Nowadays, we will get to see a lot of bodybuilders consuming a lot of protein of some sort. If you just go to any old grocery store, this becomes a lot more evident. You are guaranteed to see a lot of products with the phrase “protein enriched” in them. It doesn’t really matter what kind of protein we are talking about, the main takeaway here is that protein is ridiculously popular amongst bodybuilders.
It goes without saying that consuming protein through actual solid food is the best way to get your protein intake but there are a lot of bodybuilders who hold a completely different opinion. This is due to the fact that it is sometimes not possible to get all the required protein strictly from solid foods. This is even more applicable to you if you are working a full-time job and you don’t really have the time to prepare your own meals.
This is the main reason why protein shakes are so popular these days. In order to get your protein fix, all you really need is some high quality protein (preferably whey), a bottle to shake the mixture, a bit of water, and you are good to go.
The Benefits of Protein Shakes
So what exactly is the reason behind so many bodybuilders taking protein shakes? Well, the primary reason is that protein is the main thing used in building muscles. This is also used during the process of manufacturing hormones, nucleic acids, enzymes, components of the immune system, etc. It is important to realize that if your body does not get enough protein, it will not be able to function properly. It is also worth noting that if the body does not get enough protein, it will take a lot longer to recover from injuries. This can mean you run the risk of getting injured while exercising.
The kind of protein most preferred by bodybuilders is whey protein. This has become a favorite among all those who want to put on more lean muscle mass, improve their physique and to also improve their overall health in general.
One of the most useful ways to take in protein is to take it right after a strenuous workout session. This is important because this is the time that the protein can be properly directed towards the muscles. This will start the process of healing micro tears that is a result of intense exercise sessions.
One of the reasons why it is better to take good quality protein shakes rather than protein rich solid food is because solid food will require a lot more time to be digested by the body. On the other hand, protein shakes take just about 30 minutes to reach their desired destination.
Which Type of Protein Should You Take?
Without any doubt, whey protein is the preferred protein shake of choice among bodybuilders and those looking to put on more muscle mass in general. The main test of whether a specific type of protein will be able to do the task is to check if it has enough Biological Value. This refers to the quantity of nitrogen that can be replaced by 100 grams of protein in a diet for an adult.
A lot of people are of the opinion that the protein that has the biggest BV will be the best from getting faster muscle growth. You should be aware, however, that this claim has been somewhat disputed in the scientific community. On the other hand, the scientists working directly with protein research do agree that the higher the value of BV, the better it can be digested, used, and ultimately, retained within the body. Ideally, this will result in gaining a lot of lean muscle given that other variables such as diet, remain constant.
Having said all of that, we will once again go back to whey protein. This type of protein has a significantly high BV value. This means that all of the necessary nutrients and amino acids are present in the protein shake. If we take a look at the BV of whey protein, we can see that it is at 104. The next best protein caps off at 100 BV.
Once again, we would like to reiterate that this is just one of the factors that will determine the quality of the protein. While it is definitely very important, far too often people make a much bigger deal with this than is necessary. For instance, beef does not really have that high a BV value but it has still been used by bodybuilders for ages.
How Much Protein Should You Consume?
The least amount of protein that you need in order to build muscle is 1 gram per pound of your body weight. Anything higher than this will be used in order to help with muscle recovery.
There has been a lot of debate on the topic of the maximum amount of protein you ought to consume. There are a lot of people as well who think that there is no such thing as too much protein. However, if you are taking in a large dose of protein everyday, make sure that you also take calcium supplements and magnesium supplements. This is due to the fact that it has been proven that excessive protein intake can lead to a depletion of the calcium and magnesium deposits in the body.