Consuming the right food is key to gain muscles, and by right food we mean protein. Protein is required to repair and rebuild muscles after a grueling workout session. One important source is protein powder, but first, you need to learn how to use protein powder to gain muscles the right way.
Do You Really Need Protein Powders?
Generally, people have no problems eating more protein as it is found in many delicious food items. However, for a heavy training session, to hit the recommended 1.4 to two grams of protein per kilogram of a human’s body weight per day takes much more than a few chicken breasts or nuts.
If you are really looking to gain muscle mass and are strictly following an exercise program, then you need an increased intake of protein that may not be supplemented by regular food. Powdered protein is the best, quickest, and probably the easiest way to add protein to your daily diet. These protein powders are designed to fill in the nutritional gaps of a complete and varied diet.
What Makes a Protein Powder?
Protein powders by definition are concentrated sources of protein that is derived from different plants or animals. These sources may include eggs, dairy, meat, peas, or even rice. When it comes to protein powder products, you can find the three most common types, as listed below.
- Concentrates: Protein concentrates typically contain 60% to 80% of protein. The rest is usually carbs and fats. This one is a good option if you want a mix of protein, carbs, and fats.
- Isolates: These are more effective as they contain more than 90% of protein, as fat and carbs are removed through a filtration process. You can opt for the protein isolates if you want more protein concentration in the powder.
- Hydrolysates: An easy to absorb form, it uses a process to break the amino acid bonds that allow them to be absorbed more quickly by your body and muscles.
Some powders are also fortified with vitamins and minerals, especially calcium while some, like hydrolysates, raise levels of insulins which can enhance muscle growth following exercise.
Types of Protein
Before you know the use of protein powder, it is important to learn about the different types of protein. This will help you understand which is better for your needs.
Whey is derived from milk: the part that separates during the cheese-making process. It is easy to digest and is rich in leucine, which is an amino acid that is needed by the muscle tissues for growth and recovery.
This protein also enhances muscle strength. It increases muscle protein synthesis (MPS) 31% more compared to soy protein. If compared to casein, it is 132% more effective.
Casein protein also comes from milk, but it is not as easy to digest as whey protein. It is the perfect source of protein to build muscles during your sleep. As such, it is designed for those who are looking for gradual muscle growth instead of quick results.
Another common source of protein that has various benefits is an egg. It is a good option for weight loss as it decreases appetite and makes you feel full for a longer time.
It is rated as a complete protein source since it provides all essential amino acids our body needs. Likewise, it is second to whey protein when it comes to leucine concentration. This is also recommended for people with allergies to dairy products.
For those who don’t like meat sources, like vegetarians, or people who suffer from allergies to dairy or eggs, pea protein is a good source. It is also a relatively new source made possible due to the advancement in technology.
It is derived from a high-fiber legume, which is the yellow split tea concentrated with all essential amino acids. It also helps regulate blood pressure.
5. Brown Rice
Brown rice protein is another common type used by bodybuilders and athletes, but it is not as popular as whey proteins or some other types. Some people don’t consider it a complete protein as it is very low in lysine, but it offers you all the essential amino acids. Experts say that this is best for young males.
How to Use Protein Powder to Gain Muscles?
There is no set rule as to when to take your daily protein powders or supplements. That being said, some people prefer particular times to ingest them depending on their convenience.
Here are some points that need to be cleared out:
- If you’ve ingested protein at some point before your workout, a post-workout shake is not necessary, but can still be consumed. You can also have a shake at any time during the day.
- If you haven’t ingested any protein prior to your work out, having your shake shortly before you workout is necessary. On the contrary, if you’re planning to work out in a fasted state, having your shake shortly after your workout is ideal.
- According to experts and users, taking protein powders pre-workout has shown more result compared to taking them post-workout. Apart from that, you can also take 40g of slow-digesting protein powder, like casein, before going to sleep at night.
A dose of around 20 to 25 grams of whey is sufficient to maximize muscle protein synthesis. Do note though that it is quite crucial to prioritize intaking proteins from food sources since they contain a variety of amino acids and nutrients or minerals. After which, move to protein powders to complete your daily protein requirement for gaining muscles.
Additionally, if you’re focusing on gaining weight or bulking up, taking your protein powder with dairy milk can be beneficial because of the additional calories.
Protein powders have shown to be very convenient and cost-effective, as well as provide high-quality and safe protein which not only builds muscles properly but also has an added effect of boosting the immunity in many cases. Research has shown that whey protein is the best option, particularly isolate whey protein. That is because it provides the highest protein content compared to other kinds of powders.
However, one can choose the best protein supplement for themselves depending on their need and preference. Whatever you use, make sure you know how to use protein powder to gain muscles which include when you should consume it, as well as how much and often you should take it.