Thursday, 8 January 2009

Choosing the Right Protein For Bodybuilding

Protein – it is a large part of what your muscles are made of, and if you want to get the best kind of results from your bodybuilding you have to know how much protein you need, what kind of protein you need and when you need it.

There are three primary sources that bodybuilders go to for protein – one is foods rich in protein such as meat, eggs and cheese. Another popular source of protein is the protein shake – a kind of drink which generally contains whey protein (a rich kind of protein which is extracted from milk and easily absorbed into the body, especially when dissolved in liquid!). Finally, many bodybuilders choose to purchase protein supplements in powder form and mix their own protein shakes and drinks.

The amount of protein that you should consume varies depending on your goals. Many athletes take about 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight over the course of a day to build muscle, but some bodybuilders take as much as 2 grams per pound of their bodyweight in one day. Depending on your bodybuilding schedule and the amount of exertion you are undergoing, it is likely that you are going to want to take less than that.

To get the benefit, use common sense and focus on getting the majority of your protein from natural food sources, with the possible addition of whey protein sources and supplements at specific times when you want a protein boost. For example, when you have just finished a work-out at the gym and your body is shifting between the modes of breaking down materials for energy and building muscles, increasing protein uptake helps ensure that you have all of the protein ready in your body for immediate muscle growth.

A protein shake after a work out, combined with the common bodybuilding strategy of spreading out your protein uptake over the course of the day with six small meals instead of three large ones, gives your body the best access to protein and helps you get the kind of bodybuilding results that you are looking for.

Timing is as much an important part of protein consumption as it is with your exercises themselves. Protein which is consumed at a time when your body is not actively engaged in the uptake of protein for muscle is more likely to simply pass through your system without you getting the benefit. Similarly, protein taken before an exercise session instead of after may have some benefit, but it is mostly from whatever protein is left over and not yet broken down by the time that you finish your exercise and your body’s real work of muscle building begins.

By combining a good diet and a healthy level of overall activity, both weightlifting and aerobic exercise, with eating at the right time and getting the right amount of protein (as well as all other vitamins and minerals that your body needs), you can ensure that you are doing everything that you have to in order to get in better shape now.

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About the Author:
Knowledgeable about exercise, nutrition, supplements used for muscle building and weight loss.

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