If there is one constant in diets designed to help you build as much muscle and strength as quickly as you can, it is protein. Regardless of whether you follow low-carb, low-fat, Paleo, South Beach, or any other diet structure, you must take in enough protein each day if you want to get bigger.
While your body can manufacture both fats and carbohydrates from other nutrients, you cannot make all of your own amino acids, the building blocks of protein and muscle, among other important body tissues. In particular, there are nine amino acids which are considered essential because you must have them to survive but can’t make them from other foods.
Since protein foods are the most abundant and convenient sources of the essential amino acids, you need to take in plenty when you’re trying to build muscle. Opinions vary on just how much protein you need in order to get bigger, but most experts put the number at one gram per pound of body weight per day, at a minimum. For a 150-pound man, that’s 150 grams of protein each and every day.
That’s a lot to choke down if you’re relying on lean meats, poultry, tuna, and egg whites, so it’s not surprising that protein supplements are big business. For convenience, digestibility, and even taste, it’s hard to beat a quick protein shake.
But you can’t just grab any old protein powder off the shelves of you neighborhood drugstore and hope to gain maximum benefit, and there are a lot of nuances to consider.
Should you use whey or casein protein? Does protein timing matter? Should you be using straight amino acids instead of protein supplements?
Most importantly, are protein supplements safe for you to use over the long haul?
To help you hone in on the answers to those questions and develop the protein program that is right for you, we have put together this series of articles to dive into the specifics of protein supplementation. From timing to type to safety, consider this your complete guide to protein.
Check back here often, too, as we’ll continue to add more information about protein supplements and their potential effects on your training and physique. New developments are happening all the time in the supplement industry, and this is your home for hardcore protein tips.
Happy reading … and pumping!
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