Protein is a very popular word when you begin to train consistently. Anyone who mentors you will immediately begin teaching you about the importance of protein. He or she will explain about all the sources such as chicken, fish, steak, milk, eggs, soy, and whey, etc. Then your mentor will follow up with some dosage or gram amounts based on your training intensity, health, and weight. It can get a little overwhelming in the beginning, but in the end, it is really based on some simple rules that enables your body to build and repair muscle tissue.
Whenever I work with young athletes or beginners I take the time to explain the importance of protein, but more importantly what protein does. If beginners understand how and why protein works, they begin to understand the importance of timing your protein and that it can literally mean gaining 2-3 times more muscle over a given period of time.
When protein is digested by our bodies, it is converted to nitrogen within the bloodstream. When our blood has a positive nitrogen level, we can build and repair muscle tissue and cells much more efficiently. The timing comes into play because as protein is digested and nitrogen is created, it only lasts for 3-4 hours after you consume it. If your body needs additional healing and you have not eaten protein for 5-6 hours and your body needs to build and repair, it will utilize lean muscle mass to convert to nitrogen. This is the last thing any of us want!
By learning exactly why we need to consume protein 4 to 6 times per day, you empower your decision making process because now you know that by getting more protein you optimize nitrogen in the bloodstream and promote lean muscle gains! You can double or even triple your results depending on how much protein you were previously consuming.
So now that you have a basic understanding of why you need multiple servings of protein to maximize lean muscle mass, let’s discuss how much and when are the best times to take it. The range that is generally accepted by experts is 15-35 grams per serving. So if you’re a 100-pound male or female, aim for the lower target, and if you’re a 250-pound athlete, aim for the higher side of the scale.
These numbers are a general guide to help you get the most bang for your buck as protein is the most expensive nutrient you eat daily. Of course if you have any health issues check with your doctor first.
Here is a recipe for one of my favorite shakes to help you add a couple more servings of high quality protein per day.
Strawberry & Banana Protein Milk Shake
Ingredients Calories Protein
8 ounces low-fat Milk 120 8
½ banana 50 .5
1 cup frozen strawberries 70 1
½ serving of Vit-Acell 23 0
1 scoop of MaxPro Elite Vanilla 130 30
Directions: Place all of the above ingredients in a blender and blend for 30 seconds or until smooth and creamy. You can add water/ice or your preferred beverage to create your preferred consistency.
This shake contains 39 grams of protein and can split into 2 servings, 4 hours apart. Stop by your local Max Muscle Nutrition store and they will help you design this shake and many others to accommodate your personal needs.
So remember: multiple servings of protein spaced out 4 hours apart will lead to a leaner, stronger you!
By Joe Wells, CEO, Max Muscle Nutrition