Muscle building needs a lot of things: a good amount of exercise, training, regularity, and healthy food. Most people take food as a complementary aspect of muscle building but nothing can be far from the truth. Healthy food, in fact, is one of the most crucial aspects of building muscles. Nutritionists suggest taking protein for muscles building. There are various studies done on the effects of protein that suggest that a high-protein diet helps you build a body like no other nutrient can. The effects of fat, carbs, and other nutrients are debatable, but the effects of protein are known by everyone. But how does it do that? How does it build the protein in our body? Before learning that, let us first learn what Protein actually is:
What Are Proteins?
Proteins are large-sized molecules made with thousands of smaller units known as amino acids. There are 20 different types of Amino acids that get attached in a long chain and make the complex structure called protein. A human body requires protein for mainly three purposes: structure, function, and regulation. Of these three functions, structure and regulation are the two that help in building muscles. Structure means building new muscles while regulation means making new protein to replace the old wearing muscles of the body.
How Protein Makes Muscles?
Knowing how protein makes muscles makes it easy to prepare the action plan. There are many studies conducted on proteins that reveal why do we need protein and how it actually builds muscles. Here is an easy guide to understand how the protein-rich food eventually gets converted into lean muscles:
- Digesting the food
Once the protein-rich food reaches your stomach, the enzymes present there to start breaking it. Large molecules of proteins are broken down into small peptides. The same process happens in the small intestine. These peptides act as the building blocks of muscle fibers.
- Shipping the peptides
Once the digestion process is completed, the peptides and amino acids (small units of peptides) are shipped to the liver. When you do a workout or even daily chores, your muscles start to get worn down and your body needs to propel the peptides to patch them up. This work of shipping the peptides is done by the liver.
- Patching up the damage
Muscles are essentially bundles of long fibers. The microtears of the long fibers caused by work send a signal to the brain via stem cells and growth hormones. The liver sends amino acids and peptides, and the damaged areas of fibers start getting repaired.
- Remodeling of the body
The DNA works as a site foreman when it comes to muscle building. It directs specific amino acids to do specific jobs. The fresh supply of amino acids results in the formation of bundles of protein filaments called myofibrils.
- Building muscles; stronger and bigger
The repair process does not just include repairing the damaged areas. The myofibrils go one step further and make the muscles stronger than they were before. This way, the proteins that you ate in the form of food get incorporated into your body in the form of stronger and bigger muscles.
What Happens When You Don't Take Enough Protein?
If you have an intense workout routine but you don't take enough protein, you might experience the following symptoms:
- Your energy levels will dropdown. People often feel drowsy all around the day when they start doing workouts at home or gym regularly but do not change their diet accordingly.
- The muscle mass volume gets decreased. Although you will develop lean muscle if you do workouts, it is essential to take protein for muscles volume increase.
- Since the worn muscles are not fully repaired until you take protein, your immune system also does not work at its peak performance. The natural resistance of the body against infection gets diminished.
- Taking protein for muscles is not important just to make you look good. It is also important to quicken the recovery process if you are injured. The microfibrils get torn down in the injuries. To repair these microfibrils, you need to get a lot of proteins.
How Much Protein Is Enough Protein?
By now, you clearly understand why is protein important. But the quest to build stronger muscles does not end just there. You also need to know how much protein you have to take. It is a common misconception that more protein means better muscles. Gym goers often consume a high amount of company-manufactured or homemade protein powder thinking that this will help them grow big muscles quickly. But many studies done on protein shows that it's not enough to take just protein for muscles building. Scientists have now found that:
- Around 0.8 grams of protein is sufficient for each Kg of body weight. Let's say that your weight is 80 Kgs. In order to build muscles, you will need around 64 grams of protein on a regular basis.
- Regular exercises and workouts are as important for building muscles as protein intake. Without that, your muscles won't wear down and the process of building new muscles will not even start.
- Do not forget that protein is not the only nutrient that helps in muscle building. Other nutrients like carbs are also necessary.
By now, you know that taking protein for muscles building is essential. If you do work out without a proper intake of protein, you are just going to decrease your overall muscle volume. Along with that, you also know how much protein intake is optimal for your body. If you go above that, pH level disbalance, metabolic alteration, and many other problems might happen. So, it is your responsibility to get an optimal amount of protein for muscles. You can take it through natural sources like fish, eggs, and poultry meat. Or you can also try protein powder. Do a rigorous workout and you will see the results soon.