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Can Body-Building Make You Go Bald?

Gym sessions usually end with taking a protein concentrate or a protein bar to help the muscles recover properly after a workout. Sales of high protein products are on the rise. Between 2010 and 2015, they increased by just under 500 percent among bodybuilders. However, hair care experts at the Starks Clinic are warning us that loading up on high protein whey, commonly known as whey, could sometimes have unexpected side effects.

How Does Whey Protein Affect Hair?

Resistance training, like lifting weights, increases the muscles’ need for amino acids, which means that consuming protein right after your workout can stimulate muscle growth.

While solid foods take longer to break down in the body, protein powder may be a more effective solution. One of the most popular types of protein supplements is whey protein. It is a byproduct of dairy foods and is known to be a complete protein, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids.

However, Dr. Bessam Farjo, an American hair transplant surgeon, warns that whey protein could cause baldness. Experts from the Starks Clinic agree with him on this point and consider that whey protein would accelerate the process of hair loss. Indeed, it would have been proven that it is responsible for the increase of testosterone in the body, especially when it is combined with a muscle-building exercise.

Scientists believe that high levels of testosterone in men can cause hair loss because the hormone works directly on many tissues in the body, including hair follicles. The study found that testosterone levels were significantly higher during and after resistance training.

Too high whey levels in bodybuilders

Most concerning is that many people consume much higher levels of whey protein with their workouts compared to the concentrations tested in the study. The typical BCAA content of protein is 15-20g per 100g of protein. This means that the daily intake of BCAA for a 70 kg person consuming protein would, therefore, be 8.4 to 11.2 g. However, many bodybuilders consume over 60g of BCAAs and over 250g of whey protein per day, which can potentially accelerate hair loss.

What Lean Proteins Are Good For Hair Growth?

In contrast, foods like turkey and quinoa are good for the hair, say experts at the Starks Clinic. Other nutrients are also essential for healthy hair like zinc, calcium, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin D, iron, and copper.

While it is interesting to note that these are good for the hair in general, however, they will not prevent genetic type hair loss.


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