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How Much Protein To Build Muscle

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and protein is the main nutrient needed to build muscle tissue.

Put simply, you need protein to builds muscle.

The two most important times of the day to eat protein?

1. Immediately upon wakening--you have just gone a lengthy time during sleep without protein, you need to get protein to your muscles ASAP.

2. Immediately after working out--your muscles are like sponges and will use the protein to replenish what was lost during a workout.

Drinking a post-workout recovery shake IMMEDIATELY after training gives you a prime opportunity to speed up muscle recuperation and stimulate new muscle growth.

Donít wait until you get home; start sipping immediately after your last set. I actually begin sipping my post-workout drink during the last few sets.

The fact is, what you eat (or fail to eat) before and immediately after your intense training plays a huge role in how much muscle you build and how strong you get.

If you provide your muscles with a pool of amino acids (protein) about 30 to 45 minutes before a workout, you can reduce the effects of muscle tissue breakdown.

Since training depletes nutrients and energy stored in your muscle cells, you can help replenish these nutrients faster by introducing a carb and protein rich meal directly after training.

If I had to pick a third most important time, it would be late at night, right before bed. During sleep you are going to be without protein for 6 to 8 hours or however long you sleep.

Consuming a protein source right before bed can help lessen the effects on muscle breakdown during sleep.

Another time to consider taking protein would be an hour before working out to provide amino acids to enhance exercise performance.

Okay, we know we have to take protein often.

How much protein is needed?

One simple method thatís been around for years that I feel still holds true is to shoot for 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight.

If you weigh 200 pounds, you eat 200 grams.

Larger or more experienced bodybuilders could possibly benefit from 2 grams per pound of bodyweight, but for the most part, 1 gram per pound is sufficient.

But as long as you strive to eat some good quality lean protein during each meal and snack, you shouldnít have any problem getting enough protein in your diet.

Recent research has shown that adequate protein consumption plays a role in reducing hunger and appetite as well as speeding up fat loss.

Besides, any diet that limits protein intake will probably be higher in carbs and fats to replace the lack of protein. This imbalance will surely lead to increased levels of obesity. You want

to consume AT LEAST one gram of protein per pound of body weight. So if you weigh 200 pounds, you want to consume 200 grams of protein each day.

With meal replacements and protein drinks readily available today, that should not be a problem.

Let's get this straight--you need carbs to perform optimally.

They are vital to overall health and well being.

Unrefined carbs like fruits and vegetables are a great source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.

So what are carbs?

Carbohydrates are macronutrients that contain 4 calories per gram.

The end result of all carbohydrates broken down by the body is glucose, also called blood sugar.

So whether itís a spoon of sugar, a piece of bread, or some broccoli, the body breaks each down to use at its main fuel source, blood sugar.

The difference between some of these carbohydrates is the rate in which the body metabolizes them, or breaks them down, to use as blood sugar.

The body uses this blood sugar as fuel.

Any time elevated levels of blood sugar is present in the blood, like after a meal or snack, the hormone insulin is secreted.

The body uses this insulin to lower blood sugar levels in the bloodstream. Insulin shuttles the blood sugar to the brain, muscle, and liver.

Now, if the body's fuel requirements are low (inactivity) the glucose is then converted to glycogen and is stored in the muscle tissue and liver for later use.

But much like you have limited storage capacity around your house to store old junk in, your body has limited storage capacity for the glycogen in these areas.

So the excess is then converted to body fat!

So if you're never really active and you eat a lot of carbohydrates, this is how excess body fat is added.

An inactive person never has the chance to deplete these stored glycogen levels and so they continuously get stored as body fat.

Now, there are simple carbohydrates like fruit, syrup, and sugar and there are complex carbohydrates like bread, pasta, potatoes, and oatmeal.

The difference between simple and complex carbohydrates is the speed at which the body breaks them down to utilize as glucose.

This is also called the "Glycemic Index", or the rate in which the carbs are broken down and released as glucose into the bloodstream.

Simple carbohydrates like table sugar and fruit are converted more rapidly for a quick energy boost.

Complex carbohydrates take longer to break down and offer a more sustained supply of energy for the body.

Complex carbohydrates should be your main choice for energy for that precise reason; they offer more of a sustained energy supply. They release blood sugar into the bloodstream in a slower, controlled fashion and therefore the corresponding insulin release is also more gradual and moderate.

Your body should be able to use the glucose for fuel as it's being delivered. Simple carbs cause a fast spike in blood sugar levels followed by a over-release of insulin. And unless this excess blood sugar is going to be utilized (by activity) the excess will be shuttled into fat storage.

Complex carbohydrates mainly come from either starchy foods like rice, pasta, and bread, or by vegetables like broccoli, peas, and green beans.

The biggest reason to switch from starchy carbohydrates like bread, pasta, and rice to more fibrous, leafy ones like vegetables is the amounts of calories in each.

When I was getting ready for my bodybuilding show in which I lost almost 40 pounds in 9 weeks, I replaced my starchy carbohydrates with more vegetables and fibrous carbohydrates.

The reason being, much like we wanted to cut down on fats because they are very calorie dense, starchy carbohydrates like bread and pasta are more calorie dense than are vegetables like broccoli or green beans.

And like I have been pointing out through this book, weight loss comes from getting rid of excess calories, to create a deficit in calories so that your body must dip into stored body fat for energy.

When you begin to continuously create a calorie deficit, your body continuously will attack fat stores for needed energy and this is how weight loss (fat loss) occurs.

So what we want to do is cut out calories anywhere we can to increase the chances of creating a deficit of calories.

Your body absolutely needs carbohydrates. Carbs are the bodyís main fuel supply, get rid of them and you get rid of your bodyís prime source of glucose. Your brain cannot function without glucose, in fact, youíll die without blood sugar.

To start eliminating excess calories from the diet, start to moderate and limit the amount of starchy carbs like bread, pasta, rice, oatmeal, bagels, and instead eat more vegetables like broccoli, carrots, green beans, spinach. lettuce, peas, and so on.

If you want to build muscle and make fat loss easier, consume lean protein sources (chicken, turkey, fish, lean red meats, etc.) with vegetables (corn, broccoli, green beans, peas, etc.) for each meal.

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