Does protein intake help build muscle?

Exercise should be an extremely important part of everyone’s life in order to stay healthy and feeling good about themselves.  Lifting weights is one of the main categories that falls under exercise and most of the people who do lift weights are looking to gain muscle.  Many studies suggest that putting protein into the body after a workout is a great way to put on more muscle mass.  I love to lift weights and even though it is a slow process, I definitely believe that a protein intake after each workout will increase results over an extended period of time.  Factors such as age, diet, and type of exercise affect the amount of protein consumption after exercising.

As people grow older, certain substances affect the body in different ways than they did at a younger age.  When it comes to protein intake, older individuals are going to need a higher intake in order to allow the protein to do its job and build muscle.  One of the primary reasons for this is because older individuals are most likely not eating as much as young adults.  Studies show that “As a result (of taking in less protein), older adults may lose muscle mass and strength and eventually experience physical disability (Deutz).”  This shows that enough protein will allow for older people to retain more muscle and stay healthier, whereas younger individuals will likely not need as much protein.  Younger muscles are still developing and can absorb a lesser amount of protein, while still helping gain muscle.

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Diet is one of the most important aspects of exercise and needs to be taken serious for the best possible results.  Would you like to achieve the best results possible?  If so, then your diet must consist of the right amount of protein in the right ways because protein is what rebuilds muscle tissue.  Because of the fact that the body cannot hold on to protein like it can with other macronutrients, consumers must take in more protein from outside sources that are healthy.  The best examples of good sources of protein that will lead to lean muscle are fish, beans, poultry, nuts, and whole grains (Osterweil).  The consumers must still worry about the amount of protein to take in on a daily basis, which can differ based on who you ask.  According to The American Dietetic Association, an individual should take in about .36 grams of protein for every pound that individual weighs rather than the popular theory of 1 gram per pound of bodyweight (Bergeron).  This amount will differ among people because everyone is unique.

There are different types of exercise, so along with this comes different amounts of protein intake for a diet of each one.  Aerobic exercise such as running, biking, and walking should be accommodated with 5% to 15% of total energy used.  The amount of protein will slightly differ solely based on the amount of time and effort put into the workout (Campbell).  Another type would be anaerobic exercise, or intense exercise for a lesser amount of time.  The amount of protein that should be consumed for this exercise along with weigh training is about 2 grams of protein for every kilogram of weight (Campbell).  By understanding and following these guidelines, one can push themselves to be the best they can possibly be.

Everyone should ultimately be participating in some sort of physical activity, but I believe that weight training can be very rewarding.  If done right, you will put healthy foods into your body that will give you the right amount of protein for your unique self.  With a little bit of patience, positive results will come about, which will create a drive to work even harder and make you feel more confident on a daily basis.

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2 thoughts on “Does protein intake help build muscle?

  1. Julie Ramioulle

    Coincidently enough, I just posted a blog post on how healthy’s the protein in protein bars? Luckily for both of us, the similar studies’ conclusions helped us analyze and suggest that physical activity and a healthy diet will prove protein to be healthy and actually help build muscle. Likewise, we could both take our posts one step farther by questioning the effectiveness of protein in protein shakes? Would these be considered healthy and help build muscle considering physical activity and an overall healthy diet? Here’s a randomized controlled trial study that could set us on that path to further research.

  2. jqr5447

    Great post because a ton of people (especially those who like to workout) have different opinions on how much protein to consume. If you’re building muscle, obviously you want to put a lot of protein into your body; some people, however, think they need way more than they really do and drink multiple whey protein shakes per day on top of a high protein diet. This is just putting pressure on your kidneys and can end up being harmful for you later in life. I really liked how you added the specific amount of protein one should take based on their bodyweight. This post was very helpful.

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