When it comes to the question of what the best body building supplement available is, different people will obviously provide different answers and opinions. However, it is my opinion that the best bodybuilding supplement is a protein supplement. Every bodybuilder and fitness enthusiast knows that you must eat enough protein to repair and grow muscles. Without the essential amino acids that protein contains, your muscles can’t grow no matter how hard and often you train. Quite simply, protein is the building block of muscles and no other nutrients can substitute or replace it for muscle growth.
Muscle Building with Protein
Muscle needs protein in order to grow. The intake of protein has a stimulating effect on the muscle tissue, thereby acting as the best muscle enhancement supplement that the body could have. If one does a large amount of cardio along with bodybuilding, the body will burn all its carbohydrate stores and then start burning muscle. When your body depletes its carbohydrates supply it will not burn fat exclusively… it will burn muscle as well. Eating protein or supplementing with protein will help to replace muscle tissue.
The amount of protein you should consume if you want to grow and build muscle mass is one gram of protein per pound of your body weight per day. That is a lot of protein! Many people cannot get that amount of protein in their normal dietary meals, and without eating enough protein, all your muscle building training in the gym will be largely futile. This is why protein supplementation, usually in the form of a whey protein supplement, is so common and often necessary.
Whey Protein Supplementation
Whey protein is naturally produced during the separation process that occurs when milk turns into cheese. It is also found in dairy products, eggs, and vegetable proteins. Whey protein scores highly in providing the branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s) that are so important in the building and retention of muscle.
Whey protein is highly favored by bodybuilders because it provides the necessary building blocks to produce the amino acids that the body uses to build lean muscle tissue. Many whey protein supplements are formulated to contain the perfect combination of amino acids, in just the right amounts for optimal performance in the body. It is also suspected that whey protein has an anti-oxidant effect and helps to build up the immune system.
Whey protein is best taken in powder form mixed in milk or juice, spread throughout the day in order to maintain a positive nitrogen balance. Serious bodybuilders sometimes consume up to 150 grams each day. As a general rule of thumb, daily protein intake for active bodybuilders can be calculated by taking your weight in pounds and multiplying by 1 or 1.5. You need to work out how much protein is taken from food and other sources though and then spread the remaining whey protein balance over the day.
Whey protein is generally a safe supplement. However, no more than 30 grams of protein should be taken at one sitting, because excessive single doses could overload the liver. The safety of whey protein has been well documented in many scientific studies and clear proof exists that it will result in significant muscle gain when taken consistently and paired with regular exercise.
Beware of Sugar in Bodybuilding Supplements
One thing to make careful note of is how important it is to read the labels on products before you buy them, especially in regards to the amount of sugar that is in each product. Be aware that some protein shakes and other supplements are loaded with sugar. For the most part sugars will not help in any positive way, so you should stick with a bodybuilding supplement that is low in sugar and high in quality protein.
The Best Times to Eat Protein
So when is the best time to eat or supplement with protein to optimize muscle growth? Protein should be taken by bodybuilders throughout the day:
-Eat protein as early as possible in the morning. After a good night’s sleep, your body is in a catabolic state. That means your body is burning your muscle for energy since your glycogen store is low. So eat quickly digestible protein such as whey protein the first thing in the morning to prevent catabolism.
-Eat protein between meals. To keep protein flowing in your bloodstream and feeding your muscles continuously throughout the day, take protein in between your meals. One option is casein protein which is slow to digest and will continuously release protein into your bloodstream to feed your muscles for many hours in between your meals.
-Take a protein supplement before and after a gym workout. It is a well established fact that eating quickly-digested protein such as whey protein before your workout will promote muscle growth, because your muscles are being fed throughout your training session. Then take whey protein again after your workout to begin repairing your muscle cells after you have damaged them during your workout. This is the best time to eat carbohydrates also.
-Take protein before bed. Muscle building and repairing is at its optimum while you sleep. Since you will be going without food for many hours while you sleep, you must encourage your muscle to grow by taking protein again before going to bed. Since casein protein is slow to digest, it will continuously feed your muscles for as long as seven hours while you sleep and thus encourage your muscles to build and grow.
Now that you know when the best time to eat protein is and how to encourage building muscles, follow these tips and you will see your muscles growing at an all new pace.
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