Find out exactly how much you should eat to support and achieve your goals.
Why is Protein Vital for Muscle Growth?
Protein is vital for muscle growth because it contains amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle tissue. When you exercise or engage in any physical activity that puts stress on your muscles, it causes small tears in the muscle fibres.
To repair these tears and build new muscle tissue, your body needs a sufficient supply of amino acids from protein.
When you consume protein, your body breaks it down into individual amino acids, which are then used to repair and build new muscle tissue. Without an adequate supply of amino acids from protein, your body cannot effectively repair or build muscle tissue, which can lead to muscle atrophy and decreased strength.
In addition to its role in muscle growth, protein also plays a crucial role in many other bodily processes, such as hormone and enzyme production, immune function, and tissue repair. Therefore, consuming enough protein is essential for overall health and well-being, not just for muscle growth.
Video – How Much Protein Should You Eat for Muscle Growth?
- 00:00 Intro
- 00:19 What is Protein?
- 01:06 Protein Sources
- 02:22 Protein & Hypertrophy
- 04:45 Practical Considerations
- 08:17 Practical Recommendations
What is Hypertrophy?
Hypertrophy is the growth or enlargement of an organ or tissue in response to increased demand or stress. In the context of muscle growth, hypertrophy refers to the increase in size of individual muscle fibres in response to physical exercise.
There are two types of muscle hypertrophy: sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and myofibrillar hypertrophy. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy refers to an increase in the volume of fluid and non-contractile proteins within the muscle cell, which can result in an increase in muscle size without necessarily increasing strength. Myofibrillar hypertrophy, on the other hand, refers to an increase in the number and size of the contractile units within the muscle fibre, which can result in an increase in both muscle size and strength.
Hypertrophy is a result of the body’s adaptation to increased physical stress. When you engage in resistance training or other forms of physical exercise that challenge your muscles, it causes micro-tears in the muscle fibres. In response to this stress, your body triggers a series of biological processes that result in the growth and repair of the muscle tissue, ultimately leading to hypertrophy.
Why Does the Human Body Need Protein?
The human body needs protein for a variety of reasons. Protein is an essential macronutrient that is involved in a wide range of bodily processes, including:
Building and repairing tissues: Protein is the primary building block for tissues such as muscles, bones, skin, and hair. It is essential for the growth and repair of these tissues throughout the body.
Enzyme production: Many enzymes are made of proteins, and these enzymes play a critical role in catalyzing chemical reactions in the body, such as breaking down food and synthesizing new molecules.
Hormone production: Several hormones, such as insulin and growth hormone, are made of proteins. These hormones play a crucial role in regulating various bodily functions.
Immune system function: Many immune cells, such as antibodies, are made of proteins. These proteins help to defend the body against foreign invaders, such as bacteria and viruses.
Energy production: While carbohydrates and fats are the primary sources of energy for the body, protein can be used for energy in times of need.
Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein molecules. The body can make some amino acids on its own, but there are nine essential amino acids that must be obtained through the diet. Therefore, consuming enough protein is essential to ensure the body has an adequate supply of all the essential amino acids it needs to perform these critical functions.
What Foods Contain High Levels of Protein?
Many foods contain high levels of protein, including:
- Meat: Beef, pork, lamb, and poultry are all excellent sources of protein. Leaner cuts of meat are typically higher in protein and lower in fat.
- Fish: Salmon, tuna, and other fatty fish are high in protein and also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for heart health.
- Eggs: Eggs are an affordable and versatile source of protein, with one large egg containing around 6 grams of protein.
- Dairy products: Milk, cheese, and yogurt are all high in protein. Greek yogurt, in particular, is a good source of protein and also contains beneficial probiotics.
- Legumes: Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are all high in protein and also a good source of fiber.
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, peanuts, and sunflower seeds are all high in protein, while chia and hemp seeds are particularly rich in protein.
- Soy products: Soybeans, tofu, and tempeh are all high in protein and are also a good source of plant-based protein.
It’s important to note that the amount of protein in these foods can vary widely, and the protein content of processed foods, such as protein bars and shakes, can be highly variable as well. Therefore, it’s important to read food labels and choose protein sources that fit within your overall dietary needs and goals.