Among the many reasons we supplement with protein, muscle building often climbs to the top of the list. There is so much confusion around what to do. What is fact and what is fiction?! We’re here to bust myths and help you get to where you’re going.
Fiction: Cutting Carbs Will Help My Muscles Grow Faster
Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients necessary in your everyday diet. They provide you with the energy you'll need to get through your workouts and help you feel fuller longer. Though high protein diets are great for staying lean, they are not the most effective for growing and maintaining muscle mass. If you utilize too few carbs, your body will dip into your protein supply for fuel. This will take fuel directly from your muscles and stop them from growing as quickly as they would if they had both protein and carbohydrates to feed from.
Fact: You need it as much pre-workout as you do post-workout
Your workout can only be as good as you prepare for it to be, so hitting the gym on an empty stomach may not be the best way to make gains on your fitness goals. When it comes to muscle building, protein before exercise is just as important as afterwards. To gain muscle mass, you must be at a positive net protein balance, meaning you are neither in withdrawal or deficit of the macronutrient. Consuming protein prior to a workout can encourage a positive protein balance, encouraging 'protein synthesis' and increasing your chances for muscle growth. After a workout, your muscles are damaged and need fuel for repair. The window of opportunity for high protein absorption closes after 4-6 hours, so getting in a meal before then is critical to building, and sustaining, muscle.
Fiction: Everyone needs the same amount of protein
The amount of protein you need is entirely dependent on your activity level. In example, while a man who is largely sedentary may only need 0.36 g of protein per lb of bodyweight per day, a man who is active may need as much as twice that amount. Endurance athletes are recommended to consume .5g-.7g/lb of bodyweight, and a strength athlete even more than that at .7g-.8g per lb of bodyweight. Essentially, the more you burn, the more your muscles will need!
Fact: Protein supplements will help me build muscle
Protein supplements are a great way to make sure your muscles are getting everything they need to fuel the process of building, breaking and repairing tissues. Try to opt for a fortified option, like this one. Not only will it help with your fitness goals, but with so many added nutrients like probiotics and vitamin D, it's the perfect way to build muscle and better health.
- Heller, S., R.D. (2018, January). Protein: A Guide to Maximum Muscle to Separate the Gristle From the Meat. Retrieved from https://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/a19515619/workout-nutrition-for-muscle-building/
- Men's Health. (2018, February). Whey Protein: What It Does And Why You Need It. (2018, February 15). Retrieved from http://www.coachmag.co.uk/nutrition/supplements/3510/whey-protein-explained
- Hovan, P. International Sports Sciences Association. (2016, May). How Much is Too Much? Protein Myths Busted. Retrieved from https://www.issaonline.edu/blog/index.cfm/2016/how-much-is-too-much-protein-myths-busted
- Zelman, K. M. RD. (2013, June). What to Eat Before, During, and After Exercise. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/what-eat-before-during-after-exercise#1