Our bodies use protein for repair and growth following any type of activity that causes muscle tissue to break down. In this case, we are particularly looking at how the body uses protein for bodybuilding. Bodybuilding is a form of progressive overload resistance where we challenge our body to exceed any prior demand made on it. When done correctly this will always result in the existing muscle tissue in the body is broken down and needing repair. Consuming protein for bodybuilding is essential to get results.
Protein is available from a wide variety of foods that most of us will eat every day. These include things like Chicken, Eggs, Milk, Beef, Fish and a lot more. You will also find protein in other foods in smaller quantities, but these are not as beneficial for bodybuilding as their bioavailability is much lower. Your body can use the lower quality protein, but you would have to consume large quantities often leading to high-calorie intake and unwanted weight gain.
As a bodybuilder, you will want to eat between 1.5g and 2g of protein per lb of bodyweight. A 200lb bodybuilder would need between 300g and 400g of protein daily spread between 5 and six servings during your waking hours. Trust me, this is quite a lot of food to eat, and that is where a good protein powder offers an alternate way of consuming enough protein.
As far as your body is concerned protein is no different once broken down into amino acids whether it came from solid food or protein powder. Drinking shakes reduce the quantity of food you have to stomach and is very convenient and fast to prepare and drink. The powder is also easily digested which ideal is following a weight training session where your body is trying to repair as quickly as possible.
There are different types of protein available along with a huge number of different brands it makes it difficult to pick a good protein powder without spending a fortune. I will try to help you make a good choice with the information below.
Types Of Protein For Bodybuilding
The most common type of protein used in the bodybuilding community is whey protein. For those of you who are interested in where it comes from you may be surprised to learn that it is a by-product of making cheese from cow’s milk
Whey protein can be categorized further depending on the process used to extract and purify it. Whey concentrate is the cheapest form and typically consists of up to 89% protein with the rest being made up of carbohydrates and fats. This type of whey has the highest amount of fat and cholesterol so that may be a consideration for some. Its bioavailability is very high, and it is digested quickly in the body, suitable for post workout use.
Whey isolate could be considered the next step up regarding quality when it comes to whey protein. The whey is processed to remove a lot of the fat content and lactose and generally whey isolate is lower in carbohydrates. It is common to see protein content upwards of 90%. The whey has a slightly lower bio-availability than whey concentrate but is preferred by some due to the carbohydrate content being suited to dieting and fat loss. The whey is still digested quickly in the body, suitable for post workout use.
Whey hydrolysate is a partially digested, partially hydrolyzed form of protein processed for optimum digestion in the body. This processing commonly results in the price being considerably higher than the other two forms of whey protein, and you should question whether this extra cost is worth it for you.
There is another type of protein worth mentioning at this stage with a particular use normally associated with it. Casein is another protein derived from cow’s milk. It is important as a bodybuilder to not go for long periods of time without ingesting a protein source. Casein is used for bodybuilding to fill this need. Most people drink casein before sleeping where the protein forms a gel in the stomach and binds together. This results in the digestion taking a lot longer and a constant supply of protein being drip fed into your blood stream while sleeping. You can also use casein between meals to bridge the gap and maintain high levels of protein in the body.
So What Protein Should I Use For Bodybuilding?
In my opinion, it is not a case of picking one source of protein for bodybuilding. You will achieve better results varying the type of food and powder consumed. As always a good overall diet is going to be essential for you to achieve any results and protein powder should be considered a supplement to that diet rather than a staple source of your nutrition. Don’t forget that while protein is protein when digested, there are other nutrients essential for your health and bodybuilding goals that would be missing if you just consumed shakes. Spread the different types of powder and food throughout your day to suit you. Protein shakes are convenient, and anyone is looking to build muscle as a bodybuilder would do better to drink a shake than to skip a meal. Protein is essential whether you are trying to gain weight or lose weight and should be used accordingly.