A Protein Search ?

I am a 16- year - old boy. I have joined a cricket camp this summer and would like to increase my weight and build my body. Should I take any proteins or amino acid supplements to build my body?


It is not by swallowing supplements that you build a strong healthy body but by regular exercise, sufficient fluids and a healthy balanced diet. Please do not take any powder, pill or supplement on the advice of others in your camp or gym. Protein supplements in excess have been found to cause unhealthy weight gain and damage the liver and kidney. They may also contain steroids that may affect the sex organs and cause imbalances in the production of growth hormones. If your diet is well-balanced even vitamins, mineral supplements are not necessary. However the hemoglobin level in blood must be tested and if it is low, below 12 mg/dl for girls and below 15 for boys, then an iron supplement (e.g. Fesovit) must be given for 3 months.

Also if there is a sudden increase in training, may be a B complex with C vitamin can be given (e.g. Becosule) for that period. If you have been ill and are feeling weak and rundown after the illness a Becosule daily for 2 weeks will make you feel better and increase your appetite.



No other supplement should be given without consulting your family physician. Regular meals and planning and selecting your food is the key to a healthy body. Athletes must never skip a meal. You need frequent supply of energy to see you through heavy training. Rushing out in the morning saying there is no time for breakfast is the most dangerous thing as energy stored in your body and muscles will be used up then. Also saying you are too tired to eat at night and snacking on something and falling asleep is very dangerous. A Proper dinner to replace energy spent in the evening training is very important.


I felt it is not correct to tell people not to take creatine, glutamine supplements to build up their body and muscle and that they are harmful to the body. They are used all over the world by athletes and body builders and we don't want to be left behind in sports. Please correct me if I am wrong?


Athletic competition is not a test of supplements, performance boosters or drugs. It is a test of a person's ability to excel in his/her area of sport. The real keys to physical performance are genetics, training and good, healthy nutrition. The trend observed is that a sports man reaching the top is influenced by these three factors. Having a family background of athletes. Second, he must get the best training i.e. be selected and coached by good professional trainers and thirdly his diet must be made up of a good balance of all the essential nutrients namely water, minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins and necessary fat and fiber. The simple advice I can give you is that you make sure that you are eating a good variety of foods like fruits, vegetables, cereals, dhals and pulses and milk and milk products. Egg, non-veg and little fats. All the recent research has proved that the long-standing belief that protein and amino acid supplements build muscle is a myth and therefore it is dying. These supplements continue to capture the attention and money of athletes because people think of protein and amino acids as the ingredients from which muscle are made. Therefore they believe the higher the supply of protein and amino acids, the bigger the muscles. But that's not the way muscles are built. The protein and amino acids you consume don't go directly to build muscle. Excess proteins in the diet are converted to glucose and fat and not to muscle. Exercise, sufficient fluid and a balanced, healthy diet build muscles.

Highly professional athletes in America have their own physicians and labs where blood levels are tested and monitored and only then supplements necessary in the exact doses are given. You cannot therefore determine whether you need more or less protein on your own and neither can your trainer just advice you to take these supplements without detailed tests.


Protein & Fat Content of Foods Per 100gms

Food Protein (gms) Fat (gms)
   Chicken 25.0 1-2
   Small Fish & Sea Food 20.0 1-2
   Beef 22.5 2.5
   Seer Fish 20.0 4.0
   Pork 18.5 5.0
   Mutton 18.5 13.5
   Skimmed Milk (200 ml) 7.0 0.2-1.5
   Cheese Slice (20 gms) 4.0 5.0
   Egg (1 Whole) 6.0 6.0
   Egg (1 num) 6.0 0.0
   Nuts (1/2 Cup) 20-25 40-60
   Soya (1 cup) 13.0 7.0
   Dhal / Pulse (1 cup) 8.0 0.5-1.5
   Note: 1 tsp Oil or Ghee gives 5gms FAT & 45 cals. 1 tsp Sugar gives 5gms    CARBOHYDRATE & 20 cals.