We have all heard about the famous proteins, but not all of us are clear about the benefits or risks caused by their consumption. Let’s talk a little about it to clarify certain doubts.
AN ESSENTIAL MACRONUTRIENT
THE FUEL OF OUR BODY
Proteins are one of the main components of our diet, along with carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, trace elements, minerals, and water. Each protein comprises different amino acids (glutamine, valine, leucine, etc.). Since the body is a fairly well-built machine, it self-produces many of these molecules. Those that are needed (essential amino acids) will be taken with our food.
If the heart is our engine, proteins also play a fundamental role in our body from all points of view. They participate in different processes given by our body: the growth and renewal of our cells, the growth of our hair and nails, the development of our immune defenses, the transport of oxygen… and this is not all:
PROTEINS TO INCREASE MUSCLE MASS
Beyond its main role in our health, there is a real craze for consuming protein for muscle building, which has developed in the world of sports. Muscle-building and performance-seeking fanatics indulge in a high-protein diet and gainer, whey, and casein-based supplements.
And they are so popular in bodybuilding because they have a double effect on muscle mass. These macronutrients allow the development of muscle tissue but also its regeneration. You know the horrible muscle pain after an intense leg or arm workout, right? Well, that’s a sign that your muscles have suffered minor tears during training. To solve it,
THE PROTEIN SOURCES
PROTEINS PRESENT IN OUR DAILY DIET
Whether vegan, flexitarian, or meat lover, the protein intake possibilities are endless with your diet. Most foods contain it naturally, whether of animal or vegetable origin. Chicken, for example, is a very popular meat among athletes because it is rich in protein without increasing the fat stock too much.
Other foods are also key elements of a protein diet, such as milk, cheese, or eggs (consumed up to 3 times a day). As for vegetable protein, vegetarians or vegans are not far behind! Tofu is a food rich in amino acids, just like pumpkin seeds (very handy for those little 4 pm hunger pangs). Recently, there has also been talking of spirulina, a super alga that is very beneficial for our bodies,
IN FOOD SUPPLEMENTS
While vegetables, meats, and starches are enough to satisfy most of us, bodybuilders often turn to dietary supplements to improve their nutrition and gain muscle mass. There are plenty of protein powder supplements to suit your goals. Suppose you want to recover better after a workout, for example. You can opt for the popular “whey” (hydrolyzed, isolated, classic) or casein, which are very effective after a workout.
To prepare your muscles for exercise, BCAAs are recommended and can be consumed both before and during the session. The prices vary greatly depending on the chosen scitec whey protein supplement and the brand, but the factor of choice must be above all the objective you have set and your state of health.
PROTEINS FOR BODYBUILDING: GOOD OR BAD IDEA?
ATHLETE’S BEST FRIEND
The daily and intense effort of strength training requires adjusting your nutrition to compensate for your needs. Because? Simply because your body will likely draw on your energy stores for fuel. So, to avoid this, you’ll need to increase your protein intake during meals to gain muscle mass and promote recovery after intense training.
Powdered supplements are a good alternative for experienced athletes. They have the advantage of being easy to eat and having a higher amino acid content than conventional foods. This is also an interesting solution for a vegan athlete who has completely broken with animal protein: in fact, there are many plant-based products made from rice, hemp, or peas, for example.
PROTEINS SHOULD BE CONSUMED IN MODERATION
It is necessary to take certain precautions and avoid excess so as not to run health risks. No matter where they come from, whether from your “natural” diet or powdered supplements, you must think carefully about your intake. Often high in calories, consuming high-protein products can quickly lead to weight gain and increased body fat, which is not necessarily expected based on the goals you have set for yourself. And always remember: excesses of any kind are never good for your health. Some products consumed in too much quantity can be more difficult for your body to assimilate and cause certain problems. The consumption of creatine, for example, can cause water retention. Either way,
In summary, it is more than all the amount of protein consumed that you should consider. Depending on your goals (gain or lose weight), you will consume a different amount of protein daily. The idea is to combine well-thought-out training and a varied diet to optimize your performance and limit weight gain.
To do this, make sure that your meals are balanced: a serving of starchy foods for carbohydrates, vegetables rich in fiber and vitamins, and course, proteins to promote recovery and gain muscle mass. If this seems complicated to set up, feel free to ask your l’Orange Bleue trainer for advice or contact a health professional to accompany you.
5 TIPS FROM OUR TRAINER TO GET MUSCULAR
You have understood everything; only consuming protein will not be enough to increase the muscles of your body. Our coach from l’Orange Bleue gives you some tips to help you increase muscle mass.
START WITH FULL-BODY EXERCISES
For beginners, the ideal is to start with workouts that engage all muscles. The full body allows you to draw your muscle mass harmoniously and increase your physical abilities in general. The isolated work to have bulging biceps will come later, don’t worry.
WORK WITH WEIGHT
Bodyweight training is good, but more is needed to increase your muscle mass. Your muscles will be further stimulated by performing exercises with weight and loads. Increase the weight as you train, and you will see progress in a few weeks.
PREFERS QUALITY AND TECHNIQUE
While some training methods will have you looking to work several repetitions, it’s essential to master the movements first. So start slowly focusing on your feelings rather than looking for performance from the first session. In this way, you will save yourself from injuries and maintain maximum motivation.
GIVE YOURSELF RECOVERY DAYS
It’s no secret that consistency is key to building muscle mass quickly. On the other hand, it is essential to reserve at least one day of rest between each session. This will allow your body to recover properly to work better in the next workout. So let’s not rush!
EAT ENOUGH PROTEIN
While you rest, pamper your muscles with protein. Now you know why these nutrients are essential for your performance. Do not hesitate to include foods rich in protein (vegetable or animal) and carbohydrates in your meals after the sessions to promote optimal recovery. Consuming dairy products (with or without lactose) is also effective for rebuilding muscle.
If you are more advanced, you can supplement your diet with protein powder (whey protein isolate, casein, winning protein, bcaa, etc.). Choose your protein product according to your goals and tastes!