If your goal is to build muscle, you will never achieve it without adding a good deal of protein to your life. While carbs and fats play significant roles in your overall energy, nothing is as important for muscles as protein.
Here are four reasons you need to be using protein and protein powders for muscle building:
1. Without Protein, No Muscles
Fat and carbs are turned into triglycerides and glucose, which your body burns for energy when you run, lift weights, cycle, or walk to work. But when it comes to building muscle, it's protein that you need most. Your body needs complete proteins every 3 to 4 hours in order to ensure that there are enough amino acids available for muscle building. Your body needs a certain combination of 9 different amino acids in order to build muscle. Without those amino acids, no muscles!
2. Protein Provides ATP Energy
Your brain and organs need glucose in order to function, but your muscles rely on a different form of energy--known as ATP. Without those 9 amino acids, your body is unable to produce ATP energy, and the amino acids currently in your body are turned into waste products and eliminated. Without ATP energy, your muscles will have no power to contract, meaning they won't be able to lift, curl, press, or squat.
3. Protein Stops Muscle Catabolism
When you exercise (particularly low intensity exercise like jogging or cycling), your body burns all the available energy to ensure that you can keep up with the workout. If your muscles aren't getting much use (via weightlifting), your body thinks that the muscle tissue is extra energy it can burn to fuel your cardiovascular furnace. You end up losing lean muscle mass because you aren't using the muscles. But if you eat protein, you are signaling to your body that you will use those muscles. This stops your cardiovascular exercise from breaking down lean muscle mass, forcing it to burn more fat when you work out.
4. Protein Repairs Muscles
When you lift weights, did you know that you are actually tearing the fibers of muscle tissue? The tears are so small that you aren't really damaging the muscles to a dangerous extent, but the damage is enough that your body tries to prevent it in the future. It does so by not only lengthening the muscle fibers, but also expanding their capacity to store energy. The next time you lift weights, your body is prepared to handle the damage.
Protein is needed to repair the damage to your muscle fibers, but it also is necessary in order to lengthen and expand the muscle fibers. That is why protein is so crucial to muscle growth, because, in essence, that expansion and lengthening of muscle fibers is the visible growth that you see.
As you can see, protein is a vital nutrient for not only overall health, but also specifically for muscle building. If you want to bulk up like a superstar, you need to add a lot of protein to your diet!
Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise -- he does so six days a week -- and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.