If you are new to body building, chances are you’ve already been introduced to the significance of protein supplements for body building and are perhaps daunted by the very idea. The point here is to get a bit of extra protein in your diet, additional to the protein that you’re already consuming through the food you eat every day.
Undoubtedly, protein shakes and protein powders are the best ways to give you that extra protein energy. However, when you are new to these supplements, you need to take care of a few things to ensure maximum results.
Why is protein important?
The first thing you need to do is understand the basics of protein; what is it and why is it important? Protein is one of the three essential macronutrients our body uses for energy. It is made of long chains of a series of amino acids which are a primary source of nitrogen to the body. This is then used by the body for muscle growth and repair, which is essential to your bodybuilding regime as your muscles are constantly repaired during the process.
What are protein supplements?
The next important thing to understand is what exactly are these supplements. These are commonly referred to as protein and nutrition resources that provide body builders and athletes with the required amount of protein for daily intake. The common types of supplements with protein are protein powder, protein bars, shakes and weight gainers.
These also come in different flavors ranging from chocolate, vanilla, fruit-flavored, peanut butter, cookie and cream, etc. for you to choose as per your liking.
Now that you are familiar with the basic idea of supplements, you must have heard or read a few terms that are commonly associated with them like isolate, blends, concentrate, BCAA, amino acids, etc. While you are on your supplement hunt, it is best to know and understand what all these terms really mean.
This is a protein source that has been chemically purified to rid it of every component except the protein which is just what you need. They are also called pure protein because of the whole purification process.
This, on the other hand, isn’t as pure as an isolate and contains other components too other than the protein. These include carbohydrates, fats, lactose, etc.
As the name suggests, this is more like a blend of different protein sources and purity levels. Since it is a combination of various components, it offers you with both slow and fast digesting protein sources.
An acronym for Branched Chain Amino Acids, this protein is made up of a chain of different essential proteins which are extremely important for protein synthesis in the body.
Types of supplements
The body building market is full of different kinds of supplements and you may wonder which one to get to produce maximum results. These range from whey protein, casein protein, omega 3, waxy maize, BCAA’s, etc. The few basic ones are as follows:
This is perhaps the most ideal supplement for body building beginners. It digests easily in the body which means that as you work out, your damaged muscles get the protein they need very quickly and hence also recover at a faster rate.
Whey proteins account for 20% of the protein in milk and are rich in muscle building amino acids.
This makes up the remaining 80% of the protein in milk and, unlike whey, it digests very slowly. The advantage this slow process poses is that it keeps providing your muscles with amino acids for hours. So if you take casein before going to bed, your muscles will be supplied with all the raw materials they need to recover as you sleep.
Because they are made up of a series of chained amino acids, they are extremely essential for your body and muscle growth. The specialty of BCAAs is that they metabolize directly in the muscle tissue which means that your damaged muscles will be provided with an instant source of amino acids.
When to consume supplements?
Perhaps, the most important question when it comes to workout supplements is when to consume them. As a beginner, you ought to know the science of when and how to take these supplements for maximum results.
First thing in the morning
When you wake up, your body is in quite a fasting condition because it hasn’t consumed any protein for hours. Thus, your body needs a fast digesting protein to make sure it gets a good amount of nitrogen to get you through the day.
Before starting your workout, you need to consume a slow-digesting protein powder that provides your muscles with energy for long hours. This sets up the anabolic window for your muscles before workout to provide them with adequate nutrition during training.
This is the most important time to consume a protein shake because after you have exercised, your muscles have broken down and need a good amount of protein to recover and rebuild. This will ensure a constant supply of protein building blocks for your muscles for steady growth and repair. Also, protein uptake is faster right after a workout.
Important points to consider
When buying a protein powder, consider a few important points:
Price vs. quality
It is very important to prioritize quality over price because a low price often means poor manufacturing standards which can compromise the quality of ingredients.
Protein and carb ratio
While you definitely need your extra protein, you also need that kick of carbs for your bodybuilding regime.
Look out for the sugar content per serving. You do need those sugars but ensure that it is in moderation.
Some protein powders have been reviewed as horrible in taste. Therefore, as a beginner, you need to get a powder that suits your taste so as to ensure maximum benefits.
Whenever you start your body building or weight loss journey, it is extremely important to exercise caution with what you eat and consume, the exercise regime you follow, and how to execute it. Same is with the consumption of supplements. You should get the one that fits your requirements and ensures maximum results.