How can Whey Protein Help Me Gain Muscle?
If you are trying to gain muscle there’s a high chance that you haven’t skipped a workout in a while. There’s no question that you’re working hard towards building muscle at the gym but are there areas where you are falling short?
It’s crucial that you do everything you can to support those efforts at the gym. This includes prioritizing your recovery and following a nutrition plan that guarantees the results you are seeking.
There are many pieces to nutrition but if gaining muscle is important to you – it’s time to focus on how much protein you are eating.
Muscle Protein Synthesis or Breakdown
If you want to gain muscle, you’ll need your muscle protein synthesis to be greater than your muscle breakdown. You might be wondering how you can make sure that you have a positive balance.
The good news is that the two main contributors are within your control – your workouts and nutrition choices(1). When it comes to your nutrition, you’ll need to focus on getting enough protein in your diet at the right time.
Looking for your next source of protein? Make sure it’s a complete protein that provides all the required amino acids.
What Time is Best for Protein?
Your nutrition can get really complicated if you let it. That’s why it’s best to recognize where you are at in your journey and start building better habits and muscle!
Let’s break it down real quick. Let’s pretend you need to eat 150 grams of protein everyday. Now, how many meals are you eating daily right now? If you are eating 3 meals, you could focus on eating around 40 grams of protein at each meal with a protein shake packed with 30 grams after your workout.
Why do you need the protein shake after a workout? Well, we must remember muscle protein synthesis and its importance. Muscle protein synthesis peaks after about 3 hours and stays elevated for around 24-72 hours (2). This makes fueling after and every 3 hours following the optimal routine for muscle building.
Why is Whey Protein Especially Good for Muscles?
There’s many different sources of protein you could grab with the intention of building muscle but some are superior to others. One of the superior protein sources is whey protein.
When you think of whey protein, you probably imagine the protein powder at your local nutrition store or online promising muscle growth. It’s not a gimmick, whey protein has been studied for decades.
Whey protein has many benefits including its essential amino acid profile which allows it to boost muscle protein synthesis and promote muscle growth(3). It doesn’t stop there – in addition to building muscle it can also help increase strength.
Looking for something to drink after your resistance training session? Try this high-quality whey protein powder with full transparency around its simple yet effective ingredients.
If you follow a plant-based diet, you can check out pea protein as an alternative to whey.
Training for Muscle Growth
With a million influencers online and free workout plans, it’s easy to have good intentions but be on the wrong path. Is your training helping you reach your goals?
Of course, there’s nothing “bad” about working out in general but if you have a specific goal like muscle building, you’ll want to make sure you are spending your time and energy wisely.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends(4) the following.
- 1−3 sets per exercise of 8−12 repetitions with 70−85% of one repetition maximum for novice
- 3−6 sets of 1−12 repetitions with 70−100% one repetition maximum for advanced individuals.
However, some evidence shows that it’s possible to get the same stimulus working off of 30- 60% of your 1 rep max. Not sure how far to push it? Studies show that It’s optimal to have around 3-4 reps left in the tank(4).
What is the Next Step for Gaining Muscle?
If you’ve made it this far, you are really committed to gaining muscle and ready to put in the work required.
You’ll need to take a deep look at what your training regimen and nutrition look like right now. Are there certain areas that you can improve in or need to make changes? Don’t feel the need to make tons of changes at once, we find this to not be sustainable most of the time.
Start by focusing on your protein intake – track your protein intake with any easy-to-use food logging app and incorporate a whey protein shake to help reach your daily goal.
You’ll also want to make sure that your training program is helping you gain muscle. Aren’t sure where to get started? Research hypertrophy training programs or work with a professional to help expedite the process.
There are many resources online to help you gain muscle. Your best bet is to just keep showing up and make your training, nutrition, and recovery a priority – you’ll be jacked in no time.