You've decided to change your body; to supercharge your muscle mass and strength. Maybe you want to achieve a smaller waistline or bigger guns? To build your body to protect from injury, illness, or low self-esteem? To look and feel great?
Whatever your motivation, there are key "must-know" approaches required to build muscle effectively. (*hint* Protein synthesis)! These will shortcut your journey to an awesome physique.
Ready to discover these hacks? I'm glad you're here! Let's dive in…
Protein Synthesis: What is it anyway?
From the day you are born to the moment you die, your incredible body is constantly under repair and acting to improve function. The reason we can hack muscle growth is because of this constant adaptation.
Imagine an injury you can see; cutting yourself. Blood, fluids, and cells migrate to the damaged area. Clotting occurs. A scab forms. Collagen forms a biological scaffolding, and new tissue is laid down. Over time, the result is a scar that provides strength.
When you lift weights or push your body beyond the norm, tiny tears occur in the muscle tissue. Like the cut above, your body acts to heal the damage. Plus, to adapt to increased stress (you regularly working out), the repair is performed with added muscle-strengthening mind. The body achieves these two aims by protein synthesis, creating new muscle protein.
When you consume protein, the process of digestion breaks this macronutrient into its smallest components: amino acids. From your gut, these acids enter the bloodstream, where they are transported around the body. Then, when needed, say to repair muscle damage, they migrate to the appropriate site and get to work…
But, we need a positive balance to ensure muscle protein synthesis. If there are too few amino acids to complete the work, extra muscle is not made. It's like your shopping bill; you can't buy $1000 worth of groceries if you only have access to $200. Likewise, you can't repair and build muscle if you don't have sufficient protein.
With this in mind, we'll talk about the importance of protein supplementation shortly. But first, what else can you do to enhance protein synthesis?
How Can You Enhance Muscle Protein Synthesis?
There are four simple ways:
- Resistance training
- Consuming adequate calories
- Eating leucine-rich foods
- Supplementing with a high-quality protein supplement
Obvious, right? Resistance training increases muscle hypertrophy (growth) and enhances neural adaptation. The latter "switches on" nerve function to recruit more muscle fibers and increase strength. This allows for better coordination of muscle groups, leading to enhanced outcomes.
Photo Credit: Healthline
Ensure you consume adequate calories
While dieting can be tempting, if your aim is to build muscular bulk, dietary deprivation will sabotage your results.
As a 2014 study showed, a mere five days in energy deficit resulted in a staggering 27% reduction in muscle protein synthesis. The authors also found that "The ingestion of protein after [resistance training] further increased rates of [muscle protein synthesis] above those observed at rest in [energy balance] in a dose-dependent manner."
To build bulk is, in some ways, like building a brick wall. Simply put, you need sufficient bricks to succeed.
Consume leucine-rich foods
As the article, Optimal protein intake to maximize muscle protein synthesis, said, leucine, an amino acid, "Accounts for the majority of the anabolic effect of a meal and administration of amino acid mixtures lacking leucine or with only small amounts of it do not stimulate [muscle protein synthesis] in adults."
So, leucine is necessary to trigger muscle growth. A lack of this amino acid stunts protein synthesis.
Beef, chicken leg, firm tofu, free-range eggs, milk, navy beans, squash and pumpkins seeds, pork chops, and tuna are rich in this nutrient.
Photo Credit: My Food Data
Supplement with a high-quality protein powder
Research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine investigated whether protein supplements could affect muscle mass and strength. The authors found that one-rep maximums, fat-free mass, and muscle size all jumped with supplementation. They concluded…
Dietary protein supplementation significantly enhanced muscle strength and size during prolonged [resistance exercise training] in healthy adults.
How much supplemental protein do you need?
This is a super common question!
As the article, Exercise, protein metabolism, and muscle growth noted, there must be a positive muscle protein balance to grow muscle mass. Resistance training improves muscle protein balance. But, if there is an insufficient intake of food, catabolism - or breakdown - wins. This is why amino acid availability is important in the regulation of muscle protein metabolism.
Supplementing with protein powders after your workout pushes the equation in your favor. As the article's authors state, it "maximizes the stimulation of muscle protein synthesis and results in even greater muscle anabolism." Yes, that's increased muscle growth!
Which protein supplement should you take?
As with all products you put in your body, quality is paramount. Don't shortchange yourself. You'll reduce your results and limit your physique.
Our Whey Iso Pro is based on 100% pure whey protein isolate. This is crucial; always check this before you purchase a whey protein product! With our whey, you can achieve your protein needs without upping your carbohydrate or fat intake. Plus, training triggers an increase in free radicals. Whey protein isolate naturally boosts the production of antioxidants, which "mop up" these damaging compounds. Whey Iso Pro acts in a number of beneficial body-building ways!
Or maybe you'd prefer a vegan option?
We've got you covered!
Vegan Complete Pro delivers 24 grams of protein in every serve. This product makes meeting your vegan protein needs simple to meet, including all nine essential amino acids. Containing pea, organic brown rice, amaranth, and quinoa powders, it'll boost your muscle gains with ease, taste, and a more Earth-friendly approach.
Encouraging muscle protein synthesis is crucial for building a strong, capable, and gorgeous body. Resistance training, adequate calorie consumption, enjoying leucine-rich foods, and supplementing with a high-quality protein supplement will make it happen.