If you are an avid gym buff or just looking to bulk up and increase the size of your muscles, then you most likely have encountered advice on how to do so from experts. Something you might have heard is that when you lift heavy weights, this triggers a breakdown of the muscles, which eventually go through the natural repair process. At this point, protein becomes a crucial factor; it is in this process that protein helps build back your muscles and repair damaged muscle fibres.
When you're still a beginner, you probably don't understand how diet becomes a factor in your bulking up, much less know the best protein or supplements for the job. Here is a closer look at protein and muscle growth!
What Stimulates Muscle Growth?
Anyone who wants to build muscle correctly should understand how muscles can grow. This knowledge will also help you determine what kind of workout you need. Two types of overloads can achieve this goal—metabolic and mechanical. In metabolic overload, you work on a muscle to the point of depleting all the energy supply. Your muscle cells have to hold more glycogen as a fuel source, which makes them increase in size.
On the other hand, mechanical overload occurs when your actin-myosin protein microfilaments are targeted during strenuous weightlifting or intense plyometrics, causing structural damage. These events trigger a repair process that uses hormones and protein.
How Does Protein Repair Tissue?
Protein plays a huge role in muscle-building. Biologically, proteins are the essential structural components of cells, which have several important duties. First, proteins initiate the building and repairing of muscle cells. Second, proteins in your diet help transport cells and support other various physiological functions as hormones. Third, proteins aid in producing energy for muscle movements. When other sources of ATP - the cellular form of energy - like fats and carbohydrates are unavailable, proteins take their place.
Some people opt to drink sports drinks that are high in sugar and sodium during intense workout sessions. Loading up on sugar and carbohydrates means you are reserving your proteins for the process of muscle-building. Alternatively, you can also shorten the time you allot for high-intensity workouts, not exceeding 45-50 minutes, so that you have enough supply of energy.
Amino Acids: The Building Blocks of Protein
Knowing proteins means understanding amino acids. If proteins are the building blocks of the human body, amino acids are the building blocks of protein. There are 20 types of amino acids. They can be either non-essential—produced naturally by the body—or essential, consumed through your diet.
So, people who want to be more muscular take muscle gain supplements before and during a workout, or eat a post-workout snack or drink a shake that contains heavy amounts of protein. These proteins and amino acids help in your recovery and muscle-building and allow you to achieve your specific strength or performance goals.
How Much Protein Should I Eat to Build Muscle?
So, how much protein should you ingest to build muscle? Naturally, old cells are replaced by new cells, and amino acids through your diet are used up for this process. On average, the Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein in a healthy adult is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For someone who undergoes numerous aerobic endurance training, the recommended daily intake is 1.0-1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. It is advised that 1.4-1.7 grams of protein per kilogram be consumed for strength training and muscle synthesis.
What are good sources of protein that can help you achieve those numbers? Ideally, it would be best to go for high protein foods, like fish, chicken, other lean meats, eggs, and milk. You can also include soy in your diet as it contains all eight essential amino acids. Though not necessarily dangerous, it is possible that excess protein will not be used up and will just be expelled from your body through urination.
An efficient understanding of muscle growth begins with knowing a vital component: protein. Protein, whether naturally produced as amino acids in the body or taken in through your diet, contributes to the repair and more significant bulk of muscles every time you exercise. Together, the right kind of exercise, a fitness goal in mind, and various sources of protein can all lead to you having huge muscles and an impressive physique.
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