Protein is king. Consume enough protein. How much protein should I eat to build muscle? Those are some of the sentences anybody who researches fitness and hypertrophy content hears about. It seems like everything is connected to protein, right? Well, yes, but protein is not the only nutritional value you should be looking at to get better physically.
Protein is an essential nutrient that plays many important roles in the human body. Here are some of the reasons why protein is important:
- Building and repairing tissues: Protein is the building block of tissues in the body, including muscle, bone, skin, and organs. It is essential for the growth and repair of these tissues.
- Enzyme production: Many enzymes in the body are made of proteins, which are important for regulating chemical reactions in the body.
- Hormone production: Some hormones, such as insulin and growth hormone, are made of proteins.
- Immune system function: Proteins are important for the proper functioning of the immune system, which helps protect the body from infections and diseases.
- Energy source: In the absence of carbohydrates and fats, the body can use protein as an energy source.
- Satiation: Protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates, which can help promote feelings of fullness and prevent overeating.
As you can see, there are many benefits to consuming enough protein daily and in the bodybuilding community the 1st point is perhaps the most important: to build muscle. After all, muscles are made out of protein.
But as many people will eventually find out, eating lots of protein is not the only thing you can do to help your body get stronger. So what else can be done? That is what dr. Eric Berg talked about recently.
Dr. Eric Berg DC is a chiropractor, health coach, and author based in Alexandria, Virginia. He has a YouTube channel with over 10 million subscribers in which he shares videos on various health and wellness topics, including fitness.
Check out what he had to say about protein, building muscle and things you might not be considering beyond it.
Most Important Factors to Build Muscle Beyond Protein Consumption
“You do need sufficient protein consumption to build muscle, but more than that you need sufficient amount of amino acids.”
Yes, that is how Berg’s video begins, with a straight information punch to the face for those who thought that protein intake is everything you need to be looking at when building muscle.
While many people will ingest a big amount of protein, sometimes even higher than 2 grams of protein per lean body weight mass, this likely will create insulin resistance in the body. And you need insulin to absorb amino acids. And the more insulin resistance you have, the less you are able to use protein to build muscle.
Another factor beyond protein intake that helps build muscle is growth hormone. You can trigger growth hormones with intense exercise, or fasting. Growth hormone can be inhibited by high blood glucose levels, which is another reason why Dr. Eric Berg enjoys the high protein, low-carb and high-intensity exercise routine to build muscle.
Further down the information hole, one can look also at testosterone level – the more you have testosterone, the more muscle you will build. Zinc deficiency can create low testosterone levels.
Having too much estrogen can inhibit testosterone and, according to Berg, this can happen when consuming too much beer or soy protein isolate foods and soy milk.
“Leucine is a potent stimulus of the production of muscle,” Berg says. “Mostly you will see low leucine foods in plant-based foods, but you’re not going to see this in animal meats. So it’s the type of protein that it’s important too.”
Dr. Berg goes on to talk about how stress can influence your muscle-building capabilities, the microbiome, enzymes lean protein vs protein from fat.
Check out everything in the video below.
Nutrition plays a critical role in achieving and maintaining fitness. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Fuel for the body: Proper nutrition provides the fuel your body needs to power through workouts and other physical activities.
- Muscle growth and repair: Adequate protein intake is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue. Consuming the right types and amounts of protein can help promote muscle growth and aid in recovery after workouts.
- Energy balance: Maintaining a healthy balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fat) is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight and supporting physical activity.
- Nutrient absorption: Consuming a variety of nutrient-dense foods can help ensure that your body is able to absorb and utilize the vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly.
- Overall health: A well-rounded diet that includes a variety of whole foods can help prevent chronic diseases and support overall health, which is essential for optimal fitness.
In summary, proper nutrition is essential for achieving and maintaining fitness goals, as it provides the fuel, nutrients, and energy needed to support physical activity and overall health.
Progressive overload is a fundamental principle of exercise training that involves gradually increasing the stress placed on the body during exercise over time. The idea is that in order to make progress and achieve better fitness and strength, you need to challenge your body by gradually increasing the amount of weight, repetitions, or sets you perform during an exercise.
By progressively increasing the load on your muscles, you force them to adapt to the increased demand, which leads to improved strength and endurance. This principle applies to any form of exercise, whether you’re lifting weights, running, or doing bodyweight exercises like push-ups or squats.
However, it’s important to progress gradually and safely and to give your body time to recover between workouts. If you increase the weight or intensity too quickly, you risk injuring yourself or experiencing burnout. A well-designed exercise program should take into account the principles of progressive overload to help you achieve your fitness goals safely and effectively.