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Using Protein to Pack on Muscle Mass!
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For the love of Protein - Size, Strength, Porformance....

Without an adequate supply of protein in yout diet, you can expect almost litle to no gains in muscular size and strength!!!

This article is in dedication to that all important macro-nutrient named protein. It is no wonder that protein is needed for muscular growth, since life itself could not exist without protein. Likewise, without protein, large amounts of muscle mass cannot exist either. Without an adequate supply of protein in your diet, you can expect almost little to no gains.

There have been so many studies done on what amount of protein is needed per day that its blow the mind. The RDA is about 1⁄3 of a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. This is the lowest amount of protein needed to sustain life and cellular functions. Athletes on the other hand burn extensively more calories and therefore require a much higher ratio. As for the bodybuilder under intense training programs the ratio number goes even higher. You see when you lift heavy weights your body breaks down muscle protein into amino acids to repair the damage caused by training, so in order for your muscles to grow bigger and stronger--you need an ample amount of protein.

Just how much protein are we talking about? Well the magic number seems to be about 1.0 grams per pound of bodyweight. However people with faster metabolisms need even more, up to about 1.25 grams per pound of bodyweight. Now these numbers are not absolute as some people will undoubtedly need more or less depending on differences in how their bodies work. For instance some people retain more nitrogen in their muscle cells than others, and others are able to breakdown muscle fiber protein at a faster rate than others, but these numbers serve as a very good starting point.

But in addition to the amount of protein, there is the issue of which kind of protein is best? Does one protein stand heads and shoulders above the rest? To make a long answer short, as long as the protein is from an animal source, there is no protein that is better than any other protein. However there are certain types of protein that are better at certain times of the day or in certain situations. Here is a makeup of the different proteins and how they can be used to optimize results.

Whey Protein - Whey is a milk derived soluble protein that is quickly digested. Whey has been clinically shown to increase protein synthesis by as much as 68% when consumed post workout. This is because whey gives your body a flood of amino acids very quickly, causing a rise in protein synthesis. Unfortunately these same clinical studies showed that whey did nothing to prevent catabolism (muscle breakdown) So what is it good for: Whey is good when consumed post workout because your muscle's need protein fast and whey gives it to them fast, since it is digested in about 30 minutes. For this same reason, you should not take whey on an empty stomach or by itself at any other time of the day. Another reason whey should only really be used post workout is because at any other time when it is taken by itself your body only uses about 30% of the amino acids. You see, whey gives your body such a quick flood of aminos that the body thinks it has more protein than it actually does and it sends the "excess" to the liver, where it is oxidized and used as energy.

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Casein is the opposite of whey. It is an insoluble, slow-digesting, milk derived protein. Casein has been shown to be anti-catabolic in several studies but has no effect on increasing protein synthesis. So what is it good for: Casein gels in the stomach and is slow to digest. In fact it takes casein at least 2.5 hours to digest and up to 4 in some cases. For that reason it is good at any meal other than post workout. Casein is an excellent choice especially right before bed since it gives you a slow stream of aminos over about 3-4 hours and prevents muscle breakdown. You need this slow stream of aminos since your body will be going 8 hours without any protein.

Soy- Derived from, you guessed it, soy plants! Soy is very unique because it is the only complete, non animal protein. Complete means that it contains all the essential and non-essential amino acids. Soy contains flavones, which are good for your health, and has been shown in some studies to reduce the risk of cancer. It is also rich in Glutamine, which is perhaps the most bodybuilding important amino acid. So what's it good for? Overall, soy is good for your health, and one or two servings a day would be a good idea. However there are better proteins for bodybuilder's goals. As far as the notion that soy raises estrogen levels goes, it is true but only if you consume abnormally large amounts of soy, so don't be scared to have soy every once and awhile.

Egg Protein - Eggs have the best amino acid profile available on a single protein. They also have the highest net nitrogen utilization rating, which means that you use more nitrogen which is what actually builds the muscle. Think about it, you're eating a complete animal, it's nature's gift to bodybuilders. I personally have experienced noticeable gains when I increased my egg consumption. Egg is a medium rate digesting protein, about 1.5-3 hours. So what is it good for: Egg protein would be good at breakfast, lunch, whenever, save for post workout and before bed.

Meat Proteins- As far as meat protein sources go red meat going to be #1! Red meat is good because it raises test levels and provide muscle energy from from b-vitamins and minerals. Lean surce of chicken are also very good for packing on size but don't seem to provide that same kick as beef, so supplements with a good b-complex would be advised. White fish such as wild caught Cod and wild Alaskan Salamon are also very good because they contain allot of good fats (EFAs) and have higher nitrogen utilization than some other meat sources.

Conclusion: So knowing all of this information we can deduce that a blended protein source would be optimal for muscle growth. A protein that contains fast digesting Whey for increasing protein synthesis, medium digesting egg for a great amino acid profile, and slow digesting casein for anti-catabolic support. This protein (in the proper blend) would start giving you amino acids 1/2 hour after ingestion and would continue giving you a steady stream of aminos for 4 hours. Keep in mind blended proteins cost more but are superior to any single protein source by itself.

Tags: Supplements Protein Muscle Builder

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