Protein is the fuel that powers the muscle growth of bodybuilders worldwide. Discover how to get the right amount of protein to maximize your muscle-building efforts in the gym.
Getting the Right Mix of Protein is Important
Protein is critical in the development of muscles and strength. It is critical to life and provides the body with the main building blocks from which other essential body components like enzymes, hormones and body mass is produced.
So bodybuilders clearly need to get enough protein every day to fuel their energy needs and to facilitate muscle growth. But if we eat too much protein, the excess can end up being stored as fat.
Getting the balance right is essential. So, how much protein do bodybuilders need every day? To better understand and answer this question, let’s have a look at the role played by proteins in the body.
The Role of Protein
Protein comprises of up to 50% of the dry body weight. It is a chemical compound constituting of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and hydrogen. The human body is estimated to contain up to 50,000 different proteins.
They are found virtually everywhere within the body and play various roles from muscle tissue structure to the repair of red blood cells, fingernail, hair and various other functions. In this article, let’s confine ourselves to the crucial role played by proteins in muscle building and the amount bodybuilders need to consume in a single day.
A variety of amino acids is required for building muscle proteins. Some of these amino acids must be obtained from food and are usually referred to as the essential amino acids. When you eat a meal containing proteins, your body will break down the food to produce amino acids which it uses to build its protein for muscle repair ad regeneration.
This means if you eat too few proteins every day, your body will become deficient in the essential amino acids required to build and repair muscles. The effect is more serious for bodybuilders who burn more calories every day.
Muscle growth will become impaired affecting the process of muscle building. Bodybuilders will damage more muscle fibers as they exercise hence the need to consume more proteins.
The Perfect Balance
So how high do you have to go with protein consumption? Most bodybuilding professionals will recommend one gram of protein per pound of body weight. Eating at least this much protein is essential if you’re going to build bigger muscles and acquire enough strength.
However, it also means you don’t have to eat a massive amount of proteins to build muscle. Take for example a male bodybuilder weighing approximately 200 pounds. He would need to eat up to 200 grams of protein per day to be able to build bigger muscles.
Eating excess proteins does not contribute to muscle building, and most of it goes to waste. Studies conducted and published in the Journal of sports and exercise metabolism shows various dangers associated with excess consumption of proteins.
The general rule is to consume a high protein diet if you plan to build large muscles in a short period.
However, you should not eat too much protein per meal, either. The healthiest solution is to evenly spread your protein consumption through several meals a day, while ensuring the total amount consumed remains within the recommended limits.
Protein bars and shakes are excellent ways to increase your protein intake and build muscle. As you get stronger, you must maintain a high protein intake in proportion to the needs of bigger muscles. Consumption of below one gram of protein per pound in a day may lead to muscle and strength loss.
There have been various suggestions that high intake of protein causes kidney damage. However, numerous studies done on bodybuilders and athletes show such claims to be untrue. Bodybuilders cannot do without high consumption of proteins.
Ensure you have a timetable on your meals to be able to accurately track the amount of proteins consumed daily. More studies are showing that the body can handle as much protein as possible in a single sitting. There is no harm in taking a lot of protein as most people may claim. However, there are no benefits to consuming too much protein per meal, either.
A Proven Formula
The formula of one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight has stood the test of time, proving to work for many generations of bodybuilders. No doubt it will work just fine for you, too.