Bodybuilders Protein Requirements
The first thing every bodybuilder needs to know is the importance of getting enough protein in your daily diet. Although plenty of protein can be consumed in the form of whole foods, bodybuilders typi...
The first thing every bodybuilder needs to know is the importance of getting enough protein in your daily diet. Although plenty of protein can be consumed in the form of whole foods, bodybuilders typically use a combination of beef, foul (chicken, turkey), fish and protein supplements in powder or liquid form.
The popularity of supplemental protein has grown for many reasons. Let's look at a typical 200 pound bodybuilder. Our bodybuilder must consume 1 to 1.5 g of high quality protein per pound of body weight each day. This means he should average 250 g of protein each day. This protein intake should be divided into 5 or 6 meals to be consumed throughout the day. Six meals per day, our bodybuilder needs to consume an average of about 40 g of protein at each meal.
Let's look at the protein content of some common bodybuilding foods:
8 ounces of various steaks: 45g protein, 10g fat
6 ounces chicken breast: 40g protein, 2g fat
6 ounces Turkey breast: 30g protein, 1g fat
8 ounces pork chop: 30g protein, 6g fat
4 ounces hamburger (90%): 15g protein, 10g fat
1 can chunk light tuna (6.25 oz): 40g protein, 1g fat
1/2 cup cottage cheese: 12g protein, 2g fat
1 large egg: 6g protein, 3g fat
Using a combination of these excellent foods, you can easily meet your requirements for 3 or 4 of your 6 meals each day. Preparing six meals every day utilizing these foods, however, would cost a lot of time and money!
This is where protein powder supplements enter the picture. Protein "shakes" are an extremely convenient, fast and cheap meal to help you get two or three more servings of protein a day. As an added bonus, the better quality protein powders taste excellent! Protein powder supplements come in many different types, formulations, and flavors.
Protein consists of amino acids, which are the very building blocks of muscle tissue. There are 22 amino acids, some of which the body can make on its own, and some that must be provided in the diet. The combination of the different amino acids in a protein source is called the amino acid profile. Each type of protein has a different amino acid profile. This is why it is best to eat a variety of proteins sources as well as use a variety of protein powder supplements. The most popular types of protein powders are whey, casein, egg, and soy.
Whey protein is by far the most popular and most heavily used protein supplement. Whey protein is cheaper per gram of protein than most other types of protein. Whey protein is absorbed very quickly by the digestive system and reaches the muscles quickly. Whey protein is best used as the first meal of the day because your body has not had any protein for many hours during the night and you want to get it in your bloodstream right away. Use whey protein immediately following a workout because this is the most important time to take in a large quantity of protein and you want to get to your muscles as soon as possible.
Casein protein is a bit more expensive than whey protein, but is absorbed at a much slower rate. This fact makes casein protein the supplement of choice right before bedtime. A generous serving of casein protein can provide your muscles with a steady supply of protein for 5 to 6 hours as opposed to 1 or 2 hours for whey protein. Casein protein is also an excellent choice if you think it may be a long time before your next protein serving.
Egg protein is not nearly as popular as whey or casein mostly because of its cost. It is, however an excellent supplement with a high BV (Biological Value is used to indicate how much of the protein is actually used by the body) and excellent amino acid profile. I would recommend using egg protein to mix with your whey protein or occasionally substitute for your whey protein.
Soy Protein is a plant based protein and is considered by some to be inferior to all other types of protein. While this may be true based upon its incomplete amino acid profile, it is still an excellent way to add variety to your protein intake, and is recommended as an addition to your overall supplement diet.
Protein supplements are by far the most popular supplement in the bodybuilding world. I suggest purchasing from a name brand to be sure you are getting a quality product. If you are new to bodybuilding and supplements, some of the top selling quality brands are BSN, MuscleTech, Optimum Nutrition, Twinlab, Cytosport, EAS, and the list goes on. I recommend trying several different brands and flavors until you find one you really like. I will occasionally switch brands just for variety and possibly if I come across a good sale!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Monyer has been involved in bodybuilding for the last 20 years, and has written numerous articles on the subject. For more information on recommended protein supplements, visit http://www.RockSolidBodybuilding.com