Why Is Protein Important For Building Muscle
When you lift weights, the muscles you worked are damaged. The small micro-tears in the muscle you created when you exercise require raw materials to grow back bigger and stronger. In order for your body to build muscle, it needs to be able to synthesize more muscle protein than it is able to break down. This is why you need protein in order to build muscle.
The muscle needs to be damaged in order to be repaired, which means you also need to combine increased protein intake with a proper workout routine to grow bigger.
The Case For Simple Carbs
When planning a bulking diet for the very first time, a lot of guys try to get all of their carbs from healthy sources, such as veggies, whole grains, legumes, and oats. Dont get me wrong, those are all fantastic foods. But when eaten in large quantities, they can be somewhat difficult to digest, often causing stomach pain, bloating, and bulking miasmas.
Theres a reason that bodybuilders are famous for eating large servings of white rice: its easier to digest! Plus, theres no real downside. Simple starches are perfectly good for building muscle quickly and leanly. The trick is to add that white rice into a diet that includes other sources of fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
Thats why the classic bodybuilder meal is chicken, broccoli, and rice. The chicken and broccoli are rich in protein, micronutrients, and fibre . And then the rice adds in a ton of easily digested carbs.
So what you want is balance. Include whole grains, legumes, fruits, and veggies in your diet, but when youre struggling to add more carbs, consider adding simple carbs: rice, bananas, bread, fruit juicethat kind of thing. This is especially important if youre eating carbs before heading to the gym. Youll want to eat something easier to digest so your stomach doesnt bother you while working out.
What Foods Have Carbs
Carbohydrates are found in many foods including fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, sugars, and processed foods . And although carbohydrates are commonly referred to as sugars there is a big difference between getting carbs from processed foods with added sugar and refined grains compared to nutrient dense plant sources.
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How Important Is Protein For Breakfast And What Are Some Good High
There are a number of great reasons to prioritize dietary protein early in the day. For one , “Research has shown that consuming higher-protein breakfasts makes individuals feel fuller throughout the day, all while burning more fat,” explains Jacob Wilson, Ph.D., in the article “What Are the Ideal Macros for My Breakfast? “
Wilson suggests having 30-40 grams at breakfast, and prioritizing fat more than carbs with the rest of what’s on your plate. That may sound like a lot, but getting it could be as simple as having three whole eggs instead of two, a piece or two of bacon, and some yogurt with low-sugar fruit like berries on the side.
Bacon and eggs not your speed? There are a million ways to prepare a high-protein breakfast, some of which rely on the natural protein content of familiar foods, while others incorporate powders.
A great place to start for those who don’t want to slave in the kitchen at the crack of dawn is with the article “3 High-Protein Breakfasts On The Go,” by registered dietician Paul Salter, MS, RD.
These quick-and-not-very-dirty dishes all deliver a solid dose and plenty of nutrients in no time flat.
How Much Protein Should I Eat To Build Muscle
If youâre trying to build muscle, youâre going to want to eat enough protein to induce muscle repair and growth.
Proteins are the building blocks of muscle, so youâll need plenty if youâre looking to build a muscular physique!
If youâre of healthy weight, active, and wish to build muscle, aim for 0.64â1.09 g/lb .
There is some evidence that a higher range might be beneficial. Not so much in gaining more muscle, but to minimize fat gain during a bulking phase.
As we mention in our guide, 12 Tips to Gain Weight Quickly, you might put on a little fat when eating in a caloric surplus to grow muscle.
More protein may counteract this a little.
If youâre an experienced lifter on a bulk, intakes up to 1.50 g/lb may help you minimize fat gain.
Now of course, if you want to grow muscle, you canât just eat proteinyou also need to strength train!
Luckily, were experts on that.
Here are some resources to begin your training:
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How Do I Meet My Macros With A Ketogenic Diet
The simplest way to meet your macros is by cutting out non-keto foods and eating keto-friendly foods. Heres a brief food list for you to start with:
Do Not Eat
- Grains wheat, corn, rice, cereal, etc.
- Sugar honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.
- Fruit apples, bananas, oranges, etc.
- Tubers potato, yams, etc.
- Sweeteners stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and other low-carb sweeteners >
- Other fats coconut oil, high-fat salad dressing, saturated fats, etc.
To see more specific advice on how to meet your macros on keto, for a comprehensive keto food list. Or, if you want a different idea of how to get to these macro calculations, you can also see our 14 Day Keto Diet Plan for ideas.
If you are looking for more specific suggestions on how to meet your protein and/or fat needs on keto, we will explore that in greater detail in the next two questions.
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Protein For Muscle Gain How Much Is Enough
The recommended daily allowance of protein for US adults is 0.8 g protein/kg body weight/day , which is similar to the recommendations of the World Health Organisation of 0.83 g/kg/d. Bear in mind, however, this reflects the minimum amount of dietary protein required, and should not be interpreted as the recommended daily intake . This is especially true for people undertaking a resistance training programme, or any exercise for the matter. At this level, for a 70 kg person this equates to around 50g of protein per day.
Lets look at building muscle mass the protein for muscle gain requirements are quite different. A Position Stand from the International Society of Sports Nutrition describes that for building and maintaining muscle mass, an overall daily protein intake in the range of 1.42.0 g/kg/d is required. This represents 98-140g for a 70 kg person. Whilst there is some research that suggests even up to 2.2g/kg/d is potentially even more beneficial in weight lifters and body builders and maybe more so in those that are dieting, I dont think well go far wrong in using this 1.42.0 g/kg/d range to apply to rehab, perhaps opting for the latter end of the continuum.
New Research On Protein Required Per Day
Examine.com recently published an interesting report discussing a new study that looked at how much protein bodybuilders need for optimal muscle growth and immune function.
Eight healthy young men from a university participated in this study. All men had at least three years of resistance training experience and were currently strength training four or more days per week with minimal aerobic exercise .
Participants consumed 0.1 to 3.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight across several test days to determine their protein requirements. The tests were undertaken on non-training days, at least 48 hours after their last training session.
The findings from this study suggest that the daily protein requirement to cover the needs of experienced bodybuilders wanting to maximise muscle growth would fall between 1.2 and 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, with the participants of the study averaging 1.7 grams per kilogram. From these findings, the authors conclude that almost all experienced bodybuilders would have their protein requirements satisfied by eating 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
-2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight will satisfy most experienced bodybuilders.
Example #: Peanut Butter
This next food choice is an interesting one. On the one hand, peanut butter is cheap, calorie-dense, and a good source of protein. On the other hand, it is possibly too calorie-dense.
100g of peanut butter may contain 25g of protein, but it also contains 588 calories!
Even people on aggressive bulks may find that a large serving of peanut butter wont fit into their calories without having to sacrifice other foods.
If you are struggling to hit your calorie targets though, there are few foods that compare. Just a tablespoon of peanut butter could help you hit your calories in the evening.
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What Should You Do
Research on how much protein is the optimal amount to eat for good health is ongoing, and is far from settled. The value of high-protein diets for weight loss or cardiovascular health, for example, remains controversial.
Before you start ramping up your daily protein intake, there are a few important things to consider. For one, dont read “get more protein” as “eat more meat.” Beef, poultry, and pork can certainly provide high-quality protein, but so can many plant foods including whole grains, beans and other legumes, nuts, and vegetables. The table below provides some healthier sources of protein.
Its also important to consider the protein “package” the fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that invariably come along with protein. Aim for protein sources low in saturated fat and processed carbohydrates and rich in many nutrients.
One more thing: If you increase protein, dietary arithmetic demands that you eat less of other things to keep your daily calorie intake steady. The switches you make can affect your nutrition, for better or for worse. For example, eating more protein instead of low-quality refined carbohydrates, like white bread and sweets, is a healthy choice though how healthy the choice is also depends on the total protein package.
Good sources of protein
When Should You Be Eating
Knowing which foods you need to eat in order to gain more muscle is one thing, but it is just as important to have a good understanding of when to eat.
In order to build muscle mass, you need to ensure you are eating a high-calorie diet, and that your calorie intake exceeds the calories you’re burning during your workouts.
This means eating moderate portions regularly during the day. Aim for a nutritious meal for breakfast, lunch, post-workout, and dinner, with healthy snacks in between.
Breakfast and post-workout are good times to give your body that much-needed glycogen energy boost, so ensure you eat complex carbs with these meals so you can sustain your body throughout the day.
We dont tend to be as active after dinner. So try and avoid complex carbs for this meal and focus instead on a good protein kick.
There is quite a lot of controversy relating to the belief that eating late at night is detrimental to anyone looking to reduce body fat and increase muscle mass.
It’s true that people tend to make poorer food choices, opting for a sweet treat or something greasy to quench a craving, but the important thing to think about is. Do I really need to eat?
If you have been eating nutritious meals of good portions, regularly throughout the day, then the answer is probably not.
If you have been quite active since you ate dinner, and you are hungry, then your body needs some sustenance. Choose wisely, things like mixed nuts and seeds or yoghurt are good options.
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Do Athletes Need More Protein
Yes! The amount you consume should definitely go up to match increasing levels of activity.
If you’re an active person and not into doing complicated math, Douglas Kalman, Ph.D., recommends aiming for somewhere around 1 gram per pound.
Krissy Kendall, Ph.D., says that 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight is far too low for lifters and pretty much anyone else who exerts themselves regularly.
“Whether you’re an endurance runner or a gym rat, you need more than the average amount to support the recovery and repair of your muscles. In fact, studies overwhelmingly suggest that athletes need more than twice the amount than sedentary people,” Krissy Kendall, Ph.D., says in the article “How Much Protein Should You Consume Every Day?”
In a position statement, the International Society of Sports Nutrition says an intake of between 1.4-2.0 grams per pound of body weight for active people is “not only safe, but may improve the training adaptations to exercise training.” In a joint position statement, the Dietitians of Canada, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American College of Sports Medicine recommend that some athletes can benefit from much as 2.3 grams per kilogram of body weight, or around 1 gram per pound of body weight.
“The more intensely you exercise, the more you should aim for the high end of that range,” Kendall says.
How Much Protein Should You Consume When Bulking
Bodybuilding nutrition programming consists of three distinct phases that include bulking, cutting, and maintenance.
Bulking is when you intentionally increase your calorie intake to build muscle, cutting is when you lower the calories to burn fat, and then once you have reached your intended level, to maintain what you’ve built.
In all of these phases, it is important to monitor the amount of protein you take.
Even if you don’t plan to compete, it is important to understand how protein works and how your body uses it to build muscle and burn fat, especially if you are pushing your body to the limit.
In this article, you’ll learn about the job that protein does when you are bulking, why it is important, and how you can get the best and most effective gains.
So let’s get started.
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How Protein Supports Your Muscles
Protein is made up of amino acids that act as building blocks for your bodys cells and tissues, including muscle mass. Meaning, your muscle is made up of protein.
These amino acids are essential for supporting numerous bodily functions. If you arent getting the required nutrients – like amino acids – through food, your body doesnt have what it needs and has to compromise. This involves stealing amino acids that are stored in your body which can lead to muscle loss over time.
So How Much Protein Should We Be Having
A daily intake between 1.4g and 2.2g of protein per kilogram of body weight appears to be ideal for active people with those athletes needing a higher percentage of muscle for their chosen sport needing more protein in their diet. Ie. bodybuilders require more protein than a marathon runners.
The study found the between 1.7 and 2.2g of protein per kilogram of body weight was adequate for muscle growth and good immune function in bodybuilders. So, see how you feel on different variations of protein intake.
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How To Actually Calculate Your Protein Needs
Perhaps, then, the best way to measure how much protein you need to consume daily is based on lean body mass, or everything in your body that isnt fat. This could provide a more accurate figure than focusing on just your total weight.
Of course, if youre a fitness model sitting comfortably at four per cent body fat, then theres obviously not going to be much difference whether protein intake is expressed relative to your weight or lean body mass. For the average guy, however, it’s a considerably different story. They’re likely to be carrying more weight around their midriff and have a higher body-fat percentage.
On the flipside, let’s look at an obese man who weighs 135kg. In this case, it would be unwise to base his protein intake on his total bodyweight. Using the 2g of protein per kg, he’ll be eating a whopping 270g protein on a daily basis.
Needless to say, our hypothetical overweight man definitely doesnt need to be eating the equivalent of 10 chicken breasts a day, even if he’s looking to build muscle. In fact, most research shows little benefit to consuming more than 2.2g of protein per kg of lean body mass.
What 30% Body Fat Looks Like
For men aged 20 to 39, anything above 25 per cent body fat is classed as obese. For men 40-years old and above, it’s 28 per cent. Generally considered to be excessive for men and women, 30 per cent body fat makes puts you in the ‘at risk stage’, which can lead to heart disease and cardiovascular issues. We’re sorry to say, you’ll see no signs of six-pack abs at 30 per cent body fat.
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Is Some Protein Powder Dairy Or Lactose
While most are made from milk, lactose-free proteins have been developed for people who have milk allergies. Some are made from lactose-free dairy. Others are completely dairy-free, like plant proteins and products made from eggs and beef.
If you’re looking for a vegan or vegetarian products, there are more options than ever. Some of the most popular plant proteins include:
Soy is unique because it is one of the only complete vegetarian proteins. Soy products are rich in the three branched-chain amino acids which also help your body recover and rebuild after physical activity. It is also high in glutamine, which helps your body recover after exercise, and arginine, which helps dilate blood vessels to get nutrients to your muscles more quickly.
Pea is an increasingly popular option, usually made from yellow split peas. It does not have the same amount of the three BCAAs as whey, but has a more complete amino acid profile than many other vegetarian options. It is a common ingredient in vegetarian blends, but also popular among people with dairy allergies.
Brown rice isn’t a complete protein, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not worth takingâas long as you take enough. A prominent study found that resistance-trained men who took a hefty 48 grams of rice isolate on training days experienced similar muscle gains to men taking the same amount of whey.