At the Health Club
- Published on Tuesday, 27 October 2009 20:25
- Written by Giles Howard
Diet is extremely important in physical fitness but, for individuals trying to add muscle, it’s often difficult to consume the right nutrients in the right amounts. Specifically, it’s very hard for people to get enough protein in their diet naturally when they’re working out in order to bulk up.
For this reason, individuals engaged in heavy strength training and even people incorporating strength training into their weight loss regimen should consider the use of protein supplements.
First, recognize that no matter how many hours you put into the gym, the rate at which you add muscle is largely dependent on proper protein consumption. The average male requires about 0.4 grams of protein per day per pound of bodyweight. When working out to build muscle, this requirement more than doubles to 1 gram of protein per day per pound of bodyweight.It would require a major dietary change for most people to meet these protein requirements through food, so protein supplements become almost mandatory for people serious about muscle gain.
A large market of protein supplements has developed over the years, offering a variety of supplements that cater to bodybuilders, individuals trying to gain weight and people trying to avoid lactose or carbohydrate consumption.
But most individuals working out at a gym to gain muscle don’t require something that’s low-carb, high in calories or low in lactose. Instead, the vast majority of such people require a safe supplement that’s low in calories but high in protein.
Whey and casein have emerged as the best proteins for people trying to gain muscles. Derived from dairy products, whey and casein release protein into the body differently and are thus each suitable for different uses.
Casein is a slow release protein that forms a gel in the stomach and slowly releases protein into the body over a period of three to four hours. It’s ideal for use in the morning and evening when the muscles require protein to repair themselves. That being said, the fact that casein forms a gel in the stomach for so long means that it shouldn’t be taken before exercise. Taking it before exercise can irritate the stomach and make ab workouts uncomfortable.
The proper protein supplement to take immediately before or after the gym is whey protein. Whey is a fast acting protein that releases into the body within 15 minutes of its consumption. It promotes immediate muscle growth after physical activity and is also a suitable pre-workout snack.
It’s commonly available in concentrate and isolate forms with the isolate containing more protein, less fat and less lactose.
Supplements derived from egg and soy are also available but casein and especially whey are the most popular products on the market. Whey and casein also work well together in tandem because whey should not be taken at night and casein should not be taken before or immediately after a workout. By taking both whey and casein at different points throughout the day, it’s possible to get the most out of your protein.
As you can see, the amount of protein required to effectively build muscles requires the use of protein supplements. Importantly, it’s not just about how many grams you consume but also what they’re made up of, how they are released into the body and when they are taken.
It’s possible to add muscle consistently and safely by following the above advice on protein supplements. Don’t let your workout go to waste; consume the right amount of protein.