Higher protein consumption yields muscle size, strength and overall health

Protein is by far the single most important supplement/nutrient you can consume in your quest for size and strength. Just the mere mention of it, however, gives most doctors and dietitians an anxiety attack. I?m sure you?ve heard much of the unfounded non-sense: ?All you need is food; supplements aren?t necessary.?, ?Too much protein can lead to kidney and liver problems.?, ?An average person can only absorb 30 ? 40 grams of protein at one sitting.?, ?Vegetable protein is just as good as meat, fish or milk protein.?, ?Eating more protein will make you fat.?, and so on and so on. There is not one reputable, reliable study to support any of these previous statements, and I cannot tell you how tired I am of dealing with this groundless garbage.

Protein repairs and maintains everything in our bodies from hormones to muscles to bones. Proteins are made up of building blocks called amino acids. There are nine essential amino acids. Essential meaning we have to ingest these for survival because our bodies cannot manufacture them. Many researchers now believe we have many other amino acids that should be considered ?conditionally essential?, because of their significance and our inefficiency at producing them. These include; glutamine, arginine, cysteine, taurine, glycine, tyrosine and proline.

If your protein intake or quality is low your body will get the essential aminos it needs from its most abundant storage system, muscle tissue. Knowing this explains why strict vegetarians, especially vegans, have a lower percentage of muscle than dairy, meat and fish eating humans and a harder time building muscle or strength in the gym. The quality of protein inherent to a vegetarian diet, especially vegans?, is dismal at best and a few studies have shown vege males have less testosterone then their meat eating counterparts; especially true if soy is part of their diet. What else should you expect consuming food inferior to human physiology?

Consciously consuming a diet low in protein has no benefits; is not based on good science, and merely a matter of ignorance. There are two things that begin with the letter ?P? that I would never cut back on; one is protein; the other ends in ?Y?. Having said that, how much protein should one consume? The International Society of Sports Nutrition, in a 2007 position statement, concluded that bodybuilders and strength/power athletes require just under a gram of protein per pound per day; consistent with my recommendation of 1 g/lb of lean body weight. However, if you train intensely, which is how you should train, empirical data suggests you may need upwards of 1.5g/lb to 2g/lb. Have no fear; this extra protein will not make you fat.

Protein, in and of itself has little to do with getting fat; protein consumption is inversely related to fat accumulation. The more protein you eat the more fat you burn as fuel. Protein consumption is directly related to thermogenesis and satiety through multiple mechanisms. It?s what you eat more than how much you eat that will determine how lean strong and muscular you will get.

A calorie is not a calorie. The assertion that macro-nutrients are all processed the same between individuals is just foolish. This is the basis for the calorie theory. A calorie of a carbohydrate does not equate to a calorie of protein when being metabolized in our bodies. Protein calories are not likely to be stored as fat as compared to carbs, because protein requires more energy to metabolize and assimilate and has numerous functions. Carbs are simply an energy source, and if not used as fuel, they are stored as fat without much effort; carbs also stimulate the release of high amounts insulin, the fat storage hormone. The higher your insulin, the more fat you’ll store. Keeping your insulin levels low is a key to becoming and staying lean. As an added bonus, protein helps to stimulate the secretion of glucagon, which helps mitigate the fat storage effects of insulin.

  

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