The Whole Day Protein Plan: Maximizing Muscle Without the Rush
Some people obsess over the timing of protein intake to build muscle rapidly. However, consistently consuming enough protein daily while having strength training is more important than consuming protein at a specific time.
Protein, which contains amino acids that help recover and build muscles, can significantly help increase muscle mass if consumed properly. Generally, the protein needed for health maintenance is about 0.8 to 0.9 grams per 2.2 pounds of body weight, and to build muscle, one needs to consume more proteins, which is about 1.2 to 2 grams.
Hence, some people who want to build muscle immediately look for high-protein foods after strength training, thinking “replenishing protein within 30 minutes is crucial.” They do this to increase protein absorption by utilizing the ‘Protein anabolic action’ that occurs right after exercise.
However, it’s okay not to obsess over the timing of protein intake.
The American health information media VeryWell Health introduced a research result stating that consuming protein 4 to 6 hours before and after exercise is the best for increasing muscle mass, citing a meta-analysis study published in the “International Academic Journal of Sports Nutrition.”
According to the media, the body is prepared for protein synthesis up to 24 hours after exercise. It states that the protein anabolic action can occur vigorously within 30 to 60 minutes after exercise. Still, this process doesn’t end quickly; it continues for an adequate period.
Therefore, it’s more important to consistently consume adequate protein than focusing on when to eat protein.
Moreover, experts suggest that protein intake through food should take precedence over supplements like protein powder.
Dairy products like milk, eggs, various meats, and legumes are typical protein sources, and it is best to consume these foods in your diet to increase your protein intake. If you work out a lot and want to increase the speed of muscle growth, you should have supplements like protein powder and these foods.
In addition to protein, other nutrients should also be consumed to balance and build muscle.
While protein is essential for muscle formation, muscles are not built with protein alone. Experts say, “To build muscle, you need to consume an appropriate amount of healthy fats and drink enough water to maintain body hydration.”
Significantly, because hydration doesn’t only help muscle recovery but also helps maintain physical enhancement, slight dehydration will lead to confusion in the body system, which can hinder muscle recovery. Also, since strength training requires considerable energy, consuming enough carbohydrates is helpful.