Bodybuilding Protein – Essential for Building Muscle
Protein is without a doubt the most essential part of your diet for building muscle. The idea is that working out tears muscles, and if you’re getting enough protein, they’ll be built back up bigger and stronger. This is the basic process that lifting weights takes advantage of.
If you don’t have enough protein in your normal diet, or if you over-train, the process doesn’t work effectively and you tear down more muscle than you’re able to repair and so your muscles get weaker and smaller.
People who lead more or less sedentary lifestyles tend to incur muscle loss of a pound, and that’s with normal diets.
When you work out hard, you tear down muscle a lot more than normal and so not only need a little extra protein to avoid muscle mass loss like other people, but you need a lot extra.
Of course, the equation becomes a lot more complicated than this when you want to maximize gains from your workout rather than simply avoid muscle loss. But the idea is clear: You need to increase your protein intake.
You can either do this through including more protein-rich foods in your diet or by taking protein supplements. In either case, there are a couple things you need to pay attention to.
Foods vary in terms of what proteins they have and also what amino acids they have. This is important because the more complete the amino acid profile you’re taking in the better, as you need all of them for your body to produce things like Human Growth Hormone (HGH).
This is part of why many people choose to use supplements instead; it’s much easier to keep track of your amino acid intake and, along with getting enough protein, amino acid profiles are the most important thing to consider about protein.
Whether you chose to get your extra protein from food or protein supplements is essentially up to you, but if you can it’s advisable to take supplements so you can easily control for the amino acid profile and the amount of protein you’re consuming.
The other thing is that after you work out ends, your body goes through something called an anabolic window for about an hour. Any protein absorbed during this time has greater protein synthesis and so is much more useful.
It may be possible to consume quicker-digested protein rich foods like eggs after your workout and take advantage of this window but again supplementation makes it much easier by being in a liquid so that it’s much more quickly digested.
What you need to remember is that regardless of how you get it, you’re going to need much more protein in your diet if you’re lifting weights. On top of this, you want to try and get complete amino acid profiles for maximum benefit.
Also, while you can consume the extra protein any time of day for good results, you may also want to consider ingesting at least some of it immediately following your workout.