Proteins are the building blocks required to repair and grow muscle tissue when participating in any type of activity that breaks down muscle tissue including particularly in our case, progressive resistance training.
Typically to gain muscle mass or even lose fat, you have to keep your protein intake high. A good rule of thumb to calculate protein for lean muscle gain is to multiply your lean body mass by 1-1.5. Then we would want to divide that intake into 5-6 meals over the course of the day.
Now to anyone who is a newbie to this concept, the thought of eating 6 chicken breasts a day or 8 eggwhites each meal can seem like a daunting task. Fear not as there is an alternative to eating 6 whole food protein sources a day that is guaranteed to deliver just as good as results.
The alternative is to ingest 2-3 protein powders in the form of a protein shake.
There are several advantages to consuming 2-3 protein shakes in place of whole food protein sources throughout the day and they include:
- Faster absorption for post-workout protein requirements
- Better absorption and digestion
- Constant flood of amino acids at all times
By now It should be clear that including a good protein powder in one’s diet is very beneficial in ingesting your daily protein requirements. The tricky part is trying to pick a GOOD protein powder that will contribute to muscle gain and not break the bank.
When choosing a powder make sure it has the following:
- Low fat (1-5 grams is ok)
- Low carb (1-5 grams is ok)
- High protein (normailly about 20-30 grams per serving)
Concentrate, Isolate or Casein?
There is also lots of debate as to which type of protein is the best to ingest. To make this simple, here is what you need to know.
In my experience, I have tried them all at different times in my training and have found that it really doesn’t make a difference. Of course, that is just my opinion, but that being said, if you have the money and you truly believe the type of protein will make a or break your results, then here is a basic guideline.
- Concentrate – This is a good source of protein powder that is absorbed at a moderate pace. Typically it is good to include this type between meals.
- Isolate – This type of protein is more rapidly absorbed and is recommended to have immediately following a workout to shuttle proteins and amino acids into the starving muscle cells.
- Casein – Casein has a longer digestion period, more so that concentrate and isolate. Bodybuilders and many athletes normally include this type of protein as their final meal before bed as it provides a constant flood of aminos throughout the night time fast during sleep.