You will hear a lot about how protein intake will help you build stronger and bigger muscles. Putting work in the gym is of no use if you don’t back it up by providing yourself with the appropriate amounts of protein in your daily life. But what exactly are proteins? Where do they come from? And what role do they play in your body?
1. What are Proteins?
Our body relies on three main macronutrients throughout the day; carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. All three of these macronutrients provide you with energy throughout the day in the form of calories. Proteins, specifically, are responsible for boosting your metabolism and helping you gain muscle mass. During an intense workout session in the gym, your muscles are subjected to a lot of stress and strains, hence you feel the pain. Proteins, however, are then broken down into small chains of amino acids that repair and rebuild your muscles. Effort in the gym and your daily dosage of proteins go hand in hand. Not taking the right amount of proteins throughout the day leads to your muscles looking shriveled and loose.
2. How Much Protein Do I Need?
This is one question a lot of people struggle with. Truth is, your daily intake of protein depends entirely on what your end goal is. Some people go to the gym to lose weight, some want to gain mass and some are entirely focused on maintaining their weight while conserving their muscles.
For purely gaining purposes, studies have shown you only need 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of your body weight. The process of gaining muscle is extremely slow and varies from person to person based on age, gender, BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), etc.
The basic misconception in people regarding protein intake is that the more they eat, the quicker they’ll gain muscle. Unfortunately, too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Loading up on proteins (taking more than the required daily intake), without altering your routine at the gym will put other parts of your anatomy under extreme stress and causes fatigue. Excess proteins in your body also gets stored as fats after some time.
3. Main Sources of Proteins
Proteins are naturally occurring micronutrients found in all sorts of foods we eat. The most common source of protein are different types of meat. Chicken, turkey, beef, and fish are excellent sources of proteins and help in building stronger muscles all over your body. This is not to say that vegetarians have absolutely no way of getting proteins. Foods such as pulses, whey, and soy all contain sufficient amounts of protein as well which are safe to consume for vegetarians. Dairy products such as eggs, milk, and yogurt are also full of nutritious proteins that fulfill your daily prescription. All of these protein sources are low in fat and are metabolized rather quickly by our body to aid in muscle growth.
4. What if I Can’t Fulfill My Daily Protein Intake?
When starting off in the gym, you’ll find yourself getting tired and craving all sorts of foods after a workout. Coming up with a stringent diet plan and to commit to that plan is a test of your mental strength. Often times people deviate from their gym life and embark upon a journey of eating unhealthily. Whether or not you plan on bulking, it is crucial you are always taking the right amount of protein in your daily life to conserve your muscles. Protein shakes are an excellent source of achieving your protein requirement for the day. In today’s world, the use of these protein shakes has increased by tenfold. The whey protein shake is the most popular type of protein shake, as it also suits people on a vegetarian diet. One scoop of the protein powder provides you with enough muscle strength and stability to keep your workouts intense and always ongoing.