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What is Protein?

Protein is one of the basic components of food and makes all life possible.Amino acids are the building blocks for proteins like antibodies,enzymes and hormones. Proteins provide for the transport of nutrients,oxygen and waste throughout the body. They give structure to muscles aswell as the ability to contract. They also provide collagen to theconnecting tissue of the body and to the tissues of the skin, hair andnails. In certain stages of life, such as adolescence, pregnancy orlactation, the body’s protein requirements will increase. Variousdiseases and medical conditions often also increase the body’s proteinrequirements.

It’s a known fact that proteins are importantfor muscle building. But it is important not to forget aboutcarbohydrates. Carbohydrates will give you the ultimate energy to helpyou get through your gym session.

Protein Requirements

To maintain body composition, the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

Activity Level: Individuals who regularly engage in weight training and / or endurance exercise require additional protein. Research recommends a usage level up to 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight depending on the intensity of the specific training program. 

Supplements before and after workout?

Before Workout:
Experiments that were done on food consumed a few hours before trainingshowed that nearly 70% of all carbohydrates eaten 3 hours prior toexercise were used as energy during training. Carbohydrates aredigested quickly supplying your body with a source of energy.

The amount of carbohydrates taken in should be CONTROLLED BY EACH INDIVIDUAL.You need to know how much you can take in and how much your body willbe able to tolerate. If you eat too much, you might suffer nausea whiletraining. If you eat too little, you may lack the energy needed for a full training session.

Post Workout:
Your first priority now is to replenish all the nutrients that youlost. This includes PROTEINS, carbohydrates, vitamins, fluids,electrolytes and minerals that you lost during your training. The maingoal after training is to take the correct supplements/food that willhelp your body to:

Repair muscle faster

Prevent dehydration and

Prevent cramping

L-Glutamine

Protein supplements/Meal replacers

Over Training

There is a common misconception that the harder one trains, the bigger onegets. Overdoing it may lead to muscle stiffness and you could undermineyour building capacity. Your body only repairs and builds muscle fibreswhen you are resting. Your muscles need to replenish lost energy,muscle glycogen, amino acids, electrolytes and more. Exercise causes anoverall breakdown of protein and this breakdown is more extensive forthe beginner. With training, the body becomes more efficient atrecycling protein, which means the amount of protein needed willdecrease as training status increases.

Protein breakdown ismore extensive when long periods of time are spent exercising. Theintensity of the exercise also bears a high cost. The more intense theexercise, the higher the protein breakdown. Therefore, exercise has a'protein cost', which means the protein needs to be replaced afterexercise. As with carbohydrate replacement, protein replacement isthought to be most efficient in the two hours immediately afterexercise and up to 40g of protein is recommended as part of acarbohydrate rich meal.

Does Muscle Turn to Fat?

Fat is a certain type of cell that cannot turn into a muscle cell. Throughtraining, your muscles will grow in size and strength. These musclecells contain mitochondria that are your body’s energy convertingvesicles. When your muscles grow, your body will need more energy andsome of this energy can be obtained by breaking down fat to yieldglucose for energy. If you do not train, your muscles simply getsmaller (atrophy) and fewer calories are required

When is Protein needed?

By taking in protein during the day, it ensures a sustained release ofamino acids in the blood that will aid in muscle recovery and leanmuscle gains. It is believed that protein supplements are needed rightafter training, before bedtime and also when you wake up. 

 
After training:
Training increases one’s growth hormone production (these hormones willhelp you to build muscle). Growth hormones are also known to increaseduring a high protein meal. 

 
Before you go to sleep:
This is the time when your body goes into rest mode and needs lots ofnutrients to feed your muscles and cells. Amino acids will then travelin your bloodstream and are taken up by muscle cells that need torecover and repair due to strenuous exercise. 

 
When you wake up:
When you wake up, your body has used its supply of amino acids and willrequire more. During exercise your body will need to provide ananabolic environment for your muscles to grow in. This can be achievedby consuming a liquid meal. Liquid meals are easily absorbed anddigested by the body making them the most convenient and nutritiousmeal ever!

Creatine!

CreatineMonohydrate is a hydrophilic molecule that can be bought almostanywhere. This is a phosphate that your body naturally produces anduses to recycle Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). This phosphate is foundin limited amounts in the body.

If one increases the quantity of the creatine through supplements, you will benefit in the following ways:

Creatine increases the potential for your muscles to contract more under strenuous exercise conditions e.g. weight training. Creatine will help you to lift heavier weights with more control.

Creatine increases your energy levels. This will provide energy bursts that will benefit you during short burst activities e.g. sprinting and weight training. It is believed that creatine ingested two to four hours prior to the workout is most effective during your training sessions. Obviously, this will also depend whether you take creatine monohydrate as is, or a creatine supplement with its own delivery system. 

Create An Anabolic State in your body

To see results from training, the importance of recovery needs to beunderstood. When you exercise a lot you will experience musclestiffness the next day and in the long run deplete the fuel that isused by your muscles. The stiffness and pain that you feel is due tothe actual physical damage that your muscles underwent during thepractice/training session. The damage usually occurs where the actinand z-lines unite, usually near the muscle-tendon junction. Freeradicals are also known to aggravate this stiffness and pain. Luckily,our body knows how to handle these free radicals and fight it off withthe help of antioxidants and vitamins. Vitamins C and E are essentialfor good muscle recovery and a reduction of muscle damage. This willresult in faster recovery after exercise. To create an anabolicenvironment in your body, you will need to be healthy.

Ananabolic state is necessary for your muscles to grow and develop(ANABOLIC = build up). If a catabolic state overwhelms your body(CATABOLIC = break down) it will be more difficult to put on musclemass.

How to create an anabolic state in your body:

Eat your proteins.

Eat your carbohydrates to energise your muscle building process. Because insulin secretion is stimulated by carbohydrate intake, the increase in insulin will help your muscle cells to absorb amino acids (more efficiently). If you take too little carbohydrates, your body will use some of your amino acids that could have been used for muscle recovery and repair.

Get plenty of rest in-between training sessions and enough sleep. Your muscles will not be able to grow if you do not have enough time to recover after training. You will also be able to optimise your body’s levels of testosterone and growth hormone if you spend enough time sleeping.

Use quality supplements and the right supplement combinations.

Drink enough water. Sufficient water will help you maintain muscle volume and promote growth