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How to Gain Big Muscles Without Drinking Protein Shakes

Updated on January 25, 2014

These days, anyone who appears serious in wanting to build big muscles seems to have their hands on a protein shake. Although there are great benefits that come with drinking protein shakes, it isn't something that is compulsory for people who want to build strong muscles. Long before protein powder appeared in the market, bodybuilders relied on more natural sources (and and artificial ones) to build their bodies. For example, chicken breasts were (and still now) considered one of the best sources of natural protein. In this article, we have a look at ways you can build big muscles without having to resort to protein shakes. First, we'll explain what benefits there are to taking protein powder.

When you take protein powder, you are basically taking in protein at one of its most basic forms. This is good for many reasons, especially if you compare it to natural sources. For example, if you eat grilled chicken breast to gain protein, you are also taking in a good amount of saturated fat. This doesn't matter as much for amateur bodybuilders but it can be of great significance for those who are looking to get a low body fat percentage level.

Another benefit of protein shakes is the convenience. You don't have to spend time cooking. All you have to do is to mix some protein powder with water. Hence, protein shakes are great for those who don't have the time to cook. Despite all these benefits, you can still build great muscles without having to resort to protein powder. Here are some great natural examples.

Ideally, you should be looking to consume foods that are high in protein but low in fat. As I mentioned earlier, one of the most popular choices for bodybuilders is the chicken breast. When you eat grilled chicken breasts (with no extra condiments), you are gaining around one grams of protein for every 4.5 calories. The amount of protein your body requires per day depends on a number of factors. One general rule of thumb people like to use is by calculating the amount through their own weight. For example, people who take part in intense training exercises should take around 1.4 grams per kilogram of body weight. If you are a male that weighs 70 kg, the recommended protein amount would stand at around 123 grams. It is very important that you do your calculations as that can have an influence over the amount of muscle you build.

Another great source of protein is fish. We recommend fishes such as tuna, salmon, and halibut. These types of fishes aren't just rich in protein. They are also rich in other important nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acid. When you cook these foods, it is best to only use small amounts of condiments. This is why you hear a lot of people complaining about eating bland chicken breasts whenever they go through a bodybuilding diet plan. It may suck at first, but you'll get used to the new diet regime.

The last food we want to recommend is cheese. This doesn't mean you should grab the processed cheese from the local supermarket. You have to get specific types of cheese that are high in protein, but are relative low in fat content. Cheese that has a low moisture content tend to contain more protein per gram. For example, the Parmesan cheese contains 10 grams per ounce. This doesn't mean you can just dump a whole lot of Parmesan cheese on your meals. Parmesan cheese still contains nutrients such as fat, sodium, and cholesterol so you want to be able to control the amount of cheese you have per day.

Of course, protein isn't the only thing that is important when it comes to building muscles. You have to also push your limits when you do your exercise routine. If your goal is to purely build bigger muscles, your primary aim should be to lift the maximum weight for each type of workout. if your goal was to improve muscle endurance, your aim should be to increase the number of repetitions for a relatively lower weight. However, it is important that you do both as that will help in toning your muscles. One question a lot of people ask about is the optimal time when protein should be taken. There isn't a concrete answer but a lot of people believe that the best time to consume protein is in the morning, and straight after your workout. This applies to protein shakes so the optimal time may be different for people consuming natural meals such as grilled chicken since it takes more time for your digestive system to process that kind of food.

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    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 4 years ago

      Great article. I love your ideas. I would love an article done for vegetarians. You are absolutely right, to build muscle one needs more than protein. Thanks for the fabulous post. Voted up for useful;.