Saturday, August 8, 2015

Are You Getting Enough Protein In Your Diet to Build and Maintain Muscle?

I'm always amazed at how quickly food companies put together ad campaigns that tell you half-truths to get you to buy their products.  For example, research is now revealing how important building and maintaining muscle is to your overall health as you age.  And one of the key ingredients to building and maintaining muscle is getting enough high quality protein in your diet.  Now, we are bombarded with ads from food companies such as, "our product has 14 grams of muscle building protein!"

Most the products that you see advertized as having "muscle building protein" contains 10 to 14 grams of protein and they make you think that by consuming them you are feeding your muscles.  But what the food companies don't tell you is that you have to consume at least 21 grams of protein at a meal in order for your body to start building and repairing muscle tissue.

Protein is a necessary part of every living cell in your body.  Next to water, protein comprises up the greatest portion of your body weight.  Protein is important in the maintenance of enzymes and hormone levels that regulate critical body functions, and it is also important in the healing and repair of your bones, tissues, and cells.  Thus, your body uses the protein you consume for the most critical functions first, and if you don't get enough protein at a meal, muscle building does not happen.

It takes consuming at least 21 grams of protein at a meal for your body to get the signal that it has enough protein to start protein synthesis (the building and repair of muscle).  So you see, consuming an extra 10 to 14 grams of protein as a snack is beneficial to other bodily functions but, it won't help you build muscle.  Here's the whole truth about protein consumption and building muscle.  You need to eat 25 to 30 grams of protein at each meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) if you want to stimulate maximal muscle growth and repair.