Does Protein Build Muscle Tone For Women?
Protein this…. Protein that…. Even little old ladies who don’t even lift are trying to get there share of protein.
These days there are both recreational and pro bodybuilders taking in more protein in one way or another.
Whether the kind of protein is whey, soy, casein, or milk… it’s all about one thing: protein.
Simply put, yes, protein is the main nutrient you can eat to build lean and toned muscle after a good workout. But don’t just take that info and run off! Let’s talk about why protein can make your body look great and keep you feeling great too.
The Benefits Of Protein For Building Muscle & More
Did you know that your muscles are made up of proteins?
Without adequate protein, the structures that make up organ and cell tissue can’t be put together by our bodies, nor can it create the biochemical materials needed for cardiovascular function, muscle contraction, growth, and healing.
Without an adequate amount of protein our muscles wouldn’t heal up as quickly and you could easily end up over-training your muscle.
Protein After Your Workout Is Most Important For Lean Muscle
If you don’t know anything about how to take protein to get lean and toned muscle, just know this my friend….
AFTER your workout is one of the best times to get protein into your body so that the protein can be shuttled to your starving muscles and immediately start healing the “micro tears” (quite little tears in your muscle tissue, caused by intense contraction of the muscle during workout) in your muscles.
Personally, I like to get the amino acids from the protein into my bloodstream as quick as possible, that’s why whey protein is one of my must-have supplements.
The reason I like to down a quick protein shake immediately after the workout instead of solid food is the simple fact that solid food takes far more time to digest and to break down the protein into amino acids and send it to the muscles.
Don’t get me wrong… While I’m sipping on my protein shake I am heading to the kitchen to cook up something delicious and packed with protein.
I never suggest getting all your protein for the day from supplements, they are called “supplements” for that reason, they are meant to supplement your diet, not BE your diet.
Following your workout it is advisable to take in modest meals containing high protein within about three to four hour periods, therefore providing your muscles with a continuous supply of protein to help your muscles heal up.
Not All Proteins Are Created Equal
In order to decipher which protein is best for building muscle, we need to use a specific gauge of some kind (i.e., protein quality evaluations) to determine which protein to use. The most frequently used criteria to measure the quality of a protein is Biological Value (or BV for short).
Proteins with the greatest BV are considered by many to be the finest for boosting muscle development.
Most scientists involved with protein research agree that the higher the Biological Value, the better the protein is digested, used, and kept in the body. This should equate into more muscle tissue gained, all things being equal (i.e., calories, exercise selection, etc.).
My favorite solid food for gulping down muscle-building protein is chicken breast, it has a BV of 106, it’s a complete protein with a BV that is very high and this means it boasts the highest branched-chain amino acid content found in nature and includes all the essential and nonessential amino acids . My favorite protein supplement is whey, the BV of whey is about 104 and you won’t find a higher protein value in any other type of protein supp.
You have tons of foods to choose from though, the next highest BV is 100, for entire egg( eggs and milk are a great protein for vegetarian bodybuilders BTW). By comparison, the BV of whole milk is 91, the BV of casein is 77, soy is 74, steak is 80, wheat is 54, and beans are 49.
Is Biological Value of Protein The End-All-Be-All?
As you saw in the last couple of paragraph, the BV of proteins is useful. But you don’t have to go crazy with it. The Biological Value is just one standard for proteins, shoot, I add importance to the taste of different foods and supp and of course I think about what other health benefits they may bring.
For instance, beef has BV that is relatively low but it’s freakin’ delish and has been a staple protein for workout warriors forever, I’m not gonna take it out of my diet based on it’s so-so BV ranking, sue me. Soy protein has a low BV but has other potentially useful health properties.
Thus, as a general guide to choosing proteins, BV is something to consider but should not cause you to shut out entire groups of proteins that you enjoy or can benefit from.
Obviously, among the most effective ways to get the quantity of protein that your diet requires is through solid food, but it is difficult to get all of their protein though solid foods, as I am sure many gym rats would agree. For that reason, I often add low carb whey protein in with the rest of my famous supplement stacks.
How Much Protein Should You Take?
In another article I will go into depth on this topic, but a very safe rule of thumb is to consume 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. This is easily enough to repair and build lean sexy muscle, while safely being nowhere near too much for your body to handle.