This Month’s Article:
“Within 30 Minutes Post-Workout is NOT the best time to take a protein supplement!”
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This Month’s Article: The Truth About Protein
Author: Ryan J. Mathias
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The TRUTH About Protein Supplements
Get the most out of yours!
Should I take a protein supplement? When is the best time to take it? How much protein do I need?
What is the TRUTH about Protein Supplements?
So you recently decided to spend your hard earned money on a protein supplement, and now you are not really sure how to use it to achieve the greatest benefit. However, you were told that you “NEED” it to get bigger, stronger, or leaner. The person telling you this, said that protein is the key to getting bigger and the more you eat the bigger, leaner, stronger you get…right? I mean, they must be an expert for you to let them direct how you spend your money, or maybe they are just really JACKED. So if it works for them, it must work for me, right? Either way, you bought some protein, or are convinced that you “NEED” it, and want to know the best way to use it. So let’s get into it…
“The idea of eating more meat/protein to build more muscle is
the same as trying to eat eyeballs to improve your eyesight.”
First, let’s clear this up right away…the idea of eating more meat/protein to build more muscle is the same as trying to eat eyeballs to improve your eyesight. It just doesn’t work that way. Yes, protein is a key part to building muscle tissue, but it is not as big of a deal as you might have been made to believe. There are many components to building muscle tissue, and overall calories is a big part of that. If you do not consume enough calories above maintenance level (the amount needed to meet your daily energy needs), then your body will only use the extra calories, whether they are from protein or not, as energy to survive. The only thing our body wants to do is survive, and if you don’t give it the fuel to do that, it is not going to grow. In fact, it will think you are starving yourself and start feeding on your muscle mass in order to survive, because it is hard for your body to maintain muscle when depleted. Now before you get worried that you are going to be catabolic (muscle consuming) every second of the day you are not eating protein, don’t stress yourself. As long as you eat regularly you will not be catabolic. Consume enough daily calories, which is not that hard, and you will be fine. Make sure to eat a variety of foods with a balance of protein, carbs and fats. It is ok to be hungry. Hungry doesn’t equal catabolic.
Hungry does NOT = Catabolic
Now, how much protein you should consume is different for everyone, because we all are different. Everyone’s energy needs are different and our training loads vary. Many people would think that big bodybuilder type individuals need the most protein to maintain their muscle mass, but this is not the case. In fact, those with a large muscle mass need much higher carbohydrate amounts to maintain their muscle mass rather than high protein levels, as muscle is vascular and takes a lot of energy to maintain. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for our bodies, so their carb intake will be very high with a relatively normal amount of protein. Your body can only build so much muscle mass at a time, therefore protein intake is relatively normal for larger individuals. You may be surprised to learn that the individuals that need the most protein relative to their bodyweight are endurance athletes. Yes, I do mean those little scronny people, with not much muscle mass, that do marathons and Ironman Challenges going for hundreds of miles at a time. Their protein intake is much higher because their overall calorie needs are much higher than any other form of athlete and they need the protein to replace all the muscle tissue they break down regularly. Each of their workouts last hours at a time and break down extremely high amounts of muscle tissue compared to even a high level bodybuilding athlete doing an extremely intense bodybuilding session for 2 hours.
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