Many bodybuilders do not want to accept this simple fact and will continue with their diets consisting of no more than 3500 calories and 200 grams of protein making very little or no progress. What is the point of busting your ass in the gym day in and day out to put on 3-5lbs of muscle tops in a years time? If your goal is to stay in good condition year round then that is fine, you probably shouldn't be reading this article. If you want to hang with the big boys then your going to have to put in your time at the dinner table, hungry or not.
The main component you are going to have to focus the most about in your diet is protein... and more protein. Protein is the building block for muscle tissue, so if you want to get real mass you better start eating it. Your training in the gym is a stimulus for growth. Training will not make you larger if you do not put your body in the proper anabolic environment for growth. So now, if training stimulates growth, and if protein is the building block for new muscle tissue, don't you think if you train with some heavy ass weights and pound down the protein you will be muscularly larger?
Then why are so many people that you see training religiously in the gym not getting progressively larger as time goes on? This lack of muscle growth is mostly attributed to their poor diets. If you want your time in the gym to count you should increase your protein intake up to 2 g X body weight. So if you are 200lbs and are trying to climb to 220lbs you should be eating around 450 g of protein a day.
This is not an easy feat by any means and you are going to have to start employing some techniques to make sure you get all your protein through out the day. Your protein intake for the day should be split between roughly 50% whole foods, and 50% shakes. In my mind the shakes are the most important concept due to the fact that these will allow you to get in a large amount of protein very easily. So lets now look at the different types of protein that can be implemented into these shakes.
Whey Protein Isolate
The two forms of whey that you should concentrate on is ion exchange and micro filtration. These are the two purest forms of whey currently on the market. Whey contains extremely high levels of BCAA's, which makes an ideal scenario for a post-workout meal.
The only problem is that whey is pretty expensive compared to some of the other proteins available on the market. The best thing to do would be to incorporate a moderate amount of whey into a blend of other, less expensive proteins.
Learn more about whey protein, CLICK HERE!
Milk Proteins (Casein and Micellar Casein)
Milk protein is an old standby that everyone used to use. The only problem is that milk has a high lactose level with a low ratio to protein to carbohydrates. This means that you can't get that much protein from milk without suffering from some stomach problems. But with the new technology we are now able to isolate the protein and achieve a casein isolate. These proteins contain high amounts of glutamine and are very good for anti-catabolism.
They are very slow to digest which is good because the protein will stay in your stomach longer and be secreted slowly over time. Caseinate is very inexpensive and should be incorporated into your blend. Micellar Casein on the other hand is extremely expensive due to it's delicate processing. But it is by far the purest form of casein on the market.
Learn more about milk protein, CLICK HERE!
Soy Protein Isolate
Now, many people believe that soy is only for women, and could never imagine a hardcore bodybuilder drinking a soy protein shake. Soy has some very positive applications for bodybuilding. Soy has a very high quantity of BCAA's and Glutamine, which would be another useful protein to incorporate into your blend. You have to make sure that the soy protein you are getting is isolate and not just regular soy. If it is an isolated protein it is a complete protein even though it is derived from a plant source.
The only downside is that it does not contain high amounts of BCAA's, but nevertheless it is very inexpensive and it is a nice protein to add to your blend. The best choice on the market is a product called "supro," it is a form of soy isolate.
Learn more about soy protein, CLICK HERE!
Last but not least, the classic egg white protein source. Egg white is an extremely good protein and used to be superior to whey before it came along. There are some very good egg white protein powders on the market, but now with the pasteurized egg whites, you can add those into a protein shake raw and not risk salmonella poisoning. If you don't like to eat cooked eggs this is a good way to add some egg white protein to your daily diet.
Learn more about egg protein, CLICK HERE!
Aside from whole food these are the best proteins currently available on the market. What I recommend is that you either go to an online manufacturer who can combine these four proteins into an equal part blend, or go to a store and purchase individual tubs of the four different kinds and combine them into one. By doing this you basically have the perfect protein powder, that contains equal parts of whey isolate, casein, soy, and egg white. By making half of your daily protein intake come from these special shakes you will be able to maximize your performance in the gym as well.
The best time to implement these shakes would be when you wake up in the morning, after your training session, and at night as one of your last meals before bed. By doing this you are having three shakes a day, which should each contain around 80g-100g of protein.
That brings your intake to 240g-300g just from three meals, along with that you can add three more meals consisting of around 50g-75g of whole food. Now your intake will be around 400g+, which will most certainly put you at an anabolic level. Your whole food choices should mainly consist of steak, chicken, and turkey, fish is a poor choice when trying to add size because it gets digested very quickly and will not give you the same benefits as a piece of steak.
So now you must be thinking it's only protein that you should be worrying about, which is not true. Carbohydrates and fats are two very important elements in your diet, but your protein intake is the most crucial. I feel that in order to maximize muscle tissue gain, and minimize any increases in body fat your diet should have 3+ meals of Protein with Carbohydrates and small amounts of fats, while your last 3+ meals should contain only Protein with moderate amounts of healthy fats and fibrous vegetables.
Using a diet that is set up like this will allow you to gain muscle while slowly lowering body fat over time. Your strength in the gym will also increase due to the change in protein levels and the increase in calorie levels.
Bodybuilding.com Protein Finder!