Protein is essential for life. It is even more essential if you are partaking in any type of exercise. Protein helps your body recover from exercise. So even runners should consume protein pre-run and post run, to conserve muscle tissue so it doesn’t break down. Protein by itself, is not anabolic, build muscle, however, with any resistance training, is the key to building lean muscle mass. Training for sport falls into both of these categories. Training for sport can be catabolic and break muscle down, as well as anabolic, build muscle up, however, it is the ingestion of protein which will remove the catabolic effects, and have mostly just the anabolic effects. Protein should be consumed Pre-workout (if your stomach can handle it) as well as post workout, and the good thing is you cannot overfeed on protein.
Whey protein is a whole protein, and is the gold standard for amino acid bioavailability. Whey protein has all the essential amino acids (EAA’s), and branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s). You probably have heard of these two, they are marketed in many supplements as muscle building, but are they?
EAA’s are the amino acids your body does not make but needs to get from diet. EAA’s are the requirement for any anabolic effect. So if you are looking to build lean muscle mass, get stronger, etc. You need EAA’s in your regimen. This does not mean you need to get a supplement of EAA’s. Whey protein has EAA’s and a 30-40 gram scoop (slightly more than 1 scoop for most brands) post workout, or during workout supplies these. While in order to build lean muscle having adequate protein throughout the day is important, having protein within three hours post workout is imperative.
BCAA’s are branched chain amino acids. BCAA’s are also found in whey protein. BCAA’s are NOT anabolic. So if you are looking to build muscle, and you are taking BCAA’s, you are taking the wrong supplement. BCAA’s do have their place though. BCAA’s are anti-catabolic. They, well actually one of them, the amino acid leucine, basically blocks the muscle from breaking down. So if you workout fasted, BCAA’s are something you definitely want to consider, however, if you consume enough protein in your daily diet, you probably don’t need them.
If you want to block muscle breakdown, and have building blocks for muscle synthesis, a whey shake an hour before you workout, and within a few hours after will probably do you good. A good rule of thumb is 1 gram protein per pound bodyweight per day if you are training, for whatever goal. As always, for any help with determining a supplement regimen, or nutrition help, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment