Protein consumption of 1.5 to two grams per pound of body weight is considered beneficial for most people. If you’re looking into bulking up, proper protein intake is essential for continuous muscle growth.
Protein is the main ingredient you need in your system to build or maintain muscles. Some easy-to-find examples are tuna, lean meat, and your handy shaker of whey. Here, you will find some tips and tricks on how to pack on with protein most effectively.
Protein intake schedule
It’s recommended that you eat every 2 to 3 hours to keep your body frequently sustained with protein. This ensures that your muscles have a consistent source of energy to build on. Not only does it help you bulk up, but it also repairs damaged tissues from a strenuous workout. Needless to say, tissues need to repair to avoid injuries and for your muscles to grow.
Frequent protein intake also stabilizes the amount of sugar that enters the bloodstream. Stable blood sugar levels help in controlling catabolic stress hormones, like cortison. It likewise aids in preventing fatigue. Consistent intake also helps in maintaining a muscle-growing system in your body.
Best sources of protein
The more sources of protein you try, the better! The best results are derived from taking in several types sources per day. Each type of protein produces varied amounts of amino acids.
Amino acids make fat burning faster while increasing muscle growth. It also prevents muscle damages and helps in increasing your endurance. Needless to say, it is an essential part of your diet that is luckily contained in the most common sources of protein.
Mix and match your usual protein sources at home– from your usual supplements to natural sources. Egg whites, meat, soy, peanuts, and wheat sources are the most common items wherein you can intake your needed protein dosage. Animal based sources can deliver all the amino acids your body needs, while plant-based sources are often unable to provide the necessary amino acids.
Different sources for different times of the day
Ideally, you can intake protein upon waking up, pre-workout, and post-workout. For best results, opt for fast-digesting proteins especially during pre and post-workout. If you want to get amino acids flowing through your bloodstream immediately, try prepping a fast-digesting protein breakfast upon waking up.
However, right before going to bed, it is ideal to ingest slow-digesting proteins. This is because you will be asleep the whole night and will not be taking any more solids. Cosuming a slow-digesting protein before bed will provide a steady amount of amino acids. This ensures that your body won’t break down your muscles to burn as you sleep.
A dose of whey shake first thing in the morning is the best quick solution. Because of the overnight fasting, your body is in catabolic state upon waking up. This means that your muscles are being consumed by your body as fuel. A glass of whey should do the trick and immediately replenish the amino acid levels in your bloodstream. It should stop your body from consuming your hard-earned gains any further.
Adding casein to the equation
The best post-workout meal is comprised of protein and fast-digesting carbs, but casein does wonders in muscle growth. Casein is an additional supplement mixed to your whey protein. Studies show that it is most effective post-workout because it amplifies the body’s capacity to absorb amino acids. It is able to draw them out from the blood and divert them straight to the muscles, impacting growth.
Casein also helps in reducing muscle breakdown as you sleep and speeds up muscle strain recovery. With all its benefits, it’s worth taking the extra supplement.
Keep it low-fat
Needless to say, keeping your diet low-fat is still key. A clean diet keeps your overall digestion health at maximum efficiency. A couple of easy-to-find low-fat protein options are chicken breast and turkey. These are quality proteins that contain different amino acids from whey and red meat.
Being on a low-fat diet doesn’t mean you can’t go snacking. Before a workout, it’s best to intake less than 10 grams of fat. Studies show that eating high-fat snacks or meals pre-workout increases nitric oxide levels, messing up with your breathing.
Low-fat protein sources such as low-fat cottage cheese or chicken breast are the best types of food to get you through your workout.
Nonetheless, you don’t have to take red meat out of the picture. Red meat is still a healthy source of protein that contains more energy-supporting nutrients. Feel free to enjoy that steak later in the day. Slow-digesting proteins such as beef contains cholesterol which is pertinent in building testosterone. This also produces a variant of amino acids different from chicken breast and turkey meat.
Sleeping on protein
Slow-digesting protein is most advisable to ingest before you sleep. Casein or cottage cheese are good examples of what you can eat. Your muscles need to be fueled for the night to avoid your body from burning them as you sleep. Casein will particularly aid in keeping your body burn the fat instead of the muscle while you are asleep.