It is a myth that by eating large quantities of protein or protein shakes you will automatically get bigger and stronger. The only way that you can increase your lean muscle mass it to follow a structured strength training programme supported by a diet high in energy to support your training and daily requirements.
Resistance training provides a stimulus which helps the body adapt to the increased working load which results in muscle gain. Your genetics will also play a large part in how your body will respond to this type of training.
Guidelines indicate that more protein is required to gain muscle (1.2 to 2 g protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.54 to 0.91g per pound of body weight). However, the most crucial dietary factor that plays a role in building lean muscle is making sure that you are eating plenty of calories. You should be taking in more calories than you are using, known as ‘positive energy balance’.
Most people who are training hard can actually meet their protein requirements by their diet alone. There is no evidence to suggest that taking protein supplements is better than taking protein from food sources. Generally, protein and amino acids supplements are more expensive than taking protein rich foods. Be careful - protein when taken in excess can reduce the appetite and prevent adequate fuelling for training. Some protein supplements have also been found to contain banned substances and therefore professional athletes need to ensure they use WADA tested products.
The timing of protein has been found to be helpful with resistance training. Studies suggest that consuming a small amount of protein (10g) immediately before the gym session may help with muscle gains. There is also strong evidence of taking a small amount of protein (10–15g) with carbohydrate immediate after strength training helps stop muscle breakdown and enhances muscle repair and refuelling. There are commercially available protein based carbohydrate recovery drinks that are convenient. Alternative, use a flavoured milk shake drink, or a protein carbohydrate based snack.
Weightplan’s meal plans are designed by our sports nutritionists to ensure you get the right amount of calories and protein to fuel your fitness or gym activity - ensuring you reach your goals. We calculate your energy requirements and activity needs to set you up to achieve your goals. By combining nutrition with activity you are much more likely to achieve lean muscle growth, rather than add fat. Try Weightplan - and see the difference in weeks.