Protein and bodybuilding are two phrases that seemingly go hand-in-hand these days.
It’s something that we’ve all come to accept although despite this, few of us know exactly why this is the magic ingredient when it comes to bulking up and carving that beach body which everyone seems to crave.
Why is protein so important?
Without protein, muscle would cease to exist. It’s the substance that provides the body with all of the essentials to facilitate muscle growth, as well as further benefits such as better recovery times from exercise and a healthier appetite.
On the subject of a healthy appetite, it should be noted that protein is included in most of the foods that we consume. In fact, it’s in virtually every food out there, although some foods have more of it than others.
Therefore, for the purposes of living a “normal” life, the protein contained in normal foods should be sufficient.
However, it’s for those people that want to reap its true benefits, such as enhanced muscle growth, where extra sources of protein come into the picture…
When should you consume more protein?
In short, if you are in the business of getting bigger muscles, consuming more protein is an absolutely essential step you should take.
This will give your muscles the best possible chance of increasing in size and as well as this, your body will be able to recover at much faster levels ready for that next gym workout.
Unfortunately, it’s very hard to obtain sufficient quantities of protein from regular foods. This means that most people turn to protein supplements, which have high levels of the substance and are easily digested.
How do you choose a protein supplement?
Unfortunately, once you have decided to take the plunge and buy a protein supplement, it’s not quite as easy as picking the first one that you see on the shelf.
Instead, it’s all about finding one with the correct nutritional values for your body.
For example, the calories in protein supplements are especially important. Some are designed as meal replacements, others as weight gainers, while some are solely for people who want to become leaner.
As such, the calorie content differs depending on this.
Despite the above, some people have devised their own rules for the amount of protein they consume.
One of the popular ways is to consume 1g of protein for every pound of body weight, with this regarded as a proportionate way of managing the supplements.
It’s not all about calorie counting though, as most seasoned nutritionists will tell you.
Sometimes, you’ll also have to consider other nutritional values such as the amount of carbohydrates that are included, while never forget the power of taste as this will be the deciding factor when you really don’t fancy guzzling down your supplement in accordance with your gym schedule.
What are the different types of protein?
Following on from the above, also bear in mind that there are various types of protein that are now available. The market generally caters to three main ones:
- Whey Protein: This is regarded as the premium type of protein, that’s fast acting and will absorb into your body almost immediately after a workout.
- Casein Protein: This digests at a much slower rate than whey protein, but it can provide amino acids to muscles for much longer periods. As such, it’s generally taken before going to bed to promote muscle recovery.
- Egg and Soy Protein: These are both specialist types of protein, with egg and soy protein products targeted at individuals who are either vegetarian or lactose intolerant.
When should you take your protein?
After deciding on the supplement that you are going to use, it’s all about using it appropriately.
The most effective way undoubtedly revolves around consuming a fast acting product, such as whey protein, before and after your workout. This will promote your muscles to grow at a much faster rate.
It’s also advisable to consume a casein protein before you go to sleep. As we touched upon previously, this is so your muscles are given a better chance to recover over the course of the evening.
What are the best protein supplements out there?
Even though protein might be separated into various different categories, there also happen to be various different product qualities.
We are now going to showcase our favourite six, to highlight just what’s available to the man who wants to maximise his muscle’s potential.
These products are the best-sellers from MyProtein, the leading protein supplements manufacturer worldwide.
When you visit MyProtein website, make sure to select your country from the dropdown menu on the top right side corner for the best deals and delivery ..
Impact Whey Protein
As the name suggests, this is a supplement based off 100% whey protein. This is the product we used in our no-bake protein bars recipe. It can be broken down as follows:
- Impact Whey Protein has 82% of protein content, giving your muscles access to huge quantities of the substance that really makes them bigger.
- To put the above into perspective, each 25g serving will provide over 20g of protein to your muscles.
- The product is low in fat and carbohydrates, making it perfect for anyone who wants to bulk up, without gaining any dreaded fat.
- There are over 25 different flavours of Impact Whey Protein to choose from, making it suitable for absolutely anyone out there.
Impact Whey Isolate
Part of the same selection of products, Impact Whey Isolate is also hugely popular amongst bodybuilders. This is for the following reasons:
- Impact Whey Isolate is even more potent than the previous product; containing over 90% of protein due to its unique ultrafiltration process.
- To again link this to direct protein serving figures, the typical serving will provide the body with a mammoth 22g of protein.
- The make-up of this product means that it is suitable for vegetarians.
- There are four flavours available to choose from, which should satisfy most people’s taste buds.
Deriving from a different brand, MYPRE acts slightly differently to the previous two products. This is marketed as a pre-workout protein, prompting the following benefits:
- MYPRE is a supplement which aims to improve your training performance. Its unique ingredients will optimise your training capacity, improve your energy, focus and provide you with all of the vitamins and minerals to enhance your hydration levels.
- MYPRE isn’t based on your standard protein product; it contains other ingredients to make it an all-round supplement. For example, creatine has been included to reduce muscle fatigue, while caffeine is in there to improve endurance. Then, there are various amino acids to boost protein synthesis.
- The ingredients haven’t been included based on “ifs” and “maybes” – they are all scientifically proven components.
- It’s possible to obtain MYPRE in seven different flavours, meaning that the vast majority of bodybuilders should be satisfied.
Again, the name might give away a little information about this next product. Protein Chox is packaged like a chocolate bar – only one that provides bodybuilders with umpteen benefits. Here’s more:
- Protein Chox are products which can be consumed as a snack through any point of the day. They taste fantastic – and again arrive in five different flavours to give you an optimum amount of choice.
- We’ll give another special mention to the flavours, as these aren’t your “standard” flavours. Cookies and cream, caramel peanut and cappuccino are just three examples and show how this product is anything but the normal protein bar you see on the shelves.
- As well as the immense taste, Protein Chox happen to provide the body with incredible amounts of protein. One bar will provide over 22g to the body, with most people using them immediately after a workout to aid the recovery period.
This is one example where the name probably doesn’t tell the whole story, with Instant Oats actually being powder based. It’s a product that’s somewhat different to what we’ve seen so far, as we’ll now find out:
- Instant Oats are based on Scottish Oats and can be mixed with water, or even added to another protein-based drink, in order to be consumed.
- This is a product which isn’t going to boost your protein intake, but some of the other important components instead. It will allow you to easily add calories to your diet, as well as carbohydrates to provide you with added energy through the day.
- Instant Oats have low GI levels, meaning that your body’s glucose isn’t going to skyrocket as soon as they touch your tongue. Instead, they are slow digesting and can conveniently be added to a meal to top off your new-look diet.
This last product once again focusses on proteins, or specifically the amino acids that eventually form them in the body. Here’s the lowdown on BCAA Plus:
- BCAA Plus contains Leucine, isoleucine and valine – the three primary amino acids. All of these are able to be digested directly into muscles, where they are able to stimulate protein synthesis.
- The product arrives in tablet-form, meaning that it’s especially easy to consume.
- As well as the amino acids, BCAA Plus contains vitamin B6 which can delay fatigue and boost your energy levels. It means that the product is primarily used for those people looking to aid muscle recovery.
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