Grab your cheat sheet
Building muscle mass is tough. Sure, when you start working out, you will see quick results, but it doesn’t take long for your progress to plateau.
Life can hold you back too; whether it's your busy job, family commitments, or you are simply ‘past your prime,’ it is hard to keep up sustained progress year after year.
Eating more protein is one of the most important things we can do to maintain our muscle mass and grow our muscles. Our diet is just as important, if not more important, than what we do in the gym.
So how can we increase our protein intake to help us gain muscle?
And is protein the only solution or are there other ways we can encourage muscle protein synthesis?
In this article, we’re exploring how to get more protein into your diet to bulk up those muscles.
What is protein?
Protein is one of the three macronutrients (the others being carbohydrates and fats) which we need to eat so that our body can perform a wide range of basic functions.
Eating protein helps us grow, builds muscle, supports bone health, regulates our hormones, and it is a base component of our hair and nails.
Protein is made up of amino acids. There are around twenty amino acids, many of which our body can create. However, we can only get nine essential amino acids from dietary protein.
The essential amino acids are integral to the process of muscle protein synthesis, which is why eating a high-protein diet is so important if you want to build muscle.
What should your daily protein intake be?
The FDA recommends that an adult eat at least 50 grams of protein daily. However, this is based on a daily calorie limit of 200 calories. Most adult men, particularly those who work out regularly, will need to eat a lot more than this to sustain themselves.
A better guideline is around 35% of your daily calories should come from protein. If you are serious about building muscle and want a more specific target, aim for 1.5 - 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
If you weigh 80kg, then this means eating around 140 grams of protein per day, equivalent to two large chicken breasts, 4 large eggs and one whey protein shake.
Which foods contain the most protein?
The first step in making sure you get the most out of your workouts is to ensure you are enjoying a healthy, balanced diet. Often the part people find the hardest is eating enough protein.
Today, many people’s diets are very high in carbohydrates. Carbs aren’t bad! We need them to fuel our workouts, but the key word here is ‘balance’.
Meat-based protein sources
Focus on lean meats such as:
Vegetarian protein sources
These are animal-based products that are suitable for most vegetarians:
Vegan protein sources
If you can’t consume any animal-based products, there are still plenty of great protein sources available.
If you aren’t vegan, it is still important to include plenty of plant foods within your diet:
What else can you do to build muscle mass?
What happens if you are dedicated to your training program, sticking to a healthy diet, counting your macros, and still aren’t seeing the results you deserve?
If you are starting to feel frustrated with your lack of progress, it’s time to look to supplements to give you a helping hand. It can be hard to get enough of every single nutrient that you need within a calorie-balanced diet - and this is where supplementation can come in handy.
Whether you want to increase your strength, burn fat, get rid of your man boobs or simply bulk up, Crazy Bulk has a product that can help. We have created a powerful range of legal, all-natural steroid alternatives to help you finally achieve your desired physique.
Our D-Bal tablets have similar effects to the popular steroid Dianabol without all the nasty and dangerous side effects. Clenbutrol is a safe alternative to the weight loss product Clenbuterol. It will help you get lean so that a layer of fat hides none of those hard-earned muscles! If you want to lift bigger and last longer in the gym, then check out our Testo-Max, which naturally pumps up your testosterone levels.
We have a wide range of products to help you build muscle and stay lean - check them all out here.