There are loads of muscle building supplements on the market today, lots of protein powders and other fuels that promises that they can make your muscle grow much faster. The question some might ask themselves are; how much protein do we really need to feed our body with to gain muscles? Is it perhaps enough with the amount we get from a regular diet?
So, what’s the answer? Well, muscles are built up by protein to the main part and it seems logical, when you know that, that an increase of protein should be necessary when you want to expand and grow the muscle mass you have. So certainly, you do need protein to increase your muscle mass. Research has found that people that do a lot of exercise – may it be weight lifting or cardiovascular training – does have an increased protein metabolism and might because of this need up to twice the amount of what the average person needs.
The amount that is recommended for weight lifters is somewhere between 1.2 and 1.8 g/kg ( somewhere between 0.7 and 0.9g/pound). The amount you will need is of course individual and depending on a lot of different factors. I would recommend that you start with the lower amount and if you feel that you don’t get the results you are looking for, increase it over time. However, it is smart to let the body get used to new conditions gradually and to double the amount of protein you eat from one day to another can make your body stressed.
So do you need protein powder or is it possible to get that amount of protein from your diet? For most diets, it is pretty easy. As a matter of fact, the average American citizen already eats about 50% more protein than the recommended daily amount so if you are on a meat and poultry diet you probably already have enough and by going to the gym you will make sure that it is transformed into muscles instead of something less desirable.
Here are a few examples of protein rich food:
*Most cuts of beef – 7 grams of protein per ounce
*Steak, 6 oz – 42 grams
*Chicken breast, 3.5 oz – 30 grams protein
*Most fish fillets or steaks are about 22 grams of protein for 3 ½ oz (100 grams) of cooked fish, or 6 grams per ounce
*Pork chop, average – 22 grams protein
*Egg, large – 6 grams protein
*Milk, 1 cup – 8 grams
*Most beans (black, pinto, lentils, etc) about 7-10 grams protein per half cup of cooked beans
*Pumpkin seeds, ¼ cup – 19 grams
*Other nuts and seeds, ¼ cup – between 5-10 g
As you can see, it is quite easy to get up to a decent amount of protein each day solely from your normal diet, perhaps with some small changes. Even for vegetarians it is pretty easy to eat protein rich food even though it might take a bit more planning.
However, I still find protein powder a great addition to your diet. One reason is that it is easy, you simply make your shake and you got a good amount of protein. It also has the benefit to have many of the essential amino acids that you need for your body, at least if it is a powder of good quality.
Another great thing about bodybuilding supplements are that you can have a pretty good idea of how much protein you’re getting from it. It is also good if you find that you eat pretty much the normal amount of protein(around 0.8g/kg or 36g/pound) and don’t have a desire to change your diet. By adding a few shakes each day you get that extra protein and don’t have to struggle to eat more if that would be an issue.
Lastly I want to give you the advice to listen to your body, check with it, feel how it feels and how it responds to both your diet and your training and you will easily find the way that works for you and your muscular body.