Protein and joining the gym go hand in hand in today’s world. Years ago the prospect of protein powders and shakes were something that only those crazy meat heads did who ate a whole cow in between workouts, but now protein is the standard for the majority of gym goers, getting it right can have HUGE advantages in how effective your workouts are.
Now we know that for those just getting into the scene protein can be a daunting prospect to understand and deal with, but it’s important that you do because it could be the most important thing you do in the venture of hitting the gym to achieve your goals.
That’s why we put together this little article to help you put the basics together in your head, if you’re still confused then you can send us a message on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram and we’ll help in any way we can.
Now I’m sure you know that protein is needed to build muscle. But I guess the why is the bit that is a mystery to you.
What is protein?
Protein is a molecule made from chemicals called amino acids which you’ve probably heard of. Don’t worry too much about the specifics, there are over 20 different amino acids and our body produces most of them but there are 9 which the human body doesn’t.
The 9 amino acids that the body doesn’t produce need to be brought in externally, one of these is protein.
How much protein you need is a constantly moving target so it just depends on what you are trying to achieve.
According to research, the most protein your body can deal with is 2.2g per kg of bodyweight. Any more than that and you’ll probably just be throwing up, but consider that if you are around 100kg then that amount of meat is roughly 7 chicken breasts per day, quite a bit of protein if you have a fairly normal diet at the minute.
So what should your target be, well a standard amount to go for is about 1.5g per kg of bodyweight. A quick tip for this is to work out how much you need across the meals you eat through the day as your body can only process so much protein at once.
The two main types of protein powders available are whey powder and casein. Casein releases protein into your system slowly and is often recommended before bed as it will release through the night which can be a crucial time in the muscle building process. Whey Protein provides a straight up hit to the system with protein as you take it.
Do I need to take protein on straight after the gym?
Put simply, no. The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition examined 23 studies on protein timing around the ‘anabolic window’ straight after you have trained and found no correlation between the timing of protein intake and muscle strength. The more important thing to worry about is that your muscles have a supply of protein to work with throughout the day as your body will be rebuilding from the minute you start smashing those reps out on the bench.
I can’t get that much protein in my meals during the day, how do get this intake up?
There could be many reasons why you can’t get that much protein and it could be as simple as you just don’t like eating that much meat, the way to get this sorted is protein shakes. Protein powders and drinks is a huge and ever expanding market and you can get hold of some great stuff and flavours to suit just about anyone.
We love MyProtein for its simple process and great site to keep us topped up, head over there now to take a look at their huge range of flavours of protein