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Does protein build muscle?

Updated on April 19, 2015

Protein does play an integral part in the muscle building process and body builders and athletics will use it in their diet to achieve the strength or mass which is required for their sport. Proteins, just like carbohydrates are considered as macro-nutrients which means they are a bodies requirement. Carbohydrates will be the body's main supply or power or energy, while Proteins have a number of roles such as fixing or repairing damaged cells and also hair and nail growth. To answer the question "Does protein build muscle mass?" all depends when and how you use the protein. Even though body builders use it, it doesn't necessarily mean that a simple intake of protein alone will build muscle mass.

How does it actually build msucle?

When you do muscle constructing exercises such as lifting weights, or extreme exercise that put your muscles under strain, your muscle tissue is stressed to the point of break down and actual damage to some degree. Since the proteins job is the repair and recovery of muscle fibers and tissue, they are needed to repair the muscle at that phase. In doing so, the muscle fibers naturally repair themselves thinker and stronger then before to avoid further damage thus creating bigger and stronger muscles. This is why the rest period between training sessions is essential for muscle growth, it is during this period when the amino acids kick it to protect further muscle breakdown. Daily weight training will do you more harm than good, since your muscle will have no time to repair and grow.

Most body builders say that there is a window of around 15-20 minuets after a weights session in which you need to take your protein supplement (usually in the form of a drink) in order to achieve maximum results. Too much protein intake while not exercising can result in general body mass gain (mainly unwanted fat and general bulk).

Types of protein

There are different types of protein to build muscle mass. Eggs contain a lot of protein however due to the high amount of cholesterol this type of protein intake needs to regulated for health reasons.

Another type of protein as mentioned earlier is Whey protein which is widely available, this contains extracts from chicken breast, egg and milk. and is easy to include in your daily diet.

When to take protein

  • First thing you do in the morning. After sleeping all night, your body is in a catabolic state. (* Catabolism phase consists of a metabolic conversion of nutrients into simpler compounds, releasing energy.). So, the first thing you should do when you get up is to eat easily digestible protein such as whey protein, even before brushing your teeth, to prevent muscle loss or catabolism.
  • Between meals. To maintain the flow of blood protein to feed muscles continuously throughout the day, making casein protein between meals. Casein protein is slow to digest and therefore will continuously release protein to your blood system to feed your muscles for many hours between meals. In this way, your muscles get protein steadily throughout the day.
  • Protein before and after exercise. It is a known fact that eating easily digestible protein such as whey protein before your workout will promote muscle growth. Feed your muscles while you train. After training should also try to take whey protein along with some carbohydrates to repair muscle cells after they have been damaged during training.
  • Protein before bed. Since you'll go many hours without food and muscle building is at its optimum when you sleep, you must encourage your muscle to grow by eating casein protein before bed.

Will protein make me fat?

Some people have complained that protein shakes have made then bulk out too much in terms of fat. I truly believe that it's their diet in general plus the protein that is causing the excess weight. Also I have noticed that people who drink protein shakes every day tend to be on the heavier but fatter side. Make sure you are using the protein as fuel for your muscles. It see it as a waste if you are consuming so much protein outside training sessions.


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    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 4 years ago from Japan

      Thanks a lot Kasman

    • Kasman profile image

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      As a man that likes to lift weights, I normally have a regular cache of protein modules in the house. Typically anything from shakes to bars, I'm a protein freak, lol. There were a few things I learned from this article and I'm voting up Hezekiah.....and sharing!

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 4 years ago from Japan

      Thanks Kashmir

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great interesting information that you explained well, which made it easier to understand for any one who has not done any strength training before !

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 6 years ago from Japan

      Thank you Deestew, basically it's about fiber damage and rest to grow bigger muscles.

    • deestew profile image

      deestew 6 years ago from Kentucky

      This was a very interesting hub. I never really understood the process of strength training. Thanks.

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 6 years ago from Japan

      Thanks a lot gajanis786

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 6 years ago from Japan

      Thank you ma45frost

    • gajanis786 profile image

      gajanis786 6 years ago

      Really a knowledgeable hub.....thanks for sharing.

    • ma45frost profile image

      ma45frost 6 years ago from USA

      Another informative hub. Thanks!