Compared to the normal individual, athletes and weight-lifters (of all levels) have an increased need for protein. Unlike the average joe who spends gym-time looking at (or trying to find) his abs in the mirror, you are determined to
add lean tissue, get stronger and build bigger muscles
. However, without supplying your body with the right amount of amino acids, your muscles aren't going to become any bigger or stronger. In essence, consuming the right type of
can make the difference between making that muscle-tee fit a little tighter around your biceps and paying for a gym membership and having nothing to show for your hard work.
Assuming you are already a subscriber to at least one strength magazine, you should have some understanding that diet and supplements are essential to gaining muscle quickly and effectively.
Because there are approximately one million articles, books, and advertisements persuading you to purchase every form of protein on the market, the only thing to show for your well-planned weight lifting program is microscopic changes in your body composition. It's no joke that it is an everyday struggle to attempt to uncover the
best dietary protein
to combine with your training routine.
When it comes to getting ripped and lean, let's examine the diet of a bodybuilder. Aside from the vegetables, brown rice, and oatmeal (for providing the muscles with fuel), you won't see a well-trained strength athlete walk out of the grocery store without a couple dozen eggs, protein powder, a carton of skim milk and a package or two of lean meats. Based on conventional wisdom,
whey protein, milk and meat are three of the best sources of dietary protein
. Now toss in some eggs and you have yourself a grade-A diet.
In the past couple of years, eggs have taken a beating from nutritionists because of their association with heart disease and dietary cholesterol. But not to worry because the reputation of eggs is slowly changing. Whether you heat them, beat them, or mix them in,
eggs are a must-have-eat for any person wanting to put on muscle
. As the gold standard for complete proteins, eggs contain the purest form of protein in whole foods. By eating one large egg you can easily provide your body with a little over 6 grams of protein and all nine essential amino acids. Although the majority of protein is in the white of the egg (3.5 g), the yellow "stuff" is not all that bad. By occasionally throwing in an egg yolk to your meal, you're giving your body 2.5 grams of protein, 2.4 g and 0.6 g of the "good" monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, respectively, and plenty of vitamins and minerals. When giving your body high-quality protein after an intense training session, you can guarantee immediate muscle repair and growth. Furthermore, a daily diet high in
provides your body with a steady supply of nutrients to build new muscle tissue.
Find any Atkins advocate who religiously forgoes carbohydrates on an everyday basis and meat takes precedence on his/her grocery list. However, one of the most important priorities in the muscle building process is providing the body with enough fuel to keep the engine burning. In other words, for any strength training individual, calories from carbohydrates are imperative. Although the low energy levels may not work in your favor, Mr.Atkins may have had a few good intentions with the meat concept. Although a number of animal proteins are high in fat and cholesterol, lean meat is rich in iron, B-Vitamins, and protein. Similar to traditional red meats, fish are high in protein (7 grams per ounce) and contain a number of the essential amino acids necessary for protein synthesis and development of lean muscle tissue. By providing your body with good sources of protein, you will facilitate muscle repair and aid in a faster recovery after resistance training.
Thinking back, can you recall the many times when you were told to finish your glass of milk at dinner? Mother told you if you want strong bones, milk does a body good. Surprisingly, she was a step ahead of the research. The main protein in cow?s milk, casein, digests slowly and improves the chances of prolonged muscle-building activity after a workout. During any resistance training session, your body requires supplementary protein to reduce muscle catabolism (breakdown) and supply the necessary amino acids to support muscle anabolism (buildup). With this knowledge, milk would be an ideal protein for any individual aspiring for a more muscular build. So for those who can't find the time to blend together a
immediately after a workout, pick up a cartoon of milk the next time you are heading home from the gym.
As you are well aware,
will certainly help your workouts, allow you to build bigger muscles and foster a quicker recovery. Think of supplements as equipment to help with your crafts. When you see the finished product, it looks oh-so-good. Currently,
is one of the most popular supplements on the market and, for good reason, should be a staple supplement for all fitness enthusiasts. Milk contains two main proteins; casein and whey. During the process of cheese-making from milk, liquid whey is separated from the casein proteins. In addition to its high biological value (quality of protein) and high protein efficiency ratio (utilization of protein in the body), whey protein is loaded with the necessary branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) that your body craves during an intense training session. Vital for the resistance training individual, BCAAs are directly metabolized into the muscle cell and play a major role in building lean muscle tissue. Along with the benefit of increasing amino acid levels to encourage muscle tissue growth, whey protein contains little fat, lactose, or cholesterol. Because of its rapid digestion rate, whey is a perfect post-workout drink for all fitness devotees. Out of all the
on the market, you certainly know which whey to go.
All jokes aside, is there one whey that is better than the rest? If spending your money wisely is a must for your banking account, it is imperative that you recognize which type of whey protein will promote the greatest anabolic outcomes before you dish out your hard-earned cash.
Among the many ingredients listed first on the container of your processed whey protein product, you will most likely find one of two types of whey protein;
whey protein isolate or whey protein concentrate
. Although most products start with whey, there is a large difference between the two! Whey isolate (the more effective of the two) contains over 90% pure whey protein and very little fat or cholesterol. Additionally, for those who stay clear of the dairy aisle,
whey isolate contains almost no lactose
. On the flip side,
whey concentrate protein contains between 30% and 90% whey protein
(depending on the product) and as the percentage of whey protein concentrate decreases the amount of lactose and fat increases. In conclusion, if you are a serious lifter, looking for a competitive edge, a concentrate will not meet your muscle-building needs.
By now you have realized that whey isolate is the preferred protein to help pack on a couple pounds of muscle. But as the naive consumer, you should be aware that not all isolates are processed similarly. The two main whey isolate processing methods include ion exchange and cross-flow microfiltration.
Isolated proteins, created through ion exchange, are separated in an ion exchange column based on their electrical charge. During this reasonably inexpensive process, however, many healthy components of whey are stripped from the protein and many amino acids are denatured. As a result, ion exchange proteins, just like concentrates, have sacrificed their biological value for quantity.
In complete contrast,
cross-flow microfiltered (cfm) isolates
rank at the top of the list of undenatured protein created among isolated whey. Although the process of cfm is similar to ion exchange, microfiltered proteins hold onto the valuable nutrients that are lost during the exchange process. The low temperature procedure used in cfm isolates conserves its biological activity and maintains a favorable balance of proteins found in whey. As the best source of whey protein, cfm isolates contain no denatured proteins, more calcium and less sodium compared to ion exchange and a greater quantity of amino acids.
With its high concentration of protein, whey protein isolate, containing cfm isolates, is a better choice when choosing protein in the diet. With the right amount of amino acids, cellular and hormonal responses from resistance training are significantly improved with the right type of whey protein. Simply put, if you regularly train for a muscular build, you should be eating quality foods high in protein on an every day basis. The question remains, however, are you eating sufficient amounts of protein to build quality muscle? According to the RDA, current recommendations suggest 1 gram of protein per every 2 pounds of bodyweight. For the active weight lifter or athlete, the body requires more protein to assist with the demands placed on it during training.
Therefore, 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is adequate to fulfill daily protein requirements. The math is simple. A 150 lb athlete would need approximately 150 grams of protein.
You now know, or have been refreshed on, the top sources of protein for the most optimal strength training diet. For the few who can not stomach a smoothie filled with protein powder or cringe at the site of whole eggs, boiling water, or chickens, you are considerably sabotaging your diet of the necessary BCAA?s. Therefore, milk may be your ideal protein. And what about the very few who prefer the garden over the butchery? Without red meat or fish proteins, you are not receiving the necessary good fats in your diet. Try adding a
whey protein shake
and your growing muscles with thank you greatly.
Because meeting protein requirements is a daily priority, add some variety to your routine by trying a better-quality post-workout drink. If an increase in lean mass, with greater muscle fiber growth, is what you are looking for, whey cfm isolate is clearly the superior anabolic protein for any resistance training individual.