Our expert says:
Sports scientists worldwide agree that protein supplements are only necessary if a) the athlete obtains too little protein of high quality from his diet (e.g. vegetarian athletes) - this would not apply in SA where most people eat a lot of protein b) if the athlete is trying to build muscles for weight lifting (this probably does not apply to your son) c) if the athlete has stopped growing (you don't mention how old your son is) - athletes should not overdo their protein intake while they are still growing and also afterwards as too high a protein intake can result in kidney damage. Most athletes only require 1 to 1,4 g of protein per kg body weight, so a 70 kg athlete would require 70 to 98g of protein a day, which can easily be obtained from a standard diet without using supplements. He should rather make sure that he is ingesting sufficient carbohydrate, which has a 'protein-sparing' effect. Click on Fitness at the top of this page and then on 'Nutrition and Supplements' and read the articles I have written on 'Eating correctly' - read the articles on carbohydrates and proteins. Protein supplements do not lead to dependence unless they contain ephedrine.
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