BUILD MUSCLE WITH WHEY PROTEIN
Probably everybody knows that if you want to build muscle, you should eat protein (besides training of course).
When we are talking about building muscle, we actually mean increasing the contractile protein content of the muscles. Contractile proteins are the structures that make muscle contraction (and therefore movement) possible. There are other proteins in our muscles that cannot contract – like the ones responsible for the breakdown of glucose and fatty acids to produce energy.
Think about the body you want. I bet that it has more muscle than the amount you possess right now. Probably, we are stronger as well. If you want to be more muscular and stronger, you must increase the protein content of your muscles – mostly the contractile protein content of your muscles. How do we do that? With proper training. No one is running a marathon a day to get big biceps, or does yoga to have a big bench. No.
You lift weights to get big and strong.
Protein’s role in increasing muscle mass
In our muscles there is a constant muscle protein synthesis and a constant muscle protein breakdown. If these two processes are in equilibrium, the muscle mass remains constant. If it tilts towards one or the other, than our muscle mass (actually, the amount of contractile protein sin our muscles) will change – either in a negative or a positive way. During training, muscle protein breakdown increases while synthesis decreases. After the cessation of training, muscle protein synthesis increases and our body starts to resynthesis the amount of muscle that we broke down during our training. It goes even further – it supercompensates, meaning that more muscle protein is synthasized than we broke down during our training session. Therefore, after healing from training, we are bigger and stronger.
Another great tool to increase muscle protein synthesis is proper nutrition, with high amounts of protein. Increasing the concentration of amino acids in our blood leads to elevated muscle protein synthesis and decreased muscle protein breakdown.
Now we understand why it is a good idea to drink protein supplements after training – training and increased blood levels of amino acids both lead to elevated muscle protein synthesis. Combining the two leads to greater increases in muscle protein synthesis than either of them alone.
Why whey protein is the best choice post-workout?
Whey protein is a special breed among the protein sources. Whey protein is digested and absorbed easily and rapidly, which leads to a sharp increase in blood amino acid concentration. From a muscle protein synthesis point of view, the amount of protein consumed is only one aspect – how fast your blood amino acid conentrations rise is also important. For example casein protein is very slow digesting, that can supply amino acids for up to 5-6 hours. It does not stimulate muscle protein synthesis, but it suppresses muscle protein breakdown for several hours. However, whey protein produces a sharp rise in blood amino acid levels that leads to a big increase in muscle protein synthesis.
To reach the maximum stimulation of muscle protein syntehsis, high amounts of essential amino acids should be present – especially BCAAs, especially leucin. Whey protein is exceptionally high in EAAs, in BCAAs and in leucin.
Whey proteins other great benefit is tht it is high in glutamine. Glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acids (that means that under certain circumstances our body cannot produce enough of it), which is crucial for the health of our gut lining. It also helps our immune system.
The third great thing about whey protein is that is contains certain peptides that can support and strengthen our immune system. Due to its high cystein (an amino acid) content it can increase the level of antioxidant proteins and enzymes in our body (mostly the amount of glutathione, the number one anti-oxidant in our body).
Proper protein intake and heavy training is a must for building muscle. For a post-workout shake, there is no better choice than whey protein.