The Amino Acids Myth: What the Fitness Industry Won’t Tell You

  • The Myth: This misconception states that some foods, particularly plant-based foods, are “incomplete proteins” because they lack all nine essential amino acids that humans need. The belief is that you need to combine certain plant foods at every meal to get all the essential amino acids in sufficient amounts.
  • The Reality: Our bodies have amazing built-in mechanisms to deal with amino acids. We have a pool of amino acids circulating and can even synthesize some non-essential ones. While some plant sources may be lower in specific essential amino acids, you don’t need to meticulously combine them at every meal. A varied plant-based diet throughout the day ensures you get all the essential amino acids you need.

This myth is often referred to as the “protein combining myth” or the “incomplete protein myth”.