Identifying the best protein supplement for muscle gain is critical when a body builder sets out on their journey to achieve not just muscle mass, but a great look and optimal physical form. Body building entails the use of progressive resistance exercise.
Some individuals do it for competitive purposes, while others do it just so they can look and feel good. In both of these instances, a lot of mental and physical commitment is required.
To become a successful body builder, you must have a goal-oriented mentality and the attitude of a winner. In body building competitions, contestants appear in a line-up in front of a panel of judges and flex their muscles to show off their hard work.
The body builders are ranked by size, muscularity, posing, symmetry, conditioning and their stage performance.
Ancient weight lifting involved the lifting of stones and forms other intense physical activity. These activities were mainly observed in Egypt. In Europe, people begun to pick keen interest in body building in the years between 1880 and 1953.
Eugene Sandow, a German national, begun to promote the sport in England in the late 19th Century. He is regarded as the Father of Body Building.
The first body building competition later took place in September 1901. Dubbed the ‘Great Competition’, it took place in the Royal Albert Hall in London.
For a successful body builder, a proper diet that incorporates the right amount of protein is key. Many people have the misconception that hitting the gym and lifting a couple of weights will give you a ripped body.
It does not work. Your regular gym routine will not give you the look of a pro body builder. Research has shown that the right protein intake boosts the general look and muscle development in body building.
It should not be taken in copious amounts, though. You will end up with more fat than you bargained for. Too little protein will also see you work a lot harder and longer to achieve the mass you are looking for.
There are also other physiological factors that dictate how much protein you need in your diet. Factors such as age, gender, body composition, hormone levels, body weight and your routine exercise will determine how much protein you will need in your diet.
For an individual that exercises at regular intervals, the average recommended amount of protein is .8 grams per kg of total body weight. Before you embark on a diet plan, however, consider speaking to a nutritional expert so they can evaluate your current physical form and advice on the right amount of protein.
A good body builder’s protein diet will incorporate both animal and plant protein. Some of the best for this include eggs, yoghurt, peanuts, healthy meats such as beef and fish, chocolate milk, cheese and almonds.
Why is Protein so Important?
There is a general misconception that carbohydrates are the most important nutrient for people who engage in rigorous physical activity. This is due to their ability to provide the body with energy necessary for intense workout. While they do play this important role, proteins are the ones that actually provide the nutritional capacity to grow your muscles.
When ingested, proteins are broken down in the stomach into various amino acids. These compounds act as building blocks for the development, growth and repair of muscles. There are more than twenty amino acids and they are mainly obtained from different sources. Amino acids are then categorised into two; essential and non-essential.
Essential amino acids are about nine in number and can only be obtained from your diet. The body is able to make non-essential amino acids for itself, and they do not need to be supplemented from your diet.
Protein is mainly made up of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen. When you take the right amounts, your body will maintain a positive balance of nitrogen called the anabolic state. A negative nitrogen balance causes the catabolic state.Positive anabolic state will help your muscle develop and grow.
As a person that works out often and hard, you definitely want to maintain an anabolic state. A catabolic state causes your body to break down your muscle fibre as a source of fuel.
Different food will give you varying amounts of usable protein and some are easier to digest than others. These three food categories will give you a good amount of protein.
- Whey Protein –This source is an animal based compound that contains 100% protein, meaning that it will not be wasted at all. It is easy to digest.
- Soy Protein – It is plant based and also easy to digest. This will give you about 61% protein.
- Fish Protein – It comes from consuming the flesh of fish. You will be able to obtain about 81% protein from fish.
It would be important to find out how much protein you will be getting from a particular food. There are several myths that surround the consumption of protein. Some of these myths are;
- Proteins damage your kidneys. This is not entirely true. It happens for people who already have kidney problems. If you are a healthy individual, your kidneys will function as they should.
- Animal protein is more effective than plant protein. This is a myth. You will be able to build muscle just as effectively if you only consume plan protein or combine both. Excess consumption of animal protein is actually not good for you.
As you try and vary the sources of your daily protein, you will likely look to processed foods, especially for breakfast. It would be best to avoid them since they are packed with chemical preservatives that may impede good functioning of your organs. The kidneys and liver will be subjected to toxic waste, and your goal is to eat clean for maximum gains.
Top Protein Supplements for Muscle Development
There is a wide assortment of protein supplements that you can purchase to supplement your regular body building diet. Let us review some of the best.
1. Ascent Native Fuel Whey Protein Powder
This product is made from the most natural whey protein. It has no artificial additives such as food colour or flavour. It is a gluten free powder, with only one gram of naturally occurring sugar.
The Ascent Native Fuel Whey Protein Powder is not going to strain your system. Your body will be able to digest it fast and absorb the beneficial nutrients into your body. It is an ideal post-workout supplement as it aids in muscle recovery and repair.
One scoop of this protein packed powder will give you 25 grams of protein per serving. This amount is equivalent to consuming 4 large eggs or 3 large cups of milk. For better perspective, you will get the same amount of protein if you consume one chicken breast or three servings of yoghurt.
- The whey used to make it is natural
- No artificial additives
- Packs a large concentration of protein in one scoop
- It is easy to digest and absorb.
- It is gluten free
- It is not suitable for vegans and vegetarians since it contains animal protein
2. Dymatize Elite 100% Whey Protein Powder
This product is a protein packed powder and is made using a combination of whey protein and BCAAS for that extra boost.
One serving of the Dymatize Elite Whey Protein Powder will give you a total of 25 grams of protein, 140 calories, 2 grams of carbs and 2 grams of sugar. This product boasts an addition of L-Leucine enzyme.
The package gives you 62 servings and you can mix it into your water or coffee. The powder mixes well in water and does not clump.
The product is also easily digestible and additives such as preservatives, flavouring and artificial colour are not used. The enzyme L-Leucine is essential for supporting the activation of muscle protein synthesis. You can also choose from 9 different flavours
- It is a natural product with no artificial additives
- It incorporates a small concentration of carbs
- It mixes easily in water
- Contains enzymes that eliminate wastage and bloating in the body
- It contains the L-Leucine enzyme
- It contains lactose
3. Vega Sport Vegan Protein Powder
This powder incorporates protein from different vegetable sources. It has no amount of animal protein and it proves to be very efficient.
One serving of the Vega Sport Vegan Protein Powder will give you a total of 30 grams of protein. The protein is obtained from a blend of pumpkin seeds, peas, alfalfa protein, sunflower seeds and an addition of tart cherry to hasten muscle recovery.
The powder is also made with a mix of spices and natural flavouring that will make you enjoy consuming it.
You will taste a tinge of turmeric and black pepper, enveloped in nice caramel flavouring. It can be added to your shake or smoothie for easy consumption.
- It is suitable for vegans and non-vegans alike
- Contains a higher amount of protein per serving than most protein powders
- It has natural spices and flavours that enhance taste
- It is keto friendly
- It contains all essential amino acids
- Not suitable for people with nut allergies
4.Signature Protein Crunch Bar
If you are a body builder that prefers to snack rather than slurp up their protein in a drink, this is an ideal product for you.
This tasty protein bar is made from a blend of two protein sources; whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate.
It is gluten free and contains peanuts, soy, milk and almonds. One Signature Protein Crunch Bar contains a total of 20 grams of protein, 5 grams of sugar and 5 grams of dietary fibre.
You will be able to toss it into your gym bag and snack on the go. It has a rich creamy flavour that will make you enjoy eating it.
- Easy to carry around and consume
- It has a high dietary fibre content
- They are delicious and flavourful as compared to other protein supplements
- They can be too sweet for your liking
- Some consumers have found them too chewy
- Contains milk and nut allergens
5. MuscleTech Platinum Iso-Zero
This product is a protein concentrate made from whey protein. One serving will give you a total of 25 grams pf protein. It has zero carbs and zero fat.
It is ideal to blend into your smoothies or adding to your water and it provides for a great post-workout drink. It has a good amino acid balance and includes two enzymes that cause it to be digested fast to prevent protein wastage and stomach upset from gas build-up and indigestion.
- The purest form of whey is used for maximum purity
- Contains zero carbs and no fat
- It has a good taste even without sugar and other additives
- Contains digestive enzymes for zero protein wastage in the body
- Easily digestible for fast absorption
- It contains milk allergens
- It is unsuitable for vegans
These products offer a great source of protein that is essential for building muscle mass and recovering wasted muscle. They are obtained from different sources, but will enable you to achieve the chiselled body you desire.
Body building proves to be a test of resilience, discipline and mettle. Success is highly dependent on several factors such as your state of mind, workout routine, discipline level and diet.
While workout takes a large chunk of what you need to do to achieve muscle mass, diet plays a big contributory part. Your diet should be well balanced to include carbohydrates, protein, fat and vitamins.
Proteins by themselves play a major role, and a good balance of amino acids helps you to hasten your body building process. Protein supplements are important as they provide a quick protein fix that is highly beneficial to your body.