Thereís More to Lean Muscle Mass than Protein

By: Peter Roseberg

Gaining lean muscle mass is simple enough when youíre young and you have fewer health concerns to consider. Itís a different story if your metabolic rate is winding down or you have a health condition that needs treatment maintenance. Protein intake offers the quickest route to building muscles; muscle tissue needs the amino acids and compounds to rebuild and compensate for the fatigue of intense workouts. Your diet may involve food with different protein levels, but some may not provide the amount needed for your workout program.

Carbohydrates Contribute to Your Energy Reserves

Itís also about the carbs. Carbohydrates factor into a muscle-gaining workout program, since you need energy thatíll tide you through your routines. Make sure your intake involves complex carbohydrates, though, the kind your body gradually breaks down throughout the day. White bread and rice are considered as simple carbohydrates, and the surplus youíll gain ends up as flab in the most unsightly areas over time. Carbs are highly beneficial for hard-gainers or for the younger crowd, since the excess is compensated for with stricter routines or hyperactive metabolism.

Consume Carbs in Moderation

Your consumption varies with your workout goal and your current fitness level. You need a moderate excess of carbohydrates if you want to gain muscle mass, your current routines and daily exercises considered. Insufficient carbohydrates reserves wonít do you good, because your body will react by breaking up muscle mass into amino acids. These are then converted into glucose, the simplest and healthiest form of sugar. Glycogen is carbohydrates stored in the body, and the average guy can store up to 400 grams of this compound at any given time. Think twice the next time youíre planning to hold back or stack up on your carb intake; your decision has an immediate effect on your workout goals.

Pile up Muscle Mass with Protein

You should increase your protein intake as you gradually build muscle mass. The general rule of thumb is you have to consume 25 grams of pure protein for every pound of lean muscle mass you want to gain. This is doable with diet, but insufficient if youíve progressed to targets of five to ten pounds a week. Your body needs readily-available protein in its purest form, usually found in protein supplements and combination formulations. Youíve probably heard of whey protein powder as the end-all of protein sources. Whey protein powder comes as isolates or concentrates, and the difference is in the carbohydrate and fat content. Whey protein isolates contain as much as 88% pure protein which is easily absorbed by the body. Concentrates offer lesser amounts, depending on the proprietary formula. And then there are blends which come in wide varieties; you can skip the trial and error and ask your fitness trainer to recommend the variety that suits your goals.

Opt for a Well-round Workout and Diet Program

You can also opt for supplements with complex nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, in addition to protein sources. Some varieties (consider a sample of formulations at this homepage) pull in protein from different sources, like casein and egg whites. These should help if youíre after a more diverse supplement profile to your diet. Your workout program is only beneficial if you pair it with proper supplementation, ample rest, and a steady diet. You canít hold out on any of these if you want to see the fruits of your efforts soon.

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