To achieve the most from your training you need to make sure you are setting yourself clear and ambitious goals. Progress comes not from working towards the same targets but looking to assess, evaluate and upgrade the goals you are striving for. This upgrade starts with a genuine shift in mind-set. It’s a conscious decision you undertake, a promise to yourself that ‘good enough’ just won’t do anymore.
Setting yourself ambitious goals is just the start, you also need to upgrade your knowledge to make sure you are getting the most from the effort you put in. Protein will form the basis of any nutrition plan, so you need to make sure you know how much you need each day. Here we will take you through the importance of protein to building muscle, the amount of protein you need and what types are best suited to your goals. It’s time to Upgrade.
The art of building muscle
For the muscles in your body to grow and adapt to training, new muscle proteins must be made and old muscle proteins must be broken down. This process is known as muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein breakdown. Exercising regularly, especially weight training, will cause an increase in both muscle protein synthesis and breakdown.
However, your muscles only grow and adapt to each training session when muscle protein synthesis is greater than breakdown, known as positive protein balance. This anabolic (growth) environment is only possible when amino acids are available to the muscle which occurs following the intake of protein either before and/or after exercise. If you perform exercise with little protein in your diet and do not consume protein before or after a training session be prepared for poor improvements in muscle growth.
Therefore, the aim is to increase protein intake in your diet and around training sessions to improve the response and results from your training.
How much protein do you need?
The average adult requires around 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight but this amount increases if you are training and expecting to see results. An endurance athlete should consume around 1.4 to 1.6 grams per kilogram of body weight, whereas a strength training athlete would need about 1.6 – 2 grams per kilogram of body weight. A bodybuilder, or someone looking to add muscle, should be taking in around 2.3 grams per kilogram. Optimum Nutrition athlete, and two time WBFF Pro Fitness Model World Champ, Shaun Stafford, consumes 250-300 g of protein per day, from a variety of meats, fish, eggs and protein shakes, spread out across 6-7 meals and snacks.
What are the best sources of protein?
Always aim to get as much of your protein as possible from good quality whole food sources, such as eggs, chicken or fish. Use shakes when you need help hitting your protein target for the day. Whey and casein are two of the most popular types but you need to know when to take each to ensure you are getting the best results.
|2 Chicken Breasts||44 g|
|3 Slices of Ham||13.8 g|
|1 Cup of Milk||7.9 g|
|1 scoop of Gold Standard 100% Whey||24 g|
|1 scoop of Gold Standard 100% Casein||24 g|
|2 Eggs||12 g|
|30g Peanut Butter||8 g|
|1 Tuna Fish Steak||26 g|
|1 Cup (200g) Hummus||12 g|
Approximately 20% of the protein in milk is whey. Whey proteins are easily digested in the stomach, providing a fast delivery of amino acids to support muscle growth. This makes them a great choice immediately after training. Whey protein is also loaded with Essential Amino Acids (EAAs), including the three Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), and is rich in Leucine.
Whey Protein Isolates (WPI), rated at 90+% pure protein, are recognised as the highest quality whey ingredient. Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard 100% Whey uses WPI as its primary source, and is the world’s best selling protein powder. Shaun Stafford follows every training session with Gold Standard 100% Whey, as a fast-acting source of protein to help support muscle repair and growth.
About 80% of the protein in milk is casein. It’s often referred to as a “slower-acting” protein because once casein hits the stomach it forms a globule structure which means it is absorbed much more slowly when compared to other proteins. There are two types of casein protein used in the majority of protein powders: micellar casein and calcium caseinate. Micellar casein is the slowest digesting protein, whereas calcium caseinate is actually digested at a faster rate.
Gold Standard 100% Casein was the world’s first all-micellar casein. A slower-digesting protein like this is an ideal choice for those periods when you will not be eating for some time. This is especially true at night, which is why a number of athletes consume casein before bed to provide their bodies with a steady supply of amino acids when they sleep. Whilst he varies his fats & carbs dependent on his macro targets, Gold Standard 100% Casein is the one constant in Shaun Stafford’s pre-bed routine.
Are you ready to upgrade?
It all starts by setting a clear goal to work towards. Let’s be ambitious with this one – we want see your results go up a level this year. Make sure you know how much protein you should be consuming and keep a track of your intake through the day. Focus on good quality whole food sources and use shakes to help you hit your protein quota – just make sure you know which type matches your needs. Combining Gold Standard 100% Whey and Gold Standard 100% Casein in your routine will help give you 24 hour protein coverage. Upgrade your results.