Complete nutrition, with a careful balance of all vitamins and nutrients, is vital to the success of a bodybuilder. However, a high protein diet is of even higher importance to those who seek to build lean muscles. Let's explore how a high protein diet can help a bodybuilding regime.
Protein in Your Body
Aside from water, there is more protein in your body that any other substance. It makes up your hair and fingernails, flesh, tissue and blood. It is also the main component in muscle. 60 to 70% of all protein in your body is located in your muscles. Since protein cannot be stored in the body like fat, it must be continually restocked. In the case of bodybuilders, it must be replenished more frequently, and at greater amounts, than for the average person. It is recommended that a serious bodybuilder consume around one gram of protein per pound of body weight, daily.
Protein and Muscles
Protein is the building blocks of muscles. When a you undergo an intense bodybuilding workout, your muscles respond to the increased strain by tearing. When they heal, they heal larger and stronger. They cannot knit back together without protein to speed the healing and provide the replacement material for the newer, stronger muscles. Eating 10-20 grams of protein before an intense weight work out increases your muscle protein's ability to recover and rebuild.
Two Types of Protein for Bodybuilding
Two popular forms of protein for bodybuilders are whey protein and casein protein. Both proteins should be consumed for optimal results. Whey is a byproduct of cheese production, a milky liquid left over when the cheese binds into curds. It is popular as a fast-acting protein, metabolizing quickly to be used by bodily tissues. Casein, on the other hand, is considered to be a 'slow' protein. Casein slows the rate at which proteins in your body breakdown, an important component to building new muscle.
Best Sources of Protein
Many bodybuilders use protein supplements and powders to increase the protein consumption. However, buying expensive, harder-to-absorb powders are not necessary to meet healthy protein requirements. Many natural and inexpensive foods contain high protein levels, while still maintaining low levels of fat and carbs.
Low fat dairy is an excellent source of protein, particularly in the form of fat-free cottage cheese. Cottage cheese contains both primary bodybuilding protein sources, whey and casein. Other excellent options include canned tuna, which is unbeatable for convenience, and white poultry meat. Eggs, though containing some fat, are a beneficial source not only of protein, but of many other nutrients helpful in the growth of muscles. If you are concerned about too much fat in eggs, favor egg whites over yolks, and enjoy the protein without the fat.
Proteins are the building blocks of muscles, and they should be consumed in larger-than-average amounts to supplement the strenuous work outs of a bodybuilder. Proteins are instrumental in the growth and repair of muscle tissues, and a vital part of a successful bodybuilding regime.