Protein & Nitrogen: The Keys To Intense Training Recovery

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We are truly in a new day and age for athletic performance. I have been at the forefront of the fitness industry for more than 30 years. I go back to the days when basketball players were afraid to even lift weights. The players believed that intense weight training would affect their shooting. Take a look at most of the players in the NBA today. They are shredded, muscular and extremely athletic. This is far more than an evolution of the athlete by participating in their sport. These guys are eating correctly and training intensely.

I also recall back in my football days that only a handful of guys would work out after practice. I was one of those guys, and we would often endure light criticism for taking it on a little ‘too seriously.’

Fast forward 30 years later and everybody trains after practice or before. Take a look at the linebackers and running backs in the NFL. These guys look like body builders. Once again, this is not an accident, but these guys are training harder than ever and are adhering to a very strict diet that promotes energy and recovery.

Today, there is so much at stake if you want to become a pro athlete. The status that you receive is similar to that of the gladiators of old. We celebrate these games with thousands of raging fans in giant stadiums and reward them with million-dollar contracts. And no one needs to fight to the death! So why wouldn’t the average high school or college athlete find the time to work out a couple hours a day and try to push himself to the next level?

MORE: What is Whey Protein and Why Should I Be Taking It?

One of the strongest shifts in training these days is a focus on working out with extreme intensity while doing a variety of creative movements. And while working to failure and focusing on core exercises to enhance balance and overall strength is great, you need to make sure you recover properly. Many experts believe that 70 to 75 percent of what you attain from physical training is dependent on your nutritional needs. And breaking it down a step further, the most important nutrient to help you recover is protein.

Why is protein so important? Protein breaks down to nitrogen and your body needs nitrogen to build and repair damaged muscle tissue from intense training. When you think about it, a 2-hour basketball practice would result in several thousand repetitions of your quad muscles. Every cut or jump causes your quad muscles to flex or do a repetition. If you don’t eat or supplement with quality protein, you will more than likely end up over trained.

It is important to note that you need to elevate your nitrogen balance by eating or drinking protein every 4 hours or so. When you ingest protein, your nitrogen balance climbs up over approximately a 2-hour period and then falls over a 2-hour period. So as a result, your nitrogen balance increases for about a 4-hour period. This is why most nutrition experts promote ingesting 15-30g of quality protein 4-5 times per day depending on your weight. Maintaining a positive nitrogen balance by eating frequent protein meals can mean doubling your lean muscle gains!

I encourage you to stop by your local Max Muscle store. Our trained staff can simplify this and help you get started on a new leaner, meaner physique.

By Joe Wells, CEO, Max Muscle Nutrition