Protein is essential for all those trying to gain muscle mass. During resistance training, small tears form in your muscles. Eating protein helps to repair these tears and also helps to gain muscle mass.
Therefore proteins are vital to the health of your muscles definitive. However, there are different types of protein and quality varies. Additionally, the amount of protein you need to consume should be increased if you exercise frequently.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, people who participate in activities based on strength training, such as weightlifting, need to consume 1.5 to 2 grams of protein per pound of weight.
Sources of Protein
The human body is about 60 to 70 percent protein. Besides the water this is the most prevalent substance in the body. Proteins are made of amino acids that help gain muscle mass.
The American Journal of Physiology says that the body breaks down more than 20 amino acids. Some of the amino acids are considered essential because the body cannot produce.
These are also known as “complete proteins“.
Examples of essential proteins are:
- Other animal sources
The proteins to which they lack all essential amino acids are called “incomplete proteins.”
Examples include food sources:
This protein is derived from soybeans and is considered a complete protein source, as it provides all essential amino acids. The problem with consuming soy protein to gain muscle mass is that recent research has revealed potential problems.
Studies have found that phytoestrogens contained in soy protein decreased testosterone levels while increasing estrogen, the female hormone.
The results of this research are currently under discussion within the scientific community. However, for now there are other sources of protein tested that can be considered.
An important factor to think about when looking for a protein is the rate of absorption into the body. Whey protein is found in milk and is considered a fast-acting protein.
In other words, your body starts to absorb the whey protein almost immediately. It takes less than an hour for your body to fully absorb the amino acids associated with whey protein.
Therefore, the whey protein can dramatically increase the synthesis of muscles, if consumed after exercise. If taken after exercise also helps your muscles recover faster.
Another benefit of whey protein is that it helps regulate your body weight, while increasing muscle mass at the same time, notes the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
Unlike whey protein, casein is a slow-acting substance. It can take up to three hours to be absorbed by your body after being consumed. However, this is not necessarily a negative attribute.
The muscle fiber in your body also requires a sustainable source of protein throughout the day. The Journal of Strength Conditioning explains in the most effective protein supplements consist of a combination of both whey protein and casein.
The fact that both whey protein and casein have inconsistent absorption rates makes a perfect match to improve muscles.
Along with the right types of protein, the moment you consume this essential fuel for the muscles is also important. Research has found that the hour after a workout is crucial time to consume protein. The period after strenuous activity is when your body needs more recovery.
Many weightlifters also consume protein before bed. Your body goes into a fasting state at night. While you sleep, muscle tissue may begin to break. Consuming protein before bed helps prevent this catabolic state.