2nd Law of Muscle Growth
One of the most important pieces of the puzzle to help you reach your musclebuilding goal is protein. Protein is essential for repairing and rebuilding muscle tissue, as well as for overall good health.
Some of the key benefits of optimal protein intake include:
- Increased muscle growth
- Increased strength and power
- Accelerated recovery between workouts
- Enhanced immune system function
- Stronger bones and reduced risk of bone-related diseases
- Better body composition
During high-intensity training, we are in a state of catabolism (causing muscle protein breakdown). Being in a prolonged/chronic catabolic state results in loss of muscle mass over time. To build muscle, we need to create an anabolic (growth promoting) environment within the body. This begins with the 1st Law of Muscle Growth. Optimizing protein intake is the second critical factor.
How much protein do I need?
Meeting your daily protein goal is critical to achieving rapid results. We recommend an average of 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight each day, spread out over several meals (including protein shakes when necessary). This recommendation is backed by a ton of clinical research. In fact, the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) has reviewed literally hundreds of research studies on protein intake for healthy, Strong Athletes like yourself. The current position of the ISSN is as follows:
- Hard training athletes require more dietary protein than your average couch potato. This seems obvious but it took science a long time to arrive at this position.
- Higher protein intake (0.6-1.0 grams/lb) is safe and can improve adaptations to training.
- When consumed as part of a nutrient dense diet, higher protein intake is not harmful to the kidneys and does not affect bone metabolism in healthy people.
- Protein supplementation (i.e. high quality protein powder) is a practical strategy to ensure adequate protein intake for athletes.
- The jury is still out on the superiority of one protein type vs. another with respect to optimizing training recovery and/or adaptations.
- Protein timing is an important factor for recovery and muscle growth. This underscores the importance of a post workout nutrition strategy that includes high-quality protein.
- Branched-chain amino acids, also known as BCAAs, (three of the building blocks of protein) can accelerate training recovery and performance
Last week, we learned the 1st Law of Muscle Growth, which is: Consume More Calories Than You Expend. The 2nd Law is to:
Increase Daily Protein Intake to 1 gram/lb. of Bodyweight.
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