BILL: I am totally bummin’ about my muscles bro.
TED: What’s the problem dude?
BILL: Well ya’ know how I have like, been, at the gym, liftin’ weights n’ all?
TED: Ya’ dude, you spend more time pumpin’ iron than I do playin’ air guitar.
BILL:I know right? But bro, you can’t even tell. I still couldn’t snag a bodacious babe with these biceps.
TED: Dude, I totally know what you need?
BILL: No way!
BILL: Okay, whatcha got bro? Lay it on me.
TED: Whey dude!
BILL: Well come on bro, spew some knowledge on me!
TED: I’m tryin’ dude. It’s Whey!
First of all, why is protein important in building muscle?
Protein is made up of the nutrients needed to support muscle growth and strength after the muscles have been overexerted beyond their common use. For a better description, there is a great summery at LiveStrong.com.
Why protein powder?
“The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults get a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight per day—that’s about 64 grams for a 160 pound adult. In the U.S., adults get an average of 15 percent of their calories from protein; for a person who requires a 2,000-calorie-per-day-diet, that’s about 75 grams of protein.” – Harvard School of Public Health
The idea behind protein shakes is to pack all the protein you could get from normal foods like fish, eggs & other meats without the added calories and fat content that is common in protein rich foods. Basically, it helps you build muscle effectively without destroying your caloric intake goals.
What makes up a good protein powder?
There are innumerable supplement companies that are pushing their protein shakes. In the end, here are the 3 things I am looking for in my protein shakes.
- Proven (hype free and highly recommended)
- Minimal calories for protein benefit
I have become familiar with EAS’s Myoplex but their prices are dumb. I just picked up some Optimum Nutrition 100% Gold Standard Hydro Whey. I suggest finding a reputable brand with a track record of quality products and a flavor you like. While there are many opinions, the overall consensus from everything I have read is that whey protein is the most effective and popular form of powder but egg or soy based powders are legitimate alternatives.
You will build muscle faster and repair muscles more effectively than you could with a regular diet I have been using protein shakes as part of a 1500-1600 calorie diet and I have been able to have steady gains weekly at the gym. Heal faster, gain muscle….pretty much, you get Hulk powers without the gama-rays n’ such.I have not noticed any change in how I feel other than I am able to lift more weight without getting super sore or fatigued. It’s a “whey” awesome part of my supplement routine going forward.
FYI – GNC had a special on Optimum Nutrition so I picked these up at the store for $22 each. It was as good of a deal as any I could find online but without the shipping costs.
More info on protein:
Harvard School of Public Health: How much protein do I need?
LiveStrong.com: Benefits of Drinking a Protein Drink
Protein Toxicity Info