When I first started weight training I noticed that I was seeing some gains in my muscle mass but not as much as I had expected. Why? I was working hard and exercising regularly but my gains were not that impressive. I got talking to one of the big guys at the gym and he told me the reason I wasn’t making the muscle gains I wanted was because of my diet. I was consuming enough carbohydrates to fuel my workouts but my protein intake was way too low. What he told me was simple – Eat Protein Build Muscle! Simple as that.
Our bodies need sufficient protein to develop new muscle and maintain existing muscle. The protein we eat is broken down into amino acids and then converted back into protein. Build muscle and this amount increases.
The amount of protein you need to consume depends on your body size, and the intensity of your training program.
Experts agree that the average person undertaking a light to moderate training regime should consume 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight
Anybody undertaking a more intense, heavier training program should consume 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight
Those people involved in very heavy, very intense exercise should consume 2.5 grams of protein per kilo of body weight.
Getting this amount of protein into your body is not easy. A 12 stone man will need to consume about 76g of protein each day. Good sources of protein are red meat, white meat, fish, chicken or turkey, eggs and beans to name a few.
To supplement your daily intake of protein you can consume protein powders. These also contain various supplements and amino acids to aid muscle production. These come in various flavours and are easy and convenient to mix. Having said this it is desirable to mix your protein intake between ‘real’ food and protein powders. It is claimed that the body has to work harder to break down the protein from food so you burn more calories in the process. So does protein build muscle? Definitely, without it you won’t build any muscle!