Gym Bros eat dog food for protein and I’m afraid

BuzzFeed News; Getty Images

Sirloin steak, chicken soup, steak frites, and filet mignon are all dog food flavors that might sound appetizing, and to gym bros, they are!

People on TikTok are noticing the hefty amount of protein in dog food and have decided to get in on the action, while share their experience try it. Some folks on the social platform say that because some dog food brands are high in protein, the benefits of feeding a workout may be worth it over the questionable tastes and potential risks of eating meals meant for our canine friends .

Fitness influencer Henry Clarisey, 21, of Buffalo, New York, decided to try Kibbles ‘n Bits’ Oven Roasted Beef With Spring Vegetable and Apple Flavors. However in his first viral TikTok video with 19.9 million viewshe tells viewers that, according to an app, Pedigree’s dog food contains 666 grams of protein — about 600 grams more than the amount of protein most people should consume each day.

Clarisey promised viewers he would try dog ​​food if his video got 15,000 likes. After posting, his video got 2.5 million likes — “I knew I had to try it,” he told BuzzFeed News.

“The dog food tasted extremely dry. I needed so much water after eating it,” Clarisey said in an email to BuzzFeed News. “Tasteed like little bits of dirt and I definitely don’t think it was worth it. Even if it’s a lot of protein, I’d take steak or protein powder.

In this video, he adds “It’s for profit” as he eats the Kibbles ‘n Bits. After grimacing and gagging as he chews the product, he tells his followers, “I promise you, it’s not worth it.”

So, before you head to your local PetSmart and consider trying this approach yourself, here’s what you need to know about eating dog food, the actual amount of protein per serving, the possibility of foodborne illness, and what “human” labels actually mean. are mean. Experts told BuzzFeed News that just because your pets eat it doesn’t mean you should.

What’s in dog food?

Although the FDA requires all of that pet food must be safe for animals to eat, produced under sanitary conditions and containing no harmful substances, Melissa Majumdar, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told BuzzFeed News that dog food is not subject to the same rules and regulations as human food. As a result, dog food products usually have a label for intended use.

Pet food can contain not only animal by-products found in human food, such as bone meal and organs, but also others such as udders and lungs, which according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials are not an ingredient defining and labeling standards organization for feed regulators. These by-products are considered safe for pets to eat, but not for humans.

“While most of the ingredients in dog foods are similar to human foods, they are designed to meet the needs of dogs, not humans, who have different nutritional priorities,” Majumdar said. “Plus, they contain foods that we don’t want much in our diets. If you read the ingredients of dog food, you will find chicken by-products and animal fat.

While the term “human grade” is sometimes used on dog food labels, it doesn’t mean much, said Tracy Navarra, a veterinarian at Peachtree Hills Animal Hospital. “There is a misrepresentation of what ‘human quality’ means,” Navarra told BuzzFeed News. “Edible human foods are very different and regulated by the FDA. Human quality means nothing.

According to the AAFCO, pet food labeled “human-grade” is not considered edible by humans. In most cases, it means it contains certain ingredients and is produced in a facility that is licensed to process human food, but is still not intended for human consumption.

That said, Pedigree told us in an email to BuzzFeed News, “Our food is intended for dogs and cats, but would not be harmful if a human consumed it. The manufacturing processes and research that goes into our products are equal to — and in some cases better than — those of human food manufacturers.”

But just like human food, pet food can be contaminated with certain types of bacteria, such as salmonella and E. coli.

Although the CDC lists kibble, canned food, and fresh pet food as safe, there is a risk of people getting sick if they eat it, especially recalled products. Listeria, that has been found in recalled pet productscan cause mild to serious health problemsfrom abdominal pain to blood and nervous system infections.

The nutritional risks probably outweigh the benefits

Dog food does not meet the nutritional requirements of human food, just as human food does not meet the nutritional requirements of dog food.

“The guts of dogs are equipped to deal with pathogens, bacteria, dirt, viruses, litter, parasites, etc. that the human gut is not used to,” Navarra said. “We’re not the same, so we shouldn’t eat the same. While the nutritional needs of protein, carbohydrates and fats may not be that different between humans and dogs, it should not be the deciding factor in choosing to consume dog food voluntarily.

A dog’s digestive system can break down protein faster and more efficiently than a human’s. Dogs are allowed produce more stomach acid than humans, so it’s a lot easier for dogs to digest ingredients in pet food, including bone material.

In general, the recommended daily amount of protein for healthy adults is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of weight, so that’s 44 grams of daily protein for someone who weighs 120 pounds and 55 grams for someone who weighs 150 pounds.

Protein is an important part of our diet, growth and development, but so can overeating affect the body negativelypotentially causing bone, kidney and liver problems and possibly an increased risk of cancer or coronary artery disease.

So how much protein does dog food actually have?

Dog food nutrition facts labels are listed in percentages of dry matter, or DS. Dog food protein typically ranges from 8% to 18% DM, depending on the age of the animal it’s intended for, Majumdar said. This means it contains about 8 to 18 grams of protein per cup, according to Majumdar. For reference, a small dog might eat one cup of dog food per day, a medium dog about 2 cups and one large breed dog, 3 cups.

Clarisey got his info from MyFitnessPal, which seemed to suggest that 200 grams of a Pedigree dog food product, or about a cuphad 666 grams of protein.

However, Pedigree told BuzzFeed News that the highest percentage of protein in any of their dog food products was 28.7%, meaning a serving of dry dog ​​food can contain about 60 grams of protein, not 666 grams.

A spokesperson for MyFitnessPal refused to help us figure out why our math didn’t seem to be math, but they did confirm that TikTokers seemed to be making questionable life decisions based on the info.

“MyFitnessPal saw an increase in people logging dog food due to the TikTok trend, which was driven by men aged 18-24 who want to gain or maintain their weight. The peak in logging occurred primarily between February 20 and 24,” said Jen Whitman, spokesperson for MyFitnessPal.

Either way, consuming more than 600 grams of protein would not be healthy. It is about two to three times higher than the daily amount that is considered safe even for bodybuilders.

“Excess amounts of protein will put stress on the kidneys, liver and bones,” Majumdar said. “Someone who eats too much protein can develop kidney stones, constipation, gain weight, and may miss out on essential nutrients and fiber found in other food groups. In the long run, we may also see higher cholesterol and heart disease or colon cancer with this type of diet.”

According to UK Pet Food, pet food can contain sodium levels that, while no cause for concern in animals can cause hypertension in humans. Pets can consume dry or wet foods that contain sodium and do not experience the increased thirst or water consumption that humans would.

“Dry dog ​​food, which is shown in some TikTok videos, can also be difficult to chew and digest,” said Majumdar. “The average person depends on food for 20% of their fluid needs, so eating mostly dry foods can affect hydration.”

Fortunately, there are other options available that don’t require you to go down the pet food aisle.

Alternatives to protein intake

We get it: Workouts fueled by protein and other nutrients can help build muscle mass and strength for workout performance. However, carbohydrates are just as important for exercise performance and endurance, which can provide energy to support physical activity.

In fact, you may need more carbs than protein, and it’s recommended that people get this 45% to 65% of their calories from carbohydrates, which translates to about 225 to 235 grams per day if you eat a 2,000-calorie diet. “They provide energy for fitness sessions and to build muscle,” Majumdar said. “If you feel sluggish or recover slowly after lifting, you may not be getting enough carbs.”

However, if you enjoy getting protein, there are cheaper, safer ways to get enough protein in your diet. Majumdar told BuzzFeed News that lean proteins like skinless chicken or turkey, lean cuts of red meat, fish, low-fat dairy, eggs, beans, tofu, edamame, or whey or soy protein powder are all good ways to get more protein. .

“If you’re looking for cheaper options, beans, both canned and dried, and canned meats like chicken and tuna can help with the budget. Eggs are also typically cheaper than meat,” Majumdar said. help save money and are nutritious – full of fiber, protein, B vitamins. Beans cost us about 48 cents per pound compared to an average of $5.20 per pound. Be wise and save on fat and pennies with beans.

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Gym Bros eat dog food for protein and I’m afraid

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