As you can see the topic "protein" is an extremely important topic to the bodybuilder. In summary I wanted to stress a few of the major points I discussed above that I believe will give you the fire power you need to start maximizing your nutrition, as well as your performance in and out of the gym.
Get enough complete protein daily. Without sufficient calories from protein, the body will shift from an anabolic state to a catabolic one as it starts tearing down muscle tissue to meet its metabolic needs for protein.
Maintaining a diet rich in protein calories from complete protein sources will help prevent the shift to a catabolic state. A good rule of thumb when looking to build mass is to consume 15-20 times one's body weight in calories on a daily basis.
For example, if a bodybuilder weighs 200 lbs. he should eat 3000 - 4000 calories per day. If the goal is the lean down 10 -15 times one's body weight in calories on a daily basis may be more appropriate. Additionally, protein's influence on metabolism is greatest when sufficient protein exists in the diet.
Small Frequent Meals:
Eat small frequent meals comprised of high quality protein and complex carbohydrates. Two keys to controlling insulin levels through the diet are meal frequency and food composition. By controlling insulin levels properly maximum anabolic growth and energy levels can be obtained.
Keep protein intake high to take advantage of the thermic effect. Protein (amino acids) not only builds muscle and prevents catabolic reactions in the body; its consumption from whole food sources has other advantages such as stimulating the metabolism through thermic effects. Shoot for 1.5 to 2 grams per pound of bodyweight.
Eat a majority of your protein from whole foods. Eating whole foods can provide a higher thermic rate, while also limiting added chemicals, and reducing the risk of consuming denatured proteins.
Mix Of Food:
Consume the right mix of food to make maximum gains. Almost any reasonable diet will give you enough protein each day. Eating a variety of foods will ensure that you get all of the amino acids you need. Sufficient calories from carbohydrates and fat means having protein spared for growth, instead of used for energy. Consuming the right mix of food can also help regulate insulin levels.
Minimize processed foods. Avoid highly processed foods, especially refined carbohydrates which can reek havoc on the body, spike insulin levels, add excess fat, inhibit fat burning reactions and negatively impact overall health.
Highly Processed Carbs:
Cut back on highly processed carbohydrates. This will improve levels of blood triglycerides and HDL, and so may reduce your chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or other form of cardiovascular disease. Substituting some of the processed carbs with quality protein will reduce these health risks and will make you feel full longer, and stave off hunger pangs.
Low Carb Dieting:
Avoid low carb dieting. Active people need plenty of carbohydrates for energy and to supply the needs of the brain.
Pay Attention To The Label:
You rarely eat straight protein. Some comes packaged with lots of unhealthy fat, like when you eat marbled beef or drink whole milk. If you eat meat, steer yourself toward the leanest cuts. If you like dairy products, skim or low-fat versions are healthier choices. Beans, soy, nuts, and whole grains offer protein without much saturated fat and with plenty of healthful fiber and micronutrients.
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Use supplements to maximize gains. Supplements can provide a very quick and easy source of protein that is comparable in price to other whole protein sources. A good plan might be to consume 3-4 food meals per day and 2-3 supplemental protein meals.
Choose your supplement company and your products wisely. Picking a company that is reputable is extremely important to ensure that you are purchasing a product that has useful proteins that have not be denatured, or have not become rancid.
Fast Acting Whey:
Use a fast acting whey protein when your body's amino acid levels are at their lowest. Your body's ability to efficiently utilize a concentrated flux of amino acids is greatest at this time, therefore by taking advantage of whey's fast digesting properties maximum muscle synthesis can be derived. Research has shown that proteins that enter the blood stream rapidly significantly increase protein synthesis.
Slow Digesting Protein:
Use a slow digesting protein (like casein) in the evenings before bed. Research has shown that proteins that enter the blood stream slowly have a pronounced effect on protein breakdown, significantly inhibiting breakdown even at low quantities.
Consider incorporating a protein blend during other times. A combination of a fast digesting protein with a slower digesting protein (such as whey and casein) the amino acid levels in the blood can be raised quickly with the fast digesting protein and then sustained with the slower digesting protein (such as casein to initiate and sustain protein synthesis for maximum net muscle gain).
Incorporate milk derived protein sources including milk protein isolates, whey protein isolates, and casein into your supplement program. Milk proteins have several very powerful peptides that can regulate digestion, immunity, and muscle growth.
Increase water consumption when increasing protein consumption. More protein means more nitrogen waste from protein metabolism that needs to be flushed out of your body. It is very important to increase water consumption so that the kidneys run smoothly and successfully eliminate the toxic byproducts of protein metabolism. Aim for at least a gallon of water a day.
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For the purposes of developing muscle, two simple guidelines regarding protein consumption to follow is:
Consume a source of high quality complete protein with every meal at frequent intervals approximately two to three hours apart, five to six times per day.
Consume a minimum of 1.0 grams to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2005. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 18. Nutrient Data
- Coultate T.P. (2002), 'Proteins', in Food. The Chemistry of its Components, 4th edition, Cambridge, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 126-174.
- Robinson, S.M., Jaccard, C., Persaud, C., Jackson, A.A., Jáquier, E., Schutz, Y.T.: Protein turnover and thermogenesis in response to high-protein and high-carbohydrate feeding in men. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 52, 1, 72-80 (1990).
- Hu FB, Stampfer MJ, Rimm EB, et al. A prospective study of egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease in men and women. JAMA 1999; 281:1387-94
- Harper, J. W. American Dairy Products Institute.
- Gianazza,Eberini I, Arnoldi A, Wait R, Sirtori CR. A proteomic investigation of isolated soy proteins with variable effects in experimental and clinical studies. Journal of Nutrition 133:9-14, 2003.
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