie down again, and this is one that's going to measure your resting metabolic rate, so we can calculate your energy expenditure.
the world of the selfie. now ali's going to go cold turkey on protein supplements for six weeks. instead, professor close has asked him to eat a similar amount of food but, crucially, spread out throughout the day. people think that you can take a protein supplement and suddenly you look like this competition body—builder or this men's health cover model. it couldn't be further from the truth. to get that increase in muscle mass involves really hard training, consistent training, a really good diet and a consistent diet. and thinking that you're going to do it from the supplements, you're just kidding yourself. meanwhile, across the other side of liverpool, we're in a body pump class to chat with some women about how popular protein supplements are with them. it seems to be really common now, more and more people, more and more women taking protein supplements. have you guys noticed that? —— it seems to be really common now, more and more people,
more and more women taking protein supplements. have you guys noticed that? yeah, it's everywhere. everywhere that you look, and even if you look around the gym, you can see the vending machine downstairs has, like, ready—made protein shakes for you to take. yeah, people take them all the time. and loads of, like, everyday products, they're putting added protein into now, like protein weetabix and protein pasta. ijust think it's a trendy thing to try to push extra protein into every item of your diet. oh, yeah, definitely, it's everywhere. like even on the ads, it's all about protein. and it'sjust... i think it's a bit ridiculous because i don't think you should have added supplements in your diet, but i think if you do go to the gym a lot you will need it, but i don't think you should have it as, like, a supplement to something else. using it as a supplement, but not a replacement. yeah. i think a lot of the time it's a case of, like, all the gear and no idea. they buy the shakes, they drink them and they have no idea why,
but they think it's a great idea. yeah, they think that's going to end up the place where they wanna be. take loads of protein. ellie's taken us training near liverpool's waterfront. my average week, like, i might do some boxing, i might do some body pump, maybe spin, maybe go for a run in the sun and then i'll always make sure i have, like, one rest day so i can repair. i think people are just getting on the protein trend, and then it'll be something else next week or something. so you think it's almost like a fashion? yeah, i think it is a fashion, definitely. it's... cos everything's got protein in it now, like protein cookies, protein pancakes. everything that is seen as bad has got protein in it, so it's seen as better because it's got protein in it. i don't know why, but... what type of stuff have you seen on instagram of celebrities, you know, pushing protein?
well, i'vejust seen, like, loads of celebrities posting pictures with, like, protein shakes and being like, "this is my new... this is the new protein that i use," and then post the link to it and then, like, a discount or something, so it makes you want to get it more because there's a discount. i think that women do feel the pressure more because... because people, like, post things with unrealistic expectations. so girls who are quite vulnerable see them and then kind of assume, "oh, i need to be like that." i've got a good head and i'm not, like, trapped in a false reality so i know, like, what's real and what's not. just because a celebrity is saying do something doesn't mean you should do it. so i kind ofjust do my own thing. protein is now the fastest—growing food supplement in the uk. although we get it delivered in shiny bottles to our doors, it's warehouses like this up and down the country that's where it's come from. trevor runs one of the uk's largest protein companies. i can remember being in college and always looking round every single sports nutrition website to get my protein i used
to take myself for the cheapest possible prices. when i did that, the lads in the rugby team got onto it too, so they'd be asking me to get them their protein, and then the pe teachers in school would be asking me to get them. when i went to university i had rugby teams from both the redbrick university and john moores asking me to get their protein, too, and so it just grew and grew and grew. i'd like to say we're the biggest retailer in the north—west of england, possibly one of the biggest in the uk. are you one of the country's protein kings, then? i'd never refer to myself as that. we do... we do sell quite a few tubs or two, yeah. what are the main problems you see, mistakes you see, to how people take protein? we always recommend protein, everything that i sell, they're supplements to a diet,
they're not an existing diet. protein is there to supplement your diet, not be a base of a diet. it's when you use it as a base of a diet with no other foods, vitamins, minerals, greens, for example, that's when you can encounter problems. but do you feel bad selling it to them when you know so many of them are taking it incorrectly? we can... we can advise the best way we can. i actually believe this industry should be regulated a lot more, i believe people should have qualifications. there's no point taking a sports nutritional protein supplement if you can't... if your diet isn't on point first. if you think of it like a pyramid, diet, training, then your supplement or sports nutrition. whereas some people have that the wrong way round, unfortunately. as i mentioned, i'm running the london marathon and some of the advice is to build up the amount of miles you do and never do the full 26 until race day. and also to take one of these, a protein shake, to help your muscles recover as soon
as you finish training. right now i'm up to 16 or 17 miles compared to the two or three that i started outwith. but how much of this is too much, and can it be dangerous? have you heard about anyone who's had any really bad side effects or health problems through taking too much protein? too much? personally, no. but when i used to do my studies with nutrition, it can be possible to have an effect on the kidneys, but it's very rare that you hear about it. i also think it's down to the person and how they metabolise the protein. i mean every one's made up differently, you know? you might be able to digest it a lot better than i can. but i think you had to listen to your body while you're taking it. if you respond well, then carry on. if you don't, then you know you will get... if you know something's wrong,
you're going to go to the doctor, aren't you, and they're going to test, so... but, personally, i have never known it to happen, so... would you say that the people in this gym, most of them, take some form of protein? yeah, i would say about 95%. you do get the odd one who's a bit sceptical about it but, you know, they soon... once they see other people taking it, they take it as well, so... do you take protein? i do, yes. they recommend if you weight train, your body's in demand for more protein to help recovery. how much of the gym's kind of business model is based on shifting supplements as well? is it a big bit? i would say so, about 60% of it. wow. yeah. i'd say so. it works hand in hand. it's like, you know, gym, protein, it goes together. it does, yeah. it's a big industry. anything with protein written on it will sell. although it's pretty difficult to cause major health problems by taking too much synthetic protein, we've come to the gym to meet one man who took it to the extreme. joe... hello, mate. hi, mate.
good to see you. you all right? a couple of years ago, you wanted to get big? yeah, so, i mean, this thing was that i'd always been, i suppose, fairly lean, and i wanted to put on a lot of muscle. you see these guys in the gym with huge muscles and you read the fitness magazines and it says, ok, the thing i need to do is take loads of protein supplements. so that's what i started doing. upped my protein in my daily diet to probably about 250 grams a day. now, i think you're recommended to take about 45 grams, 50 grams a day for an adult male. and i thought that that would translate into muscle. and the main thing is, because this is what it tells you in fitness magazines and stuff like that, protein, protein, protein, protein. then one day last year i woke up in the morning and couldn't stand up straight. just had this, like, crippling pain in my side. literally bent double all day. the pain was just increasing all day.
got the train home, went straight to the emergency room, spent a few hours there in and out with doctors, they scanned me and told me that i had kidney stones. so i was 28 at the time, and that's. .. that's not usual. your body can only process so much of one thing. so when you put too much into it, your body needs to get rid of it or, in my case, it's unable to get rid of it. at the time, you were taking up to 200 grams of protein supplements a day. were you addicted to protein? i'm not sure i was addicted to the substance of powdered protein. definitely addicted to the idea. i zealously thought, i absolutely religiously thought that work out, take protein, don't eat carbohydrates, you will look like an adonis. that was my thinking, and i ignored everything everyone else was saying to me. my mum, my mates, people down the gym. ijust thought, "you don't know what you're talking about." given everything that happened,
why have you still got a protein shake in your hand? it's part of the culture, like, going to the gym and training and working out and thinking, "yeah, i'm going to put on muscle, yeah, i'm going to cut down on..." depending on the time of year it is. it's... it's part of my life. what amazed me about meeting joe is that despite all the hospital problems, the kidney stones, the sickness, he's still taking protein. he literally can't get away from the supplements. i actually don't think many people would harm themselves by taking too much protein. we have actually got quite a wide margin for error. i actually think the amount you would need to cause kidney problems is probably far in excess of what even most gym goers would be taking. but what about if your job means you really do need to be big? say a professional
body—builder, for example. scott? yes, mate. good to meet you. you too, mate. so, this is my off—season, or bulking, depending if you're competing or not. so, yeah, basically it'sjust the time that i try and put as much size on as possible. right, so talk me through how you're building up your size, because... talk me through the numbers of protein a day that you take? the main thing is my food intake. so at the moment i'm probably on about five to 6000 calories a day, five to 600 grams of carbs per day, 250 to 300 grams of protein. it's quite a lot of food you've got
to get in to put the size on. so 300 grams of protein, how much of that is coming from supplements? i say, the majority of it is through food but, like i said, with the amount of food i've got to get in, it's not really possible to get that in without using supplements, so i do use quite a lot of protein powders and mass gainers and stuff like that. i'd say about 150 grams, maybe a bit more. because if i can fit it in i'll have an extra shake on top of what i've already planned, and stuff like that. about 150 grams in supplements. so that's quite a lot of protein. do you feel as if you need to take that to be able to do yourjob? erm... yeah. like i said, i'm at the extreme end with the body—building, so i've sort of... and for the weight i'm putting on, i need that extra protein. alongside the personal training, i don't always get the chance to sit down and have a meal. so it's a lot easier for me to go back there, or if i'm at homejust make a shake
and get that down me and carry on with my day. what is your daily protein regime, then? i can show you, if you like. flipping heck, mate! do you sell it out your boot?! who does all this for you? my girlfriend, she does pretty much all my food prep and my protein shakes. unless, obviously, i'm not with her. but, yeah, she does pretty much everything. katie, talk me through your kind of daily routine with scott's protein? normally in the morning when i get up i do the shake before i go. obviously he has the first one with his porridge and stuff, and his oats. so that will already be weighed out for him. and depending on what time he's got a client, i'll probably do a shake before i leave for work, which will be his first mass gainer to have with his first meal.
how much of your time do you spend making protein shakes and drinks and meals? about... normally i get home from work or will go to the gym, i train, do the last shake after he trains, come home and then i'll do... i'll do meal prep for the following day. will why doesn't scott make his own protein shakes? because he is lazy. no, i'mjoking! i like to do it. i support him in his goal, and his long—term goal is that he wants to get on stage, he wants to look good and he wants to compete and he wants to win, he doesn't want to come second place. so by getting the meals in, by getting the protein in, i help him get to where he wants to be. and that's me supporting him in what he does, so... that's why he doesn't make them himself. and because he is lazy as well. am i allowed to smile? you can do whatever you want... 0h, 0k. i'll smile, then. that's fine, then. i thought i wasn't allowed to smile, and that's why. so i think we've seen that shakes, bars and supplements can work. it's just that you've got to use them alongside the right food as well.
and somewhere that's renowned for its food first approach and absolutely nailing it are these guys here at england rugby. you guys are massive. you must take loads of supplements, don't you? no, no. not quite, not quite. always food first. yeah? yeah, after training we sort of have a policy at england that always food before protein shakes, so we try to stay away from the supplements and we get the naturals in first. i've just been eating with you guys, you've got a chef, how can the average person actually get that type of protein into them? sure, so i think the main thing to focus on is just being prepared. so we have to cook for ourselves in the evening, so as a house we kind of try and get prepared for what we're going to cook, so we all go to the supermarket,
we choose what we want to eat, we try and get a lot of colours in our food, so basically we have sort of rainbows, so we're looking at peppers, spinach, just getting lots of different colours in our meals. we focus on the food first, then we do have certain basic supplementation that we choose, but that would be secondary in nature and that is on a convenience measure over food itself. so if timing for us is... say we're on the road, we're a travelling team and we're in hong kong, and it's not quite the foods that we need, or that we're used to, we will look to supplement at appropriate times postexercise to get the recovery and the replenishments that we need in ourdiet. it's interesting, isn't it, how the supplement branding tends to drag people into it, and the food kind of gets left on the wayside? yeah, it does. and i think it's false in nature, you know? the best thing people can do is plan their food, plan their meals. but that's arduous if
you're not used to it. and with today's world and the way we work and everything it's looking for time efficiency in what they do, it's often, i think, looked away from. after six weeks off the protein supplements, it was time to head back to liverpool to get ali's results. would he have lost muscle mass from not taking any supplements and still working out, but spreading his meals throughout the day? we've got the results, and what we've seen in the six—week period, you've actually increased your lean muscle mass by a kilo. i was thinking, you know what, my weight's going to be the same, it's probably gone down. i got there and i put on an extra kilogram, so i was genuinely speechless. one of the key things you wanted to do was get more muscle, and just by switching, taking away the protein shakes and getting you to eat protein
in a much better manner, eating it regularly throughout the day, using a food first approach, you've got that result that you're looking for. i didn't expect to get results like this just eating food and trying to arrange all the meals myself. one of the reasons that people go on a high protein diet is to increase their metabolic rate, so actually they'd be burning more calories at rest. so we wanted to make sure that switching you away from protein shakes to food didn't reduce that metabolic rate, and it didn't. it actually increased by 100 kilocalories per day, so actually in any typical day you're going to be burning more energy and, long—term, that should help to drive changes in body composition that you're looking for. i think as a food champion, so somebody who promotes food first, i am quietly happy that we've shown you can get them gains in muscle that young people are looking for without having to rely on what can be quite expensive supplements. so ali's actually gained a kilogram of muscle by coming off the supplements and working at a better diet. and now, you know, three weeks after the results,
are you back on the supplements? yes. but why?! erm... there's a few reasons, really. so, number one, it's a lot easier to cook, you know, a few meals a day and have protein in between that than cook five meals a day. ijust don't have the time for it with a full—time job. and secondly, obviously, there's no really proven health risks with using it, especially in moderate amounts, if you're using it right, like graeme taught me atjohn moores. for most people, taking protein supplements like this isn't going to do them any harm, but it's clear many are taking it as a substitute and not a supplement to food. and if you're taking too much or you're not taking it at the right time, you're probably just wasting your money. hello again.
you did not need to catch a long flight to enjoy hot summer weather. temperatures hit 30 degrees and teddington was hotter than teneriffe. the hottest weather the uk has had so far this year with the heat widespread across england and wales. scotland and northern ireland not too bad either. beautiful skies as well, this was a picture showing the sunshine but it was not sunny everywhere. to the north—west of the uk we have a weather front bringing damp weather today into the western side of scotland, particularly the north—west. a mild start to the day, if you not been out already. 20 degrees to begin across norwich and london as well. it will rise quickly in the strong sunshine. weather comes a letter across
eastern parts of northern scotland. for england and wales, a glorious start of the day with barely a breath of wind in the temperature rockets are quite quickly. this is nine a.m. in the morning and it is a ready 2a degrees in london. hotter than it was yesterday in the heat, could trigger an isolated shower or across the east anglia. you would be unlucky to see that. through the rest of the day the temperature rockets upwards. it will bea temperature rockets upwards. it will be a hot day with high is hitting 31 in london, 26 in newcastle and mid—20s in edinburgh. the heat could spark an isolated thunderstorms that you would be unlucky to catch that. most of us have a dry day with high levels of pollen and high levels of uv. if you are outside for any length of time during the day, particularly in the middle of the day, might be worth putting suncream
on. it will stay hot over the next few days across southern parts of the uk. fresh air are trying to come underan the uk. fresh air are trying to come under an defect in northern and eastern parts of the country. temperatures drop away. sheffield 27 guns 2a monday and tuesday as the cooler weather arrives. staying on the warm side for much of the week ahead across the south of the uk. this is bbc news. i am duncan golestani. 0ur this is bbc news. i am duncan golestani. our top stories: 58 people are presumed to have died in the london tower block fire. police warn that number is expected to rise. that number, 58, may change. i really hope it won't, but it may increase. bill cosby walks free from court after a jury is unable to reach a verdict in his sexual assault case. the prosecution wants a retrial. we can never under estimate the binding power of celebrity. butjust