Muscle Building Myths
Getting ripped has become the goal of many individuals these days. Even the younger lot has joined in on this fixation of having ripped body with muscles. And in order to get that chiseled body, many individuals make a mistake of following a routine of exercise and diet simply because their trainer said so without asking the question “why”.
Many individuals want to look good with a flat stomach, toned muscles and a ripped body. Many want to look like the guy in the poster which is put up in the gym. But wait, are you aware of what it takes to get there? So, apart from the exercise routine given by your gym trainer what you really need is a proper diet routine to go along with your workout. Sure your gym trainer will give you tips on diet but do remember he/she is not a trained nutritionist. So remember, when he/she suggests you a diet ask “why?” without the fear of looking stupid. There are a lot of myths circulating with regards to gaining muscle. Here are 5 muscle building myths which we would like to clear:
This by far is the biggest myth that goes around in the gym. Even the individual who has just started working out will start including more protein in the diet and start with protein shakes. But wait, hold on, do you even require that much protein? To a point, sure protein helps. So, put down the shake for a while and read ahead to what science is telling you.
Protein has various important body functions. It also promotes the muscle-building process which requires a variety of amino acids (which are the building blocks of proteins) – some of which are to be obtained from food since our body does not synthesize these amino acids. Muscle mass increases over time when there is a combination of the right nutrition with resistance exercise.
But for this, one does not require exorbitant levels of protein. 1.2 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is the recommended intake depending on the nature of exercise and the intensity. Elite athletes require more than this amount.
These levels can be generally met with diet alone – no additional amino acid and protein supplementation. Any extra protein is stored as fat and can lead to an increase in weight.
So, NO, excess protein won’t help you build muscle.
Gaining muscle and losing fat is by no means an easy feat. However, the right combination of exercise and diet will help you do that. Losing fat will require a downsize of your calorie intake while gaining muscle requires an increase in the protein intake without an increase in the total calorie intake. Remember that your body can’t turn fat into muscle and vice versa. But if you are overweight, your body can use your stored energy to actually fuel the muscle building process.
Doing cardio doesn’t jeopardize muscle gain or strength as per science. In fact, it may even help in increasing muscle. So how much of cardio is good enough? 20-40 minutes is good enough for you to gain muscle. Doing cardio till you drop (over exhaustion) or over training hinders muscle gain. Doing an aerobic exercise in fact improves aerobic capacity along with muscle mass. Interval training (alternate periods of high intensity with periods of low intensity) increases you’re the body’s production of the growth hormone which creates muscle mass.
Eating the right, clean, healthy foods in each meal is the key. Don’t demonize the carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the fuel for your workout. Not eating enough means your workout may potentially suffer. In the absence of carbohydrates, the body uses the alternate source, the valuable proteins in your body to fuel the workout. So, to avoid any loss of lean body mass it is vital to maintain your carbohydrate stores.
Good quality protein after a workout does play a role in enhancing muscle growth. However, more protein does not mean more muscle growth. 25 gms of protein after a workout (within two hours of a workout) is sufficient to stimulate maximum protein synthesis.
Be wary of any promises made to you in the name of building muscle. Every suggestion by your trainer should have a scientific backing and not be just “a blind statement”. As far as diet is concerned a qualified sports nutritionist would be able to chalk out a meal plan with the right balance of carbohydrates, proteins and the good fats in the diet along with the essential micro nutrients. Many nutritionists besides offering weight loss in Mumbai are offering sports nutrition services for the sports and fitness enthusiasts.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Arati Shah is an astute nutritionist having expertise in offering all types nutrition to different individuals and corporate. Having earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition along with a Post-Graduation in Sports Sciences and Nutrition from S.N.D.T Juhu, she is an ideal sports nutritionist who can also guide one for weight loss in Mumbai with same efficacy. She heads the Nutrition team and takes personal interest in each and every client of Café Nutrition.