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Why You Should Eat Protein-Rich Food for Muscle Growth

Man showing off his bicep

 

Muscles are important for a healthy body and building and maintaining our muscles has a major impact on our body and our health. Proteins play an important role in this which can totally help aside from buying supplements from steroids Canada. In this article, we’ll give you all the information you need about the importance of protein and what you should eat for optimal muscle building.

Why do you need protein for muscle building?

Your muscles consist largely of proteins and, like all other cells in our body, are continuously broken down and rebuilt. This difference between the production (protein synthesis) and breaking down (protein degradation) of proteins is called the protein balance.

When you eat a protein-rich meal, it stimulates the production of new proteins, which ensures a positive protein balance. However, if there are no proteins present, your body will break down proteins, resulting in a negative protein balance.

This process goes on throughout the day and generally maintains your body when you exercise enough and eat healthy and varied.

What builds muscle?

With the right resistance training/strength training, you can increase muscle mass in your body. When building muscle mass, new proteins are added to existing muscle fibers, making them larger.

This is also called (muscle) hypertrophy or muscle growth and it is necessary that a positive net protein balance is created, in which your body produces more proteins than are broken down.

How much protein do you need for muscle building?
The daily amount of protein for most people is between 1.0 grams and 1.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight per day.

If you are fanatically doing strength sports and/or training for hypertrophy, you can increase this intake to 1.6-2.0 grams of protein per kg.

The leucine threshold

Proteins consist of amino acids and form the building blocks of all proteins in the body. To build muscle mass your body must get all these amino acids and the amino acid leucine, in particular, is very important.

Leucine is one of the well-known branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and is responsible for stimulating muscle protein synthesis.

It is therefore important to take into account the so-called leucine threshold. This means that your body needs 2-3 grams of leucine per meal to maximize muscle protein synthesis.

A meal that contains about 0.3 grams p/kg bodyweight of high-quality protein is generally sufficient to reach the leucine threshold. For most people, this amounts to about 20 to 40 grams of protein per meal.

 

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What are good protein sources?

Not only the quantity but also the quality of proteins plays an important role in building muscle mass.

Animal proteins (egg, meat, fish, and dairy) generally contain more essential amino acids and leucine than plant foods, but it’s not a problem at all to get your protein from plant products.

Soybeans, quinoa, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and spirulina are full-fledged sources of protein, and legumes, whole grains, mushrooms, and nuts also contain a lot of vegetable proteins.

In addition, you can significantly increase the total protein quality of a meal by combining several plant-based protein sources (e.g., whole-grain bread with hummus or nut butter, or rice with corn and beans).

It is important to remember that if you get your protein mainly from vegetable products, you also have to take a little more protein to get the optimal amount of leucine per meal.

Should you eat protein at every meal?

In principle, it is not necessary to eat protein with every meal.

However, studies do show that spreading your protein over three equal meals a day has a greater effect on muscle protein synthesis than, for example, a protein-rich meal at the end of the day.

So it depends mainly on your personal goal.

Do you do strength training and/or do you train for optimal muscle building? Then it is best to distribute your proteins evenly over several meals a day.

Do you exercise a few times a week for your health and do you have no specific goal? Then it is good to eat a protein-rich meal around your (strength) workouts, but the total amount of protein per day is more important than its distribution.

In general, it is more beneficial to take fewer small snacks and eat more complete meals that are better satiating and also contain enough carbohydrates, fats, and fiber.

More than just protein

Many people are under the assumption that you just need to eat more protein or drink a protein shake to build muscle mass.

Proteins are of course important, but there are also several other nutrients that your body needs.

For example, you also need enough carbohydrates to perform and healthy omega-3 fats are essential for building and repairing your muscles after a workout or a workout.

A good intake of micronutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin C and minerals such as zinc, iron, calcium, and magnesium are also of great importance.

A varied diet with lots of vegetables, fruit, sufficient proteins, and healthy fats and carbohydrates ensures optimal muscle building.

This not only improves your body but also promotes your health and your performance!