Every serious lifter eats tons of protein, 200 grams, 300 grams, & even 400 grams or more. Ask any competitive bodybuilder: protein provides the building blocks of muscle. Whatever protein you use, here are seven tips for maximizing protein use.
If you only use one kind of protein, like whey, then it's high time you cycled off and used another protein source. Just like you wouldn't stick with only turkey breasts during your pre-contest diet, you shouldn't stick to one protein powder. As with training, vary, vary vary.
Why do pros get their whole proteins from a variety of sources? It's not just because of taste. Whole proteins vary in terms of amino acid profiles, vitamins, minerals, and other key nutrients. The same applies with protein powders. Want the best protein powder? Mix them up. Each protein comes complete with its own set of unique benefits and microfractions. For example, casein is the richest in glutamine, and has casomorphins which help release aminos over a long time. Soy has isoflavones. Whey has high BCAA levels and fractions such as GMPs and lactoferrin. Egg is great because it's a high quality protein that's lactose-free and dairy-free.
Make sure you're getting enough raw protein. Serious bodybuilders take anywhere from one to two grams of protein for every pound of bodyweight. You might also want to try mixing things up: add 50g of extra protein, spread it out over a day, for a month and see what happens.
If you're eating 4-6 meals a day, make sure you divide your total daily protein intake between those meals. For example, let's say you weigh 200 pounds and you want to consume 200 grams of protein. If you eat five meals, then each meal should contain 40g of protein.
Consider specializing your protein use depending on the time of day and the frequency with which you eat. If you have time to eat 6 meals a day, then whey protein will work great. If not, you may want to use a protein like casein. Are you considering taking a protein shake before bed? Stick to a slow-acting protein like casein and avoid whey. Look for a quick shot of aminos after training? Use whey instead.
Take protein along with carbs immediately after lifting. Consider a 2 to 1 ratio of carbs to protein, or about 100g of carbs and 50g of protein.
Increasing protein intakes means increasing your water intakes as well. More protein means more nitrogen that needs to be flushed out of your body. Water does the trick. Aim for at least a gallon of water a day.
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